All at Sea
Sailing out of the port of Fremantle, located 20 km from Perth, is Australia’s largest sail-training tall ship, the STS Leeuwin II. The ship is a 55-metre, tri-masted barquentine with 16 massive sails encompassing over 810 sqm of fabric.
It provides a unique hands-on sailing and team-building experience, or alternatively, participants can just sit back, relax and watch the stunning Western Australian coastline slip by during an exciting three-hour coastal cruise.
The ship is operated by the not-for-profit Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation. All proceeds from corporate charters go toward the group’s life-changing youth development programmes, conducted onboard the vessel on an ongoing basis.
Activities for groups include assisting to raise the sails, climbing the bowsprit (which protrudes from the bow) and taking the helm. Depending upon fitness levels and conditions, the captain may even allow some participants to climb the 33-metre main mast. Charters and short sail trips are available from late October until late April. The ship can carry up to 130 passengers for a day trip and can also offer overnight charter accommodation for 40 guests.
In 2012, charters were arranged for a variety of organisations, ranging from a specialised fire and emergency services group through to educational institutions such as the United World College South East Asia and the Singapore American School.
Depending upon other inclusions, the vessel is approximately A$10,000 (US$9,000) for a three-hour sailing excursion or A$22,000 (US$20,200) for an overnight charter.
The Bush Tucker Trial
Incentive trips to the beautiful Margaret River region, 277 km south of Perth, will see groups take in places that the public rarely sees and try a delicious lunch of uniquely Aussie bush foods.
A tranquil canoe journey will take participants past cliffs, caves, an ancient island, Aboriginal sites and forested kangaroo habitats. Crystal-clear water invites swimming and participants also get to explore the surrounding bushland. The Bush Tucker luncheon features more than 20 gourmet and native Australian foods, many of which are exclusive to Western Australia.
A canoe race back to the river mouth, with prizes of superb Margaret River wines at the finish, brings the activity to a close. An add-on incentive option allows for an additional stop on the banks of the Margaret River for an exclusive Western Australian wine-tasting session.
Canoeing instruction is provided and the programme is suited to active as well as inactive participants. Ranging from two to four hours, this activity caters for a maximum of 40 people at an approximate cost of A$90 (US$83) per person, depending upon inclusions.
Australian Wild Bush Foods
Incentive groups can try some of the following:
• Marinated emu slices
• Slow-roasted kangaroo
• Native wattle seed and tomato bread
• Kakadu plum bites
• Grilled crocodile meat
• Australian witjudi grubs
CATCH OF THE DAY
A 50-minute flight from Adelaide gives groups the chance to take in an immersive seafood-industry experience. South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is home to the fishing town of Port Lincoln and the source of some of Australia’s most delicious seafood, including southern bluefin tuna, rock lobster and Pacific oysters. This programme provides an opportunity to not only experience the rugged beauty of the region, but to see how seafood is produced, meet the people who make it happen and then enjoy a truly unique marine encounter.
The excursion includes exclusive tours of a tuna hatchery and an oyster farm, including a lesson in the fine art of oyster shucking. The renowned Oysterbeds Good Food House is the location for lunch and, not surprisingly, seafood is a feature of the menu. A range of adventure-tourism experiences are also available, including the chance to go “Swimming with the Sea Lions” in beautiful Seal Bay. Another option is the more challenging “Great White Shark Cage Diving” experience, where participants can either choose to swim with the sharks from within the safety of a hardened steel cage, or take in the thrilling spectacle from the vantage point of the boat.
Adelaide-based In Front Events can package this entire programme and tailor-make it to budgets and schedules. As an indicative price guide, marine activities range from A$195 (US$180) per person for swimming with sea lions through to A$345 (US$320) for the shark cage diving experience.
A CLASSIC BLEND
The foothills of Adelaide and the picturesque Barossa Valley are home to some of Australia’s finest wine producers and most beautiful wine estates. For a VIP experience, guests are transferred in a stylish fleet of classic cars to the historic Penfolds Magill Estate, producers of the renowned Penfolds Grange, regarded as one of the world’s best and most collectible red wines.
On arrival, guests are ushered into a private wine-blending masterclass. Participants take time to experiment before choosing a final blend that will be bottled with their own name and date, providing a one-of-a-kind take-home memento for sharing with friends and family. This activity can also be undertaken in teams, with prizes awarded for those wines deemed by the winemaker to be the best blends. Lunch can be included at the estate and if time permits, the programme can incorporate visits to a range of Barossa vineyards including Château Tanunda, Australia’s largest and oldest château, and the historic Seppeltsfield winery. Here guests get an opportunity to taste fortified wine from the year of their birth, a truly unique experience. The vineyard boasts the longest unbroken lineage of single vintage wines in the world, having kept a barrel of each wine made since 1878.
The wine-blending masterclass, including the personalised bottle of take-home wine, is A$65 (US$60) per person. For A$150 (US$140) per person, the programme can be supplemented by a tasting of six Penfolds luxury wines, including the iconic Penfolds Grange. Transfers, meals and tour co-ordination is at additional cost and tailor-made programmes can be provided.
“South Australia has a number of great options for incentive groups. Nowadays, the marketplace wants experiences like shucking oysters with the guy who owns the oyster company at Coffin Bay, swimming with sharks and sea lions, or dining on the freshest seafood banquet straight from the ocean, after meeting the fishermen who catch it.” Scott Ireland managing director In Front Events Australia Pty, Ltd.
“My most memorable aspects of South Australia are the passion of the people, the best wine, the best food, the blue sky, the clean water, the beautiful beach. Everything.” Tony Chen, Shanghai Airlines Event Management Co. Ltd.
THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD AIR, SEA & LAND EXPEDITION
This unique five-star expedition, operated by specialist team-building and corporate incentive operator Big Stick Adventures, provides the ultimate in exciting travel. It includes Victoria’s famous Great Ocean Road, located to the south-west of Melbourne, and iconic landmark, the Twelve Apostles, a collection of extraordinary limestone stacks near the shoreline.
Participants depart from Melbourne in air-conditioned helicopters and head along the Yarra River, over Melbourne’s prestigious suburbs and mansions, following the shoreline all the way to the coast. At certain times of the year, there may even be whales breaching and dolphins playing in the waters below.
Landing at the Twelve Apostles, it is possible to walk along the beach right up to the base of one of these spectacular rock formations. Next is a brief transfer to a fleet of kayaks on the shores of a nearby river, with the final destination still remaining a secret. A mere 15-minute paddle around the headland brings guests to a private beach camp, complete with tented roof and soft, flowing fabric structures. Champagne and a superb picnic luncheon awaits, with fresh crayfish and other local gourmet produce accompanied by superb Victorian wines.
After lunch, a variety of optional experiences are on offer: fishing for giant ocean trout, mastering the art of stand-up paddle boarding, bike riding, massage on the beach, a leisurely walk or merely relaxing in a private cabana.
For the finale, guests depart in a convoy of four-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicles over the ancient sand dunes of this region known as the Shipwreck Coast. Following the “Old Coast Road”, wildlife abounds, ranging from kangaroos to kookaburras. At the romantically named Moonlight Head, a rendezvous is made with the helicopters for the return flight to Melbourne. The return flight over Victoria’s volcanic plains, dotted with ancient volcanoes, rainforest and farm land, is simply spectacular.
Indicative price based on 20 people is A$1,900 (US$1,750) per person and is all-inclusive. Even sunscreen, water, photography and multilingual guides are covered. This trip can be customised to budget and group size.
A truly amazing trip,3 organisations which have undertaken this incentive include corporates from the IT, cosmetics, finance and insurance sectors.
“Guests are frequently astonished by this itinerary. A lot of people have heard of the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles, but to experience it in such a way is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s not an experience you can find on Google and no other operator in Australia offers this type
Brett Hollis, director, Big Stick Adventures
ACCESS Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne have international and domestic airports which provide direct access from a wide range of Asian ports, with flights also available to regional areas.
CLIMATE Australia has a pleasant year-round climate which is just perfect for incentives. Melbourne enjoys a temperate climate with warm to hot summers and cool winters. Adelaide and Perth enjoy a “Mediterranean style” climate with warm, dry summers and mild winters.
VISA Business travellers require a current passport to enter Australia and it must be valid for at least six months after the return date. All visitors must have a valid visa to travel to and enter Australia (other than New Zealand passport holders who meet health and character requirements). The passport held determines whether it’s possible to apply online for a visa, or if it’s necessary to lodge another type of visa application.
Visit: immi.gov.au/skilled/business for
LANGUAGE English, the international business language, is also Australia’s national language. Multilingual translation and interpreter services are available throughout Australia for international business travellers who do not speak English.
Penny Lion, general manager of Business Events Australia, knows Australia’s unique selling points for the incentive sector only too well.
She offers the following tips:
• Make use of the country’s ability to deliver the unbelievable and weave unforgettable experiences into your next programme, such as:
– Forage for delectable truffles in rural Australia before a private cooking demonstration and dinner with a renowned Australian chef
– Take a private barista training workshop at a hip café in one of Sydney’s bustling vibrant suburbs
– Catch abalone off the coast of Kangaroo Island before enjoying a freshly caught seafood feast
• Let your group get close to Australia’s unique nature:
– Join a marine biologist at Mon Repos Beach near Bundaberg in Queensland to witness hatchling turtles make their way to the waters of the Great Barrier Reef
– Swim with wild seals or dolphins off the shores of South Australia
• Include a major Australian sporting event or vibrant festival in your itinerary for a big bang. Consider:
– The Australian Open Tennis Championships
– The Vivid Sydney festival of music, light and ideas
– The Melbourne Cup horse-racing carnival
– The delectable Noosa
– International Food and Wine Festival
Adelaide Convention Bureau
Big Stick Adventures
Business Events Australia
InFront Events Australia Pty Ltd
Leeuwin Ocean Adventure
Melbourne Convention Bureau
Perth Convention Bureau