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Hamilton Island Yacht Club welcomes the conference market
28 January 2010

The opening of Hamilton Island Yacht Club has added four premium conference spaces and a variety of private function areas to the Island, bringing the total number of rooms available for hire to 13. Designed by renowned Australian architect, Walter Barda, alongside famed yachtsman, Iain Murray and Parkview Constructions, the Yacht Club is already being dubbed the ‘Opera House of Queensland’. Its’ iconic architectural design is a result of Bob Oatley’s vision to create a building of world-class significance on the Island. Housed under a billowing sail-shaped copper roof, the venue will offer first-class facilities for special events and conferences.

The rooms vary in size. The intimate Yacht Club Boardroom holds 16 and is ideal for private dinners, while the amphitheatre hosts 70 in ascending theatre style seating. The Ketch and Cutter rooms have a combined capacity of 240 in bright, airy rooms overlooking the stunning Dent Passage and Coral Sea. The spaces available are ideal for conferences, product launches, tradeshows, gala dinners, presentations and board meetings. A number of different conference day delegate packages are available.

Hamilton Island Yacht Club

Bommie Restaurant, the Yacht Club’s signature restaurant, is available as a dine around option. With sweeping views of the marina and Dent Passage, this restaurant hosts a menu featuring contemporary Australian cuisine created from fresh local ingredients and serves dinner, lunch and brunch. It takes its name from the shallow, isolated and colourful reef patches found in the waters surrounding Hamilton Island. Short for the Australian Aboriginal word 'bombora', these bommies provide a haven for tropical fish to feed and play, but also present a challenge to yachtsman, who must remain vigilant to their presence.

Barda took his architectural inspiration for the long deck extending from the Yacht Club from the Horn of Plenty. The Bommie Bar at the end of the deck is open every day, providing light snacks and drinks and is an especially magical spot from which to view the famous Whitsunday sunsets. The neighbouring flag deck hosts a flag mast with an extraordinary history. Once the mast of maxi yacht, Bumblebee IV, line-honours winner of the 1979 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, it was recovered from the bottom of Sydney Harbour after a particularly challenging race. Since then, it has rested peacefully in the warehouse of well-known skipper, Sid Fisher, and owes its’ revival to Iain Murray, who thought it a fitting addition to the racing start line of the new club, of which he is Commodore.

Julie Ford, Hamilton Island Business Tourism Manager comments, ‘The stunning views and water-side setting of the Yacht Club, coupled with the premier facilities on offer, make this a first class conference facility. We aim to offer our clients a high degree of choice in the organisation of their bespoke event, whether that is in the spaces that they hire or through the support of our in house AV company. Our dedicated on-Island conference team make sure that every detail is taken care of.’

Stunning facilities

She continues, ‘Hamilton Island also benefits from easy and direct access from Australia’s major cities. Daily flights operate from Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns and Brisbane, all within a three hour flight time. The airport hosts commercial, private and chartered aircraft.’

The Yacht Club was ceremonially opened by Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, during Audi Hamilton Race Week in August. This occasion also marked the opening of the Hamilton Island Golf Club on neighboring Dent Island. This 18-hole championship course is the only course on its own island in Australia and is already proving popular with conference groups. The development of the Yacht Club, Golf Club and Villas are part of the Oatley family’s ongoing investment in the Island since their purchase in 2003. During this time, over $300 million has been spent enhancing the island’s infrastructure and facilities.

Source: Hamilton Island and etbMICE 2010