The inaugural Meet Darwin International event, a partnership between the Northern Territory Convention Bureau and the Darwin Convention Centre, was held in late May. The program provided participants with invaluable insights into the city’s culture, cuisine, business and industry.
Peter Savoff, General Manager of the Darwin Convention Centre, said “Meet Darwin International is an ideal platform for event planners to experience first-hand what the Top End of Australia has to offer. We find that giving event planners the opportunity to visit the Top End is the best way to secure new business because many have not been to Darwin before and are positively surprised by our world-class facilities, friendly hospitality and unique experiences.”
The ease of access to what is Asia’s closest Australian destination was highlighted, with delegates flying just over four-hours from Singapore to Darwin. This close proximity to Asia makes Darwin, in addition to the authentic Australian experiences, an appealing destination for International and Asia Pacific business events. Meet Darwin International delegates were impressed by the opportunity to visit some of Australia’s unique organisations based in Darwin, such as the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service and the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC). The globally-recognised NCCTRC provides training for emergency services medical staff and is also Australia’s first responder to major offshore incidents.
“The National Critical Care Trauma and Response Centre really stood out to me because of the ingenuity of it and also because of the people that work there – you can see their passion,” said Stephanie Ong from Faces of Asia.
Delegates at Meet Darwin International viewed key business event infrastructure in the city and explored the Top End region, including taking a short flight to the Katherine. They cruised on the clear waters of spectacular Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge, took a scenic helicopter flight over Nitmiluk National Park, followed by lunch at the nearby wilderness retreat, Cicada Lodge. They also visited the Katherine Outback Experience, which celebrates Australia’s outback through highly skilled horse-riding and cattle dog demonstrations, live music and bush tales.
Delegates indicated that another highlight was the ‘Seven Seasons Dinner’ hosted by the Darwin Convention Centre. “Inspired by the Gulumoerrgin (Larrakia) seasons calendar, our new Seven Seasons menu is a culinary journey through calendar the giving guests a deeper appreciation of Aboriginal culture and their connection to the land” said Savoff.
“The thought behind the dinner at the Darwin Convention Centre was great,” said Stephanie Ong. “The effect was really something for a special events planner to see – I was in awe! The ‘Seven Seasons’ dinner was truly a multi-sensory journey!”
“Darwin offers an impressive array of options for business events,” Rebecca McCaig, Director of the NT Convention Bureau said. “Unique experiences and activities, meaningful community engagement, multicultural cuisine, a rich and fascinating Aboriginal culture, vibrant festivals and events and a stunning waterfront. The award-winning, world-class 1200-seat convention centre perfectly complements the destination which has a proven record at delivering highly effective business event outcomes.”