The spotlight shone on West Gippsland and Phillip Island at a recent business events familiarisation held on 17th and 18th October. Business Events Victoria (BEV), in collaboration with Destination Gippsland and Business Events Phillip Island curated venue and experience highlights that showcased the best of these two regions. Six (6) event planners from a broad range of organisations participated in the two-day program that showed off 10 venues and experiences.

The group arrived at the first site inspection of Gumbuya World in Tynong, just one hour from Melbourne CBD. The group was given a comprehensive private tour of its extensive grounds and attractions that includes a Wildlife Trail and an expanded Oasis Springs as part of their Phase 2 expansion. Gumbuya World currently offers modern conference and function spaces with views over the natural setting and complemented by unique bush and wildlife experiences. As part of its expansion and redevelopment stages, Gumbuya World plans to stage special events, glamping experience and permanent on-site accommodation.

Travelling to Warragul town, the group visited Mercure Warragul, the largest accommodation provider in the area, with contemporary and forward-thinking room design rooms and amenities. A stone’s throw away is the newly renovated West Gippsland Arts Centre with an energy-efficient and state-of-the-art 750-seat theatre plus an additional 200- seat multi-use space.

Skate action at Lardner Park

Next on the program was Lardner Park, Gippsland’s events hub and premier venue that offers unique and flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. It currently hosts a variety of activations that spans the event gamut from traditional conferences and tradeshows, to international music festivals, world jousting, 4WD shows and drone flying activities. Lardner Park hosted a stunning and delicious grazing platter of Gippsland produce and wine. As a highlight for the afternoon, Lauren Foote, captain of world number one Victorian Roller Derby team and Sport & Recreation Victoria’s “Change our Game Ambassador” provided an interactive “learn to skate” demonstration for the group.

Travelling for an hour to the southern coastal tip Cape Paterson, the group arrived at RACV Inverloch Resort and was greeted with picturesque and pristine views of the South Gippsland Bass Coast at the resort lobby. Energised, the group went on a walking tour and inspected the resort facilities and accommodation ranging from resort-style ocean view rooms, self-contained premium villas, and modern cabins. With plenty of evening daylight left, the group also viewed the conference rooms with a total capacity of 320 people, with rugged coastal views and the convenience of a break out area and daylight-filled atrium. The group then settled in to a hearty and healthy relaxing dinner at Radius Restaurant with gin from the local Loch Brewery & Distillery.

Penguin Parade Visitor Centre

Following breakfast at leisure on Day 2, the group bade farewell to RACV Inverloch Resort and headed for Phillip Island, arriving at the brand new Penguin Parade Visitor Centre within an hour. Launched in July this year, this architectural and award-winning facility is the gateway to one of Australia’s most popular attractions, the iconic Phillip Island Penguin Parade, and now delivers a world-class visitor experience for more than 700,000 tourists every year currently. It features meeting rooms, a restaurant that is available for private functions with capacity for 260 people, a state-of-the-art theatre, and an interactive and interpretive habitat space with cinematic projections. The centre is establishing its environmental credentials with 666 solar panels and is a single-use plastics free zone throughout its food outlets.

A short distance away and tucked away is the island’s newly renovated and newest secret – Phillip Island Winery – a unique event, food and wine destination with pretty views and expansive green lawns for events to take flight.

Getting ready for go-karting fun on replica of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit

The group then proceeded to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit with a behind the scenes tour of a truly unique and complete venue for both conferencing and incentive experiences. The pit building conference rooms cater for over 1,300 delegates theatre-style or 760 dining set-up plus exclusive spaces such as the Pit Roof, Control Tower and Race Control that offers a full range of corporate event experiences. The group was then whisked off to the Phillip Island Go Kart Track for a team-building experience and an exhilarating group race on the 750 metres long track, an exact replica of the Grand Prix Circuit. 

With adrenaline subsided, the group arrived at the iconic The Cape Kitchen for lunch with windswept landscapes and abundant birdlife. Seated in the dining room with floor to ceiling uninterrupted dramatic views of the Southern Ocean, conversation flowed effortlessly over a wholesome, fresh and delicious menu of shared plates.

This program was brought together in collaboration with Destination Gippsland and Business Events Phillip Island with thanks to industry hospitality and support.

Business Events Victoria – Connecting businesses to authentic experiences in regional Victoria.

Gippsland and Phillip Island #ididntknowyoucouldconferencethere