Its school holiday time and we pack up the kids and head to a caravan at Easts Beach just south of Kiama. This caravan is a family heirloom and one of our favourite holiday's, in this business I get to stay in a few fancy resorts and posh hotels but, a week in the caravan is something we always look forward to. But I digress, the South Coast of NSW is a great destination for your next conference or event, there are some first class venues, and a wealth of social, scenic and team building activities on offer.
Kiama and Gerringong are my favourite parts of the coast, but if you need the convenience and energy of a big city Wollongong will be very satisfying.
|7 Mile Beach - Geroa|
|Minnamurra - Budderoo National Park|
|Lawrence Hargrave Drive|
Wollongong is the largest city in the area, 3rd largest city in NSW, and has a rich history and a lively culture to accompany its beaches and businesses. Novotel Northbeach Wollongong and The Chifley Wollongong are the 2 major conference venues in Wollongong and both enjoy great beachside locations. Wollongong is just on 1 hour south of Sydney.
|Novotel Northbeach Wollongong|
|Illawarra Deck - Novotel Northbeach|
The Chifley Wollongong is the newer of the venues and just a few minutes walk from Wollongong City Centre with its shopping, dining and corporate offices. This venue is also right on the beach and sits next door to the Wollongong Entertainment Centre and WIN Stadium. The Chifley Wollongong has an inviting coastal contemporary feel, the accommodation is well equipped and comfortable offering good sized work desks with accessible powerpoints, internet access and foxtel business, movie and sport channels. The conference rooms are versatile with all but one room conveniently situated on the same floor. The ballroom can seat up to 450 delegates and each of the conference rooms can be easily divided into smaller spaces suitable for breakouts and work shops.
Just over 30 minutes south of Wollongong, or 90 minutes south of Sydney we find Kiama and The Sebel Harbourside Kiama, this is a unique conference venue partially housed in the, heritage listed, original Kiama School House. The Assembly Hall in this late 1800's building features high ceilings, plenty of natural light and can seat up to 90 people. The accommodation is of a high standard with many rooms offering balcony's and the hotel can offer some apartment accommodation with views of the Harbour. This is a venue that is well suited to smaller boutique events. We have booked several conferences into this venue and always received positive feedback
|The School Room - The Sebel Harbourside Kiama|
|Superior Balcony Room - The Sebel Harbourside Kiama|
Another 10 minutes down the road and we come to Gerringong, still within the ever popular 2 hour drive from Sydney. The Mercure Resort Gerringong, this is another elegant boutique conference venue that is ideal for a small conference or executive retreat. The Resort features 2 pools (one of them just for Adults ) a conference room with natural light that can seat up to 200 people, but just 50 accommodation rooms which is why I say it is well suited to smaller conferences. The secret treat at this Conference Resort is the Restaurant which is run by the former chef at Cafe Sydney, a man who wanted a change of pace, relocated to the idyllic coastal village of Gerringong and picked up a job at Mercure. The food here is very good! The accommodation is spacious and offers facilities that business travellers will appreciate. There are also interconnecting rooms with kitchenettes that will be good if your delegates are travelling with their families.
|Pool - Mercure Gerringong|
|Meeting Room - Mercure Gerringong|
In conclusion, the South Coast of NSW offers meeting planners a great selection of destinations and venues along with ample opportunity for team building and social activities. These venues are far enough from the big smoke to get some separation from the office, but close enough for access and transfers to be relatively easy, these locations are well within the oft requested 2 hour drive from Sydney CBD. Conference organisers may even find that the lower prices in the regional destinations compensate for the extra costs associated with transfers. These are some venues that are ideal for residential conferences and executive retreats. So use my experience and contact us for more information and quotes.