|Lizard Island conference space|
Lizard Island reopens for business
Lizard Island in The Great Barrier Reef is reopening after suffering damage from Cyclone Ita in early 2014. Consistently rated as one of the top ten resorts in the world, the whole of Lizard Island is available to hire for private business events. Surrounded by 24 powdery beaches and 1,000 hectares of beautiful national park it can cater for up to 80 guests at any one time thanks to a selection of 40 luxury rooms and suites, accessed via a private airstrip. With conferencing and meeting facilities, fine dining options, marine activities, spa treatments and bespoke personal services, Lizard Island is again offering business event and incentive groups something truly unique. Click here for more information.
Cairns conjures new outdoor function space
Cairns’ Ochre Restaurant and Catering, the most highly awarded restaurant and catering company in the city, is now offering a new offsite venue at the city’s stunning Botanic Gardens, just ten minutes from the city centre. With exclusive use of the gardens on offer, the extensive lawn area, surrounded by tropical plants and trees, can accommodate 50 to 500 guests for welcome functions and dinners. Ochre Restaurant and Catering is famed for using fresh seafood, native game, bush foods and premium local produce and can create exciting regional Australian menus to suit all tastes. Click here for more information.
ICC Sydney already a third complete
The International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney is officially a third of the way to its opening in December 2016. One year from the start of construction, the $1.1 billion world-class waterfront development will provide the international business events industry with an ultramodern, integrated and highly flexible design for all types and sizes of conference and function. Thanks to the new facilities, a large number of high-profile event bookings have already been secured for 2016 and beyond, including a major congress that hasn’t featured in Australia for more than 40 years. Click here for more information.
Perth picks up new waterfront function space
Perth’s Old Port Waterfront has welcomed the opening of Aqua Bar, a multi-purpose venue for business events with a lounge, upper deck and terrace overlooking the elegant Swan River and impressive Perth skyline. With the ability to exclusively cater for up to 250 guests, Aqua Bar specialises in providing a la carte dining and cocktail functions for business groups visiting Western Australia’s capital city. Click here for more information.
Adelaide Convention Centre expansion close to completion
The multi-million dollar expansion of the Adelaide Convention Centre is one step closer to completion, with the handover of the first phase of the new West Building, which has hosted its first event this January. To introduce event organisers to the new space, the centre has released a behind the scenes tour . Included in the first handover was the Panorama Ballroom, which can cater for up to 1,000 delegates for dinners and conferences, as well as the new Riverbank meeting rooms. Further handovers will take place over the next few months providing even more space for large business events. Click here for more information.
Iconic winery offers new premium dining experience
Originating in 1851, Seppeltsfield, one of South Australia’s most iconic wine estates, has opened a new restaurant that offers exquisite dining and the ability to cater for large groups, combined with a special wine tasting offering as part of a multi-million dollar re-development. Located in the original bottling hall, Fino at Seppeltsfield places great importance on the provenance of its wide-ranging menu, offering the very best in local produce to create a connection between delegates and the region. Seppeltsfield is also famous for its Centennial Collection, an unbroken lineage of Tawny port of every vintage from 1878 to the present. It remains the only winery in the world to release a 100 year old, single vintage wine every year. Click here for more information.
Plans for new Sydney Airport hotel take flight
Australia’s largest hotel operator and airport hotel specialist, Accor, has announced it is set to manage a new five-star Pullman hotel at Sydney Airport. The hotel is being developed as part of a major $100 million development, which will also include office and retail space. Offering a new convenient location for business groups arriving into Sydney, the 229 room property, which is outlined to open in May 2016, will include conference facilities, a restaurant and bar, and will be the first internationally branded five-star hotel in the international airport precinct. Click here for more information.
The Langham Sydney reopens after refurbishment
The Langham Hotel in Sydney has reopened after undergoing a $30 million refurbishment providing 96 brand new luxurious rooms, new amenities, fine dining that utilises the best of local produce, as well as new event and meeting spaces. For business travellers there is seamless WiFi and Bluetooth throughout, allowing presentations to be easily conducted from any device. Service stylists will also run errands or transcribe documents to help with business requirements. The existing day spa has also been transformed into a Chuan Spa – a Langham signature which is consistently rated among the best luxury spas in the world and offers treatments based around traditional Chinese medicine. Click here for more information.
New tours take in Western Australia’s most picturesque region
The widely accredited Cape to Cape Explorer Tours has launched three new day tours for business groups looking for an exciting adventure in the picturesque Margaret River region of Western Australia. The Northern Highlights, Sunset Forest and Cave Explorer, and Wild About Margaret River provide business groups with half-day, full-day and evening tours that take in the stunning landscapes, environment and history of one of Western Australia’s most famous regions. Click here for more information.
New Indigenous experience to offer ultimate experience
The new $14 million Tjapukai Indigenous Experiences is set to be completed by April 2015 at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park near Cairns, offering business groups an unrivalled journey into Indigenous culture and history. The park will unveil several new additions including the Circle of Life Theatre, which uses advanced visual special effects to explain the ancient dreamtime story and Bundarra Cassowary Egg Theatre, a brand new auditorium with live performances ranging from contemporary dance to live theatre. Tjapukai’s Sugar Bag Restaurant and outdoor café will also serve Indigenous-inspired menus, with some dishes created with produce sourced from the restaurant’s own gardens. Click here for more information.
Melbourne ‘AIME’s to connect
The Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) is taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on 24-25 February 2015, connecting suppliers and buyers in the business events industry from across the globe. AIME is the largest international gathering in Australia for the business events industry with over 700 exhibitors from five continents. Click here for more information.
Spotlight On…Penny Rafferty, Executive Officer, Luxury Lodges of Australia (LLoA)
With luxury a given, what else makes the LLoA a must for business and incentive groups?
Each lodge has what I call a 'moment of connection', when the guest realises they are not just in beautiful accommodation, but feel connected to the landscape, the people, the wildlife and the produce - that is really the common denominator for the Luxury Lodges of Australia. The signature marine farm experience offered to every guest staying at Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania is a great example of this. It’s that moment of standing thigh deep in water, tasting fresh fretted shucked oysters and sipping local sparkling wine that really does make you feel like you are immersed in the pure air, light, water and flavours of Tasmania.
For business events or incentive groups interested in food & wine experiences with LLoA, where should they look?
Our expert planners, who are some the finest in the industry have created a useful summary of food and wine experiences from all the LLoA. It is a great place to look for inspiration and to find the perfect match for each business group or incentive. There is also a suggested range of memorable and exciting itineraries based on theme and experience that can guide planners or business groups to ensure the perfect trip is booked.
On a personal note, what are your top five places to visit, things to do, or food & wine experiences in Australia?
I adore the air-boat ride across the Mary River floodplain from Bamurru Plains in the Northern Territory. The play of light from gathering storm clouds over the water is a photographers' dream and the tranquillity of floating amid the submerged melaleuca forests, with fish eagles nesting above, water buffalo and prolific birdlife everywhere you look just takes your breath away.
The moment of arrival at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island in South Australia is truly jaw-dropping - the drama of the island’s coastline is framed by the understated but stunning architecture and design of the lodge. It sets the scene for an amazing time in a very special place.
I live in the Barossa Valley in South Australia by choice because it has passion for food with integrity, some of the finest wine in the world and a wonderful community spirit. I love to take visitors for a hike into the hills above the Barossa, followed by a late afternoon tasting and drinks at Artisans of Barossa, which has a magnificent views across the valley.
The Kimberley trip on True North Luxury Cruises is unforgettable – this area of North Western Australia is so remote, so wild, and is such a precious landscape. Additionally, to be guided by a crew of young, local and knowledgable Australians, with the coastline literally etched into their DNA is a true privilege and their passion for the area is infectious.
And finally, as mentioned already, the marine farm experience at Saffire Freycinet in Tasmania is truly memorable.
· Scoot signed an interline agreement with Virgin Australia on 12-Jan-2015 covering eight destinations in Australia. The destinations include Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne and Uluru
· Qantas has been named the safest airline across the world in a report by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating website for the industry
· Qantas has rolled out its new A330 business class suites with full-flat beds on all flights between Australia and Singapore
Adding The Wow Factor –Spectacles To Add To Your Business Events
February 14 – March 28, 2015 – ICC Cricket World Cup
February 7-14, 2015 – Hurley Australian Open of Surfing
February 27 – March 15, 2015 – Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
March 12-15, 2015 – Melbourne Grand Prix
March 12-15, 2015 – Taste of Sydney Festival