Page 13 - Meet in Aus 2012

Meet in Australia
tasting from the year of their birth, cooking
classes and a creative painting experience
at various wineries in the famous Barossa
Valley, and a trip to McLaren Vale and
Adelaide Hills to sample fine wines and fresh
produce that South Australia is renowned for.
Wildlife, nature, wine
Once on Kangaroo Island, Sealink Travel
acted as the ground operator for the group’s
experiences. Sealink provides the ferries
between the mainland and the island,
supplies charter vehicles and contracts over
properties, booking over 80 on Kangaroo
Island. Under the Sealink brand is Kangaroo
Island Odysseys, specialising in one to three
day tours of the island’s wildlife and nature
based experiences, such as viewing the wild
seals at Seal Bay, and having wine and
nibbles amongst the granite formations of
the Remarkable Rocks.
For a fix of adrenalin, the group headed
to Kangaroo Island Outdoor Action, the
experts in action based, outdoor activities of
Vivonne Bay, owning a fleet of 33 quad bikes
for riding land trails and open grasslands.
Outdoor Action also arranges sand boarding
and tobogganing down sand dunes at Little
Sahara and kayaking on Harriet River.
The group’s accommodation on KI was the
Aurora Ozone Hotel located on the foreshore
of Kingscote, which comprises of the original
hotel (3.5 star rooms, bar and bistro and new
conference rooms), the four star executive
rooms across the road, adjacent four star
self-contained apartments in the town house
section and a 4.5 star penthouse.
Dinner in a tree
For small retreat, luxury accommodation,
LifeTime Private Retreats has four private
villas (Sky House, Cliff House, Stone House
and Snellings View) that can accommodate
up to 11 single guests or 22 as couples.
LifeTime’s specialty is hand crafting retreats
to personally appeal to guests. ‘We ask what
their favourite things, smells and hobbies are
so if the kids like Harry Potter, we’ll sneak in
and put a Harry Potter film to come home to
while they’re at the beach,’ says Perry Finbow,
operations manager. For dining experiences
with a difference, guests can eat within three
rooms of an ancient fig tree lit by candles, a
transformed 100-year old shearing shed, or a
boat house on the white sands of Snellings
Beach. LifeTime Private Retreats also partners
with Exceptional Kangaroo Island to arrange
wilderness adventures.
Wine tasting on Kangaroo Island can be
experienced at Bay of Shoals Wines, one of
the first original farms on the island, with
acres of vines making up one third of
the farm. The winery opened its cellar door
in 2006 and has housed art festivals and
galleries within its barrel rooms. ‘We have
plans to build a function centre in the near
future which will incorporate the heritage
shearing shed, and the views will look down
onto the vines and the sea where pelicans
regularly fly,’ says cellar staff member
Abi Willoughby.
Two Wheeler Creek Wines, the Marron
Café and Andermel Marron provide an all-
in-one wine tasting and marron eating
experience, where groups can hold lobster-
sized live marron straight from the harvest
tanks. MasterChef Australia recently shot an
episode here.
Swim with sharks
Located on the Eyre Peninsula is Port
Lincoln, the only place in Australia (and
in the world apart from South Africa) for
cage diving with Great White sharks. The
experience is 12 hours in total with a two
and a half hour boat ride each way and six
can fit in the cage at one time. The 45 minute
diving session can be filmed and delegates
can take home a DVD of the experience. If
sharks are too intimidating, delegates can
opt to conference in the morning, have lunch
and swim in a 15 metre pen of up to 50 short
fin tuna in the afternoon, as part of a two and
a half hour experience. Port Lincoln Hotel
can arrange all these adrenalin experiences,
and has 111 accommodation rooms and
five function rooms. ‘New Zealand is one
of our fastest growing markets,’ says the
hotel’s sales and marketing manager Diana
Williams. ‘The conference and incentive
markets are strong but leisure is even
bigger,’ she says.
The Adelaide Convention Centre at
night… extensions are underway
Nikki Redman
and Gaylene
Booth of
Kangaroo Island
Odysseys provide
refreshments in
the Remarkable
Rocks for
Destination SA
october] 2012