Meetings Newz September October 2019

J ust 75kms southwest of Melbourne, just where the Bellarine Peninsula crooks its elbow into Corio and Port Phillip Bays, is Victoria’s second-largest city, Geelong. The area was first surveyed in 1838, just three weeks after Melbourne, which is quite an achievement as in those days 47 miles was no small distance, probably taking three days by horse and wagon. Today it is just a quick drive down the highway, or an especially pleasant 80-minute cruise fromMelbourne’s Docklands to Portarlington, about 30 minutes from Geelong. From December however, Port Phillip Ferries will introduce a Melbourne- Geelong service twice a day. Geelong convention bureau manager, Mark Day says although the area has seen an increase in conference enquiries there has been particular interest in incentives and it’s not surprising – there is much to do. Give it a whack! Curlewis Golf Course is among the top 50 in Australia and received the inaugural Australian Golf Digest Club Excellence Award for its ‘contemporary and forward-thinking approach to golf’. The 6150-metre, par 72 course is considered a challenge for players of all standards. As a venue the facility can seat up to 150 people for dining, 230 theatre-style and up to 300 for cocktails. Food options include a choice of platters and more formal menu options including beverage packages. Breakout activities include an 18-bay driving range with automated tee and monitors that analyse club head and ball speeds, smash factor, spin, rate and distance. Participants can strive to outdo each other trying to hit distance targets including getting the ball through some AFL goal posts. A two-tier mini golf course is another team-building option as well as X-Golf, state-of-the-art indoor golf simulators. Through a combination of camera systems, infrared lasers, impacts sensors and advanced gaming software the dedicated kiosks combine virtual reality gaming on more than 80 golf courses around the world. Whiskey, gin…and Billy Wee Billy is sound asleep with his paw wrapped around a teddy bear that is larger than he is. Billy is just a fewmonths old and the latest edition to the pack at The Whiskery/ Bellarine Distillery. Billy, says his owner, Russ [ AUSTRALIA Watson, is best not woken because when he’s up and about he’s a dynamo that make the Energiser Bunny look like a sloth. Watson started the distillery in a renovated and still rustic-looking farm shed that now has gardens and a deck for warmer days, and inviting couches and a roaring fire for the chilly months. The whiskey won’t be ready until 2021 as it is still maturing away in its barrels, although tastings are available. In the meantime, Watson is experimenting with gin, which is a whole new delight. The first brew is call Teddy and the Fox, named after the leader of the pack, a Staffie named Teddy, who had a close encounter with a resident fox. Next up is Rosey and the Rabbits, named for Rosey the poodle and her assignation with local rabbits and the way Billy is shaping up he is likely to have a plethora of brews named after his antics. The Whiskery also showcases local wines, beers and ciders. The kitchen offers cheese and fresh produce platters using as much locally sourced produce as possible when available and a selection of simple pizzas. A wine with a view From the vineyards of Scotchmans Hill there are sweeping views of Port Phillip Bay, the Melbourne city skyline, Mornington Peninsula, Swan Bay and the heads at Queenscliff out to Bass Straight. Its wines, says the vineyard, reflects this environment with ‘intense character’. So, good wine and a WHEN IT’S GOOD TO GIVE SOMEONE THE ELBOW By JaneWarwick If you think you know all that Australia has to offer for conferences and incentives, it would be prudent to take a closer look. View of Melbourne through vines from Scotchmans Hill GHMBA Stadium [48] meeting newz [september october] 2019