The lowdown Western Australia’s state capital is a city of contrasts, from gleaming office blocks housing the headquarters of the country’s mining giants, to architecture found on the edges of the CBD with rambling shop facades dating back a century along with grander stone edifices of arcades and banks. North and south of the city are beachfront suburbs such as Scarborough and Rockingham.
Where to meet? Located on the banks of the Swan River and next to Elizabeth Quay, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre hosts many of the mining and energy conferences.
Crown is one of the established hotels, while the Ritz-Carlton – with 205 guest rooms and suites – has recently opened in Elizabeth Quay. About 2km away on Adelaide Terrace is the 367-guest room Hyatt Regency with 16 event venues, including three ballrooms. The neighbouring Pan Pacific Perth has a dedicated conference floor with 11 meeting rooms including two ballrooms.
Post meetings King Park’s War Memorial gives some of the best views of Perth and its marinas along the banks of Swan River where there are ample bars, restaurants and event spaces.
The lowdown This pioneering port city is 30 minutes from Perth and is brimming with local character, from the jail that dates back to 1850, to its markets and the fishing harbour where the statue of Bon Scott, the legendary singer of the rock band AC/DC, stands.
Australia’s National Trust has classified 252 buildings and monuments in Fremantle, making “Freo” the best preserved 19th century seaport city in the world.
Where to meet? The Southern Cross Ballroom at the Esplanade Hotel Fremantle by Rydges holds up to 1,000 for cocktails. Unique offsite venues can also be found at the city’s heritage-listed old prison where the main cell block can be adapted into a gala dinner space with a “jailhouse rock evening” as one of the themes on offer. The Tradewinds Hotel offers seven conference rooms and a rooftop terrace for sundowners.
Post meetings History and character continue at the Maritime Museum, Fremantle markets and Fishing Boat Harbour. The Bulldogs, the city’s Australian Rules Football Club, has a stadium in the centre of the city with a classic feel that brings delegates close to the action.
The lowdown Located 19km off the coast of Fremantle, transport options range from ferries to small aircraft and helicopters. A Dutch explorer gave the island its name after encountering the quokkas, small marsupials with rodent-like snouts, that inhabit the island.
Where to meet? Small conferences geared at lawyers and veterinary surgeons have been held here and there are unique venues, such as the Picture Hall. Rottnest Island Country Club has a venue for 100 people, while Rottnest Lodge can host a conference for up to 100 delegates. For groups staying on the island, Rottnest Lodge offers six types of accommodation for up to 246 guests.
Post meetings A half-day on one of Rottnest’s beaches is one way of relaxing, or learn more about the island with a tour, or – for a view of the island from the sea – the Capella Catamaran can arrange excursions that include an overnight voyage for 10 people. Thomson Rottnest is one of the options for post-meeting socials with a resort vibe.
The lowdown Regarded as one of Western Australia’s most scenic regions and much loved for its produce and wineries.
Where to meet? Pullman Bunker Resort Margaret River Region has 700 sqm of event space for groups of up to 400. Groups tend to come to Margaret River with some R&R in mind after
(or even alongside) meetings, so activities can range from beach fishing to spa visits. One of the larger resorts in the region, and with a ballroom to match, is Abby Beach Resort, Busselton.0
Post meetings Team-bonding activities that have emerged from Margaret River farms include chocolatier experiences, tastings at vineyards and spa treatments in tranquil forest settings. There is also whale watching on the Indian Ocean, cave exploring and beach cricket.
The lowdown The state’s oldest wine-growing region dates back to when Swan River Colony was founded in 1829 with three towns. The valley has become known as the “food bowl” of Perth and is up there with Margaret River as a post-conference itinerary stop after conferences in Perth.
Where to meet? The 153-guest room Novotel Vines Resort Swan Valley has meeting space for 300 across seven meeting rooms. The Vines Resort & Country Club has 103 guest rooms and is linked to a 36-hole championship golf course. The largest event venue at the Vines is the Barrett Lennard Rooms, which can be combined to seat 260 theatre style or 200 for banquets.
Post meetings Wineries, historic pubs and even vintage railway sidings can be used as offsite venues. Unique spaces and group activities can aso be arranged at equestrian centres and wildlife parks.