Latest news

  • Incentive Inspiration: Wine and Mussels on the Bellarine Peninsula

    March 20, 2023

    Looking for fresh and tasty incentive program ideas? Take a trip to the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula on this gastronomic and cultural one-day itinerary.

    Delegates will be rewarded with fresh sea air, long table lunches and wine tasting overlooking the ocean. They’ll get to feast on famous Port Arlington mussels, caught and cooked onboard a renovated mussel trawler. Experience a so-very-Melbourne bar and one of the city’s hottest new restaurants. And round out the day with a live show in Melbourne’s theatre district.

    Here’s how the day pans out…

    Cruise Port Phillip Bay

    Delegates will board a 35-metre catamaran ferry by Port Phillip Ferries for a premium experience cruising to Geelong’s beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.

    Onboard you’ll find a cafe serving fresh barista-brewed coffee, snacks, and a fully licensed bar. Additional catering options to suit your occasion are available for charter departures. 

    All vessels are fully accessible with a lower deck providing access to the café, bathrooms, and fabulous views from large panoramic windows.

    Choose your own adventure...

    Upon arrival to the historic seaside town of Portarlington, choose from two unique food and wine experiences, or split your group to rotate between both.

    Catch and feast on Portarlington mussels

    Portarlington is renowned for its delicious mussels. Chances are you will see them featured on restaurant menus across Victoria.

    A new tour experience launching April 2023, Portarlington Mussel Tours provides a unique opportunity for smaller incentive groups to discover just how amazing these local shellfish are. Boarding a lovingly refurbished, 40-year-old Huon pine trawler, you’ll get to know your mussel master hosts and learn how the mussels are expertly cultivated.

    With a glass of Bellarine bubbly in hand, settle in for a live cooking demonstration and tasting complemented by Bellarine wines and other premium local produce. If you’re lucky, you may even spot dolphins!

    This experience goes for three hours. Trawler has capacity for 12 guests.

    Wine and dine at Jack Rabbit Vineyard

    Perched on a bluff overlooking the ocean, Jack Rabbit Vineyard is a jewel in the Bellarine Peninsula’s crown. Delegates will begin their experience with a guided wine tasting of the vineyard’s acclaimed and sophisticated cool climate wines, followed by a gastronomic long table lunch at their award-winning fine dining restaurant, Jack Rabbit, or café, House of Jack Rabbit.

    Jack Rabbit Vineyard 

    Image credit: Jack Rabbit Vineyard

    Bespoke transfers back to Melbourne

    Melbourne’s premier helicopter operator, Microflite, will have a fleet waiting at Jack Rabbit Vineyard to whisk delegates back to Melbourne for a cultural evening to be remembered.

    Alternatively, journey back to Melbourne in style on The Luxcoach – currently catering for 20 guests, with a second luxury coach on the way, The Luxcoach is a bespoke experience boasting an on board cocktail bar, butler service, 50inch LCD TV, and powder room facilities.


    Image credit: Microflite

    A cultural evening in Melbourne

    Guests will have time to freshen up at their hotel, Hilton Little Queen Street, before heading downstairs for cocktails at The Douglas Club, recently named one of the Top 15 Hotel Bars in Australia by Vogue. Taking inspiration from the era of the building it is housed in, The Douglas Club taps into the glamour of travel and hospitality during the 1930s, yet with an unmistakable contemporary edge that’s very Melbourne.

    For dinner, guests will transfer to nearby Federation Square for a mouth-watering experience at Victoria by Farmer’s Daughters. This sophisticated eatery brings the best of the entire state’s produce to Melbourne’s epicentre and offers multiple private dining options or whole venue hire.

    The evening is capped off with VIP tickets to a show at one of Melbourne’s historic theatres  – from major events such as The Melbourne International Comedy Festival to exciting musicals, such as & Juliet, an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet currently showing at The Regent Theatre – there is always something new, different and exciting to experience on stage.

    Hilton Little Queen Street The Douglas Club 

    Image credit: Hilton Little Queen Street - The Douglas Club

    How Melbourne Convention Bureau can pull this all together for you

    The team at Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) can adapt this incentive program to suit the needs and size of your group as well as:

    • Recommend accommodation and organise site inspections
    • Source suppliers and contractors, and referrals to inbound tour operators and destination management companies
    • Provide information about customs and immigration procedures
    • Provide promotional and marketing support
    • Advise on shows coming to town and even procure VIP passes or backstage experiences

    And so much more…

    Contact the MCB team for more information on how to customise this itinerary for your next incentive group.