Northern Broadwalk, with capacity for up
to 500 standing or 190 seated.
Other new city venues include the
Endeavour Pavilion, next to the HMB
Endeavour, overlooking Darling Harbour.
New hotels include Four Points by Sheraton Central Park and five-star West Hotel
Sydney, by Curio A Collection by Hilton.
As Australia’s coastal capital of the state
of Victoria, Melbourne is known for its
colorful laneways, or arcades, as well as its
theaters, museums and outdoor art.
The newly expanded Melbourne
Convention and Exhibition Centre is now
Australia’s largest convention and exhibition center, with over 430,000 square feet of
There is growing demand from groups
for immersive cultural experiences such as
cooking classes and teambuilding activities
with a local flavor, said Karen Bolinger,
CEO of the Melbourne Convention Bureau.
Groups can also head outdoors and organize a personalized bespoke walking tour
with a practicing Melbourne street artist to
guide the group through the city’s laneways
followed by a create-your-own artwork to
take home, according to Bolinger.
Other outdoor options include Crown
Aviary, a new rooftop space for outdoor
events located at Crown Towers, which can
host up to 550 for a cocktail reception.
Melbourne is also a gateway to some of
Australia’s most popular wildlife adventures, including Phillip Island Australian
Wildlife and Nature Parks—home to the
world-famous penguin parade. The park
can cater for up to 4,000 people. A penguin
protection program is available for groups
to help the little penguin species by working with the rangers on a two-hour interactive, educational ecotourism project.
“Delegates assist the Australian rangers
to build homes for the creatures before
heading down to Summerland beach to
experience the parade,” Bolinger said.
Groups can also explore nearly 25 acres
of bushland at Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife
Conservation Park, meeting endangered
species, feeding kangaroos and wallabies,
cuddling koalas and enjoying encounters
with a variety of birds, reptiles and dingoes,
among others. Behind-the-scenes tour
options are available for groups.
Hot-air balloon rides over the Yarra Valley wine region, less than a one-hour drive
from the city center, include a champagne
breakfast after the flight. Balgownie Estate
Vineyard Resort & Spa, located in Yarra Valley, and Balgownie Estate Winery Retreat
Bendigo just released exclusive corporate
retreat packages this spring.
Queensland’s capital of Brisbane, which
hosted last year’s Dreamtime event, is
seeing large growth in hotel developments,
with 20-plus 3.5- to 5-star hotels opening
“We have a further $12 billion worth of
tourism-related infrastructure underway,
including the Howard Smith Wharves
entertainment and lifestyle precinct
positioned beneath our city’s iconic Story
Bridge, opening in late 2018, and the
Queens Wharf Brisbane integrated resort
and casino, opening in 2022,” said Juliet
Alabaster, Brisbane Convention Bureau
general manager. “We have also worked
hard on product development across Bris-
bane to prepare for an increase in incentive
Set on the Brisbane River, groups can set
up rock-climbing adventures at Kangaroo
Point, kayak down the river, charter a yacht
and abseil the cliffs around the river.