Business events in regional Australia
Along our coastlines and across our landscapes, regional Australia has plenty to offer business events, especially for Australian businesses and organisations looking to explore the diverse possibilities in our own backyard to inspire, connect and reinvigorate their groups.
Delivering a business event in a regional destination has a significant positive economic impact on the hosting community, giving businesses and associations an opportunity to boost economies in areas which have been hard hit by the 2019/2020 bushfire season and the COVID-19 pandemic.
New South Wales and Victoria both have organisations which can help you take business events to some of the regional destinations across their states – visit the websites for Meet in Regional NSW and Business Events Victoria for more information. Regional Tourism Organisations in other parts of Australia may also be able to help you plan business events in their regions.
Here are a few regional business event ideas to get you started. We recommend contacting the nearest convention bureaux to discover other possibilities in each of these regions.
From Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, offering a luxury immersion into the Australian landscape for small groups in the Blue Mountains, to wineries and fine dining in the Hunter Valley and the laidback beach vibes to be borrowed in Byron Bay, New South Wales has plenty of pockets offering incentive stays and conference locations to take business events out of the city and into the beauty of the landscape.
On the South Coast, Willinga Park Equine Education Centre at Bawley Point, opened in November 2019, offering a conference venue in the bush with surf beaches nearby. Bangalay Shoalhaven Heads also offers space for conferencing in a coastal setting, alongside destination dining and luxury accommodation which can be bought out for corporate retreats.
In the Blue Mountains, Fairmont Resort and Spa Blue Mountains has a complete package for conferences in a stunning setting, with onsite activities.
Looking west, Dubbo provides an opportunity to support and learn from drought-affected communities while enjoying a growing business events offering, including at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
The Northern Territory offers an opportunity to learn about Australia’s rich Aboriginal culture and connection to the land and to experience some of Australia’s beautiful remote landscapes.
Experience Kakadu with an Aboriginal guide through Kakadu Cultural Tours or take a scenic flight over Kakadu or Litchfield National Park and surrounding rivers and floodplains.
Signature Experiences of Australia collective Discover Aboriginal Experiences has several operators around the Northern Territory offering authentic Indigenous experiences.
Recharge your team in the relaxed surroundings of Noosa, where almost everything can be waterfront, from beachside resorts to hiking in the national park, events on the beach and acclaimed dining on the water. Inland, groups can also wine and dine and visit farm gates in the lush Noosa Hinterland.
For those looking to meet somewhere sandy and sunny, aside from the Whitsundays, Queensland offers several islands with conference facilities, including Magnetic Island in North Queensland and on the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island – which is currently guaranteeing sunshine for conferences between May and August 2021, or they’ll offer every delegate one night free accommodation on their next trip.
Mackay boasts the largest conference centre between Brisbane and Cairns, with capacity for 1,500 delegates at the sustainable Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre, which, in the last few years has reduced its electricity consumption and costs by 90 per cent.
South Australia has plenty of wine regions to delight incentive groups, from the Barossa Valley to McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley. Blend your own wine at Penfolds, experience the d’Arenberg Cube or have a small incentive group stay in luxury at The Louise, one of the Luxury Lodges of Australia.
Small groups looking for something more rugged can head to South Australia’s outback, to glamp in the state’s iconic natural amphitheatre, at Ikara Safari Camp in Wilpena Pound Resort in the Flinders Ranges. It is also possible to take scenic flights over Australia’s largest inland lake, Lake Eyre departing from Wilpena Pound.
On the Eyre Peninsula, groups can stay in luxury at Port Lincoln Hotel and enjoy activities like swimming with dolphins and sea lions, or cage diving with sharks, sample famous Coffin Bay oysters straight from the water or take their immersion into the region’s seafood – or other food or wildlife – scene further on tailormade group tours with Australian Coastal Safaris.
Explore the north east of Tasmania from the state’s second largest city Launceston. Stay at Peppers Silo Hotel on the banks of the Tamar River, challenge yourself on the zipline or tree ropes course at Hollybank Wilderness Adventures or experience some of the most remote parts of northern Tasmania by taking to the skies with Unique Charters.
Take a group to marvel at the beauty of Tasmania’s World Heritage-listed wilderness in the north west of Tasmania in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Have small groups stay in the midst of a stunning vista at Pumphouse Point or take larger groups to Cradle Mountain Lodge.
Beyond Melbourne’s famous urban sprawl there’s plenty of options for incentive groups to explore and conference groups to base themselves.
Close to Melbourne, immerse groups in wine country on the Mornington Peninsula or in the Yarra Valley. Spend the day wine tasting and distillery hopping, visiting globally acclaimed Australian makers (Four Pillars, Yarra Valley) and locally awarded restaurants (Laura, Pt Leo Estate, Mornington Peninsula), and spend the night at the likes of Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula or Chateau Yering and Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa in the Yarra Valley. All three have meeting spaces, with Balgownie able to host conferences of over 100.
See one of Victoria’s greatest icons, the Twelve Apostles, along the Great Ocean Road and host a conference at one of the seaside towns along the 243km stretch of coastline. Properties like the Great Ocean Road Resort can host conferences of up to 100.
Not far from the start of the Great Ocean Road, Geelong and the surrounding region also has a growing business events offering for conferences and incentives, including historic and waterfront venues for 1,000 delegates, wineries, breweries and team-building activities. Consider The Wool Exchange, The Pier Geelong, Jack Rabbit Vineyard and 360Q in Queenscliff.
Another regional Victorian incentive hot spot is Phillip Island, where groups can help out with koala conservation efforts.
And for a relaxing and rejuvenating incentive or conference, try the mineral springs and spas in Daylesford, an 80-minute drive north-west of Melbourne. Small groups can stay at the 33-room boutique luxury lodge Lake House, which has a restaurant, day spa, cooking school and event space for up to 100 people. The region also has wineries and opportunities for farm gate tours to taste local produce.
Western Australia boasts some of Australia’s most stunning remote land and seascapes, yet to be visited by many Australians.
Take an incentive group to the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Reef, where groups can swim with whale sharks and humpback whales and have an exclusive luxury glamping experience at Sal Salis with tents a stone’s throw from the beach.
Further north, the Kimberley is one of the oldest wilderness landscapes in the world. Ride camels along the beach while hosting a conference for up to 200 delegates at Cable Beach Club Resort. Or take an exclusive chartered luxury cruise with a tailored itinerary around the Kimberley with companies like True North and The Great Escape.