then visit Be-lang-le-wool (Clark Island),
an indigenous settlement where groups
learn traditional fishing methods and food
gathering techniques, as well as participate
in an Aboriginal cultural performance.
The city is well-equipped for groups, in-
cluding its International Convention Cen-
tre Sydney (ICC Sydney), which opened in
December 2016 on Darling Harbour. On
the books, InterContinental Hotel Sydney
is planning an upgrade that includes a new
ballroom. Sydney’s Sheraton on the Park
will undergo a renovation in early 2018 that
includes updates to its 558 guest rooms.
Access will also get easier from the U.S.
next year as United Airlines adds daily
flights from Houston to Sydney.
“Melbourne has a strong arts and culture
scene that can be found woven throughout
the city, from the street art in its laneways
to its theaters and cultural institutions,”
Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria
can host groups for an event in the Great
Hall, which features the largest stained
glass ceiling in the world. Other venues include the Australian Centre for the Moving
Image (ACMI) and Melbourne Museum.
Regent Theatre holds a key part in the
city’s history since opening as a picture palace in 1929, and can host groups in its foyer.
Melbourne Theatre Company offers groups
behind-the-scenes tours, while Arts Centre
Melbourne has 10 function rooms and theater stages that can be used for dinners.
An iconic Ovation Australia cultural tour
of Melbourne includes the city’s art galleries and museums via vintage car or horse
and carriage, including the many laneways
adorned with contemporary graffiti art.
Melbourne is also updating its main
meeting space, with the expansion of the
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition
Centre (MCEC) to open mid-2018. The ex-
pansion will add more than 21,000 square
feet of event space. The expanded MCEC
will be complemented by a 347-room No-
votel Melbourne South Wharf Hotel.
Marriott International is planning a
new hotel alongside the Yarra River in the
trendy Docklands area with 200 rooms,
conference and meeting facilities, and a
rooftop bar and pool. Work is scheduled
to start in mid-2018. Other new hotel inventory in Melbourne includes a W Hotel,
Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Holiday
Inn Express and Indigo Hotel. Air Canada
will also initiate direct flights between Melbourne and Vancouver, B.C., in June 2018.
Further north, Brisbane stands as a cultural
hub for Queensland.
“Brisbane is a welcoming and easily ac-
cessible city with a year-round outdoor life-
style,” said the Brisbane
acting general manager,
Juliet Alabaster. “On
top of that, there’s an
ever-evolving bar and
dining scene, world-
class venues and hotels
and cultural attractions
the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of
Modern Art (QAGOMA), home to a vast
collection of contemporary indigenous
Australian fiber art. Group venues include
the Long Gallery and River Room, which
can be combined to host 1,500 for cock-
On the horizon, Howard Smith Wharves
is set to become Brisbane’s next events precinct when it opens in 2018. The precinct
will house an exhibition and events center,
boutique Art Series hotel, craft brewery
and an array of restaurants.
Another mixed-use project in the works
is the Brisbane Quarter, which will offer
three towers, including the 312-room W
Brisbane, slated to open in the first quarter
of 2018. Meanwhile, the upcoming Queens
Wharf project will feature 1, 100 new hotel
rooms, 50 new bars and restaurants, a pedestrian bridge to South Bank and retail.
Ovation Australia offers programs to
other areas of Queensland, including its
Indigenous Insights program in North
Queensland’s Daintree, which features
a traditional “smoking” ceremony that
cleanses and wards off bad spirits. An
indigenous guide demonstrates traditional
plant use and will show traditions like making bush soaps and ochre painting.
Along the famed Gold Coast, a new
outdoor amphitheater, located next to The
Arts Centre Gold Coast, will offer outdoor
space for up to 5,000 people, and is slated
for completion in December.
The capital of South Australia, Adelaide,
is renowned for the nearby Barossa Valley
vineyards, wine and produce. Ovation
Australia can help arrange wine-making
classes, according to Ovation’s Soderbom.
Adelaide is also home to the Art Gallery
of South Australia, founded in 1881 and
open to groups.
Canberra, the country’s capital, houses
many of the nation’s most important works
of art, including a collection of Aboriginal
art. The city also can
host groups at its Na-
tional Gallery of Austra-
lia and nearby National
In Australia’s center
at famed Uluru, Voyages
launched an indige-
nous food experience
for premium groups at
Ayers Rock Resort. The company also offers
a bush tucker journey and a cooking class
to learn how to use native ingredients such
as wattle seed.
Western Australia’s capital Perth is another
arts hub. The Art Gallery of Western Austra-
lia offers venue space for cocktail recep-
tions and also features a 90-seat theater.
The Museum of Western Australia is cur-
rently undergoing an expansion. It features
learning studios and galleries for groups.
Other upcoming projects include The
Ritz-Carlton, Perth, which when it opens in
mid-2019 will offer 205 waterfront rooms
and conference space. The InterContinental Perth City Centre is a recent addition
with an outdoor terrace for events.
REGENT THEATRE, MELBOURNE
BUSINESS EVENTS AUSTRALIA
+ 61. 2.9360.1111