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The Cairns Convention Centre, selected the World's Best Congress Centre in 2004 and 2014, is a convention and entertainment centre in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.[1]

Cairns Convention Centre
The Snakepit
Cairns Convention Centre.jpg
LocationCnr Wharf & Sheridan Street, Cairns, Queensland, 4870
Coordinates16°55′39″S 145°46′40″E / 16.92750°S 145.77778°E / -16.92750; 145.77778Coordinates: 16°55′39″S 145°46′40″E / 16.92750°S 145.77778°E / -16.92750; 145.77778
OwnerGovernment of Queensland
OperatorAEG Ogden
Broke ground1995
OpenedJune 1996
Cairns Taipans (NBL) (1999-present)


The centre has a floor space of 31,000 square metres on a 2.2 hectare site in the Cairns CBD, 10 minutes from Cairns International Airport. It has five halls, including the Great Hall, which caters to 2,330 theatre-style guests and can be divided into four separate rooms, and Hall Two, which holds up to 5,300.[2] It has nine meeting rooms, six conference rooms, a media room and state-of-the art audio visual facilities.[3]


The Cairns Convention Centre is owned by the Queensland State Government and has been managed and marketed by AEG Ogden since 1994. Stage one of the building opened on June 26, 1996 and a multi-purpose 5,300 seat hall was added in 1999.[4] It was Australia's first regional convention centre and the country's first environmentally designed public building, and in its opening year it won the inaugural international EIBTM's most environmentally conscious congress centre.[3][5] It became home to the Cairns Taipans in 1999, the team's first year in the NBL.[6] The centre undertook a $12 million refurbishment in 2005 and a $6.3 million upgrade in 2011.[7]


Since the team's inaugural season in 1999, the Cairns Convention Centre has been the home venue for the Cairns Taipans, who play in the National Basketball League. During Taipans home games, the centre is referred to as "The Snakepit".[6]

The Convention Centre is set to host preliminary rounds of the men's basketball competition at the Commonwealth Games, which will be held on Queensland's Gold Coast in April 2018.

Recent eventsEdit

In 2014, the centre hosted the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting[8][9] and the Australian Tourism Exchange conference, the first time it was held in a regional destination.[10][11] Also in 2014, it held the World Buiatrics Congress, the 6th International Symposium on Fish Nutrition and Feeding, the Association of Financial Advisers Conference and Congress of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects.[12] In 2015, it hosted the Professional Bull Riding Cairns Invitational, adding 300 tonnes of sand to the floor of Hall Two, the 25th Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry, World Congress on Larynx Cancer, Australasian Hydrographic Symposium, Prostate Cancer World Congress, Toyota Dealer Meeting and Hilux Launch and James Cook University Graduation Ceremonies.[13][14] It has been selected to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games basketball heats.[15]


The Centre received the 2014 and 2004 International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) APEX Award for World's Best Congress Centre.[16] It was inducted into the Queensland Tourism Awards Hall of Fame after winning gold in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Business Event Venues category and received the Chairman's Award for Excellence in the Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Industry Excellence Awards.[17][18] In 2011, it achieved Gold Certification in the AIPC Quality Standards Program.[19]

Environment credentials/green initiativesEdit

The centre's energy efficient features includes rain water storage, water flow restrictors, an insulated roof with light coloured roof sheeting and solar hot water panels and louvers. The centre is ISO 9001 accredited with Lloyd's of London and has an EarthCheck Benchmarked Bronze status.[3]


  1. ^ Dalton, Nick., “Convention Centre World’s Best”, The Cairns Post, July 4, 2014, page 1
  2. ^ Cairns Attractions,, “Cairns Convention Exhibition Centre Cairns Australia”, retrieved December 17, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c,, “Tropical eco building and living”, retrieved December 17, 2015
  4. ^ Hudson, Alan (2007).”Growing up with Cairns”, ISSN 1322-8587, Page 142.
  5. ^ Dalton, Nick., “Centre turns 15”, The Cairns Post, July 27, 2011
  6. ^ a b Cairns Taipans,, “Venue Cairns Convention Centre”, retrieved December 17, 2015
  7. ^ Pyne, Rob., “Convention Centre: $6.30 Million Upgrade!”, retrieved December 17, 2015
  8. ^ Forbes, Scott. “Top marks given for G20 Finance Minister meeting in Cairns”, The Cairns Post, September 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Kyriacou, Kate., “Brisbane G20 summit security tweaks after Cairns finance ministers’ meeting”, The Courier-Mail, September 22, 2014
  10. ^ Dalton, Nick,, “Australian Tourism Exchange puts Far North Queensland on tourist menu:, The Cairns Post, May 7, 2014
  11. ^ Vlasic, Kimberley, Kate., “Australian Tourism Exchange in Cairns”, The Cairns Post, May 13, 2014
  12. ^ Dalton, Nick. “Cairns Convention Centre pours $91m into economy”, The Cairns Post, December 24, 2014
  13. ^ Bateman, Daniel., “Scientists bring mega brainpower to Cairns for Neurochemistry conference”, The Cairns Post, August 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Clarke, Harry., “Cairns Convention Centre converted into rodeo arena for bull riding event”, The Cairns Post, July 2, 2015
  15. ^ Australian Government,, “Cairns joins Commonwealth Games team”, November 5, 2015, retrieved December 17, 2015
  16. ^ Davis, Sam, , “Cairns Convention Centre wins award”, ABC Far North Queensland, July 14, 2008
  17. ^ Queensland Industry Tourism Council,, “Hall of Fame 2015, Business Events Venue Cairns Convention Centre”, retrieved December 17, 2015
  18. ^ Tourism Tropical North Queensland,, TTNQ awards excellence in tourism, November 7, 2015, retrieved December 17, 2015
  19. ^ "Cairns Convention Centre Receives Gold Certification". Australian Leisure Management. 10 February 2011.

External linksEdit