Travel Tips – Greek Islands

Can you imagine anything more relaxing than spending two weeks travelling the Greek Islands?

We arrived to Athens late in the evening & made our way to our Airbnb in the main tourist area of Plaka. Here we spent two very hot Summer days & nights roaming the ancient streets and checking out the Acropolis & Parthenon. There are plenty of shops, restaurants & rooftop bars with beautiful views of the vast city. One of the bars with the best view would have to be Point A.

From Athens, we made our way by plane to the beautiful island of Milos. Here we stayed in Pollonia and spent our days exploring the many cliff jumps and swimming spots hidden around the coastline. I had never seen water as crystal clear in my life! We jumped on a boat tour around the island and loved every minute of it.

From Milos we hopped on a ferry to the Island of Ios. Ios was full of Australians and is known for it’s raging nightlife. After three nights of Espresso Martinis & Mythos Beer we were very happy to arrive to the beautiful island of Santorini. In Santorini we stayed in Firostefani which was perfect for restaurants and a view of the famous sunset. The best way to explore the island is by scooter or quad-bike. There are various beaches to visit – black beach, red beach, Kamari beach. However the best swimming spot in all of Santorini would have to be off the rocks at the base of the cliffs of Oia at Amouddi Bay. Another must see is a visit to Santo Wines, a beautiful winery perched at the top of the cliff overlooking the sea. Taste a dozen of their delicious wines paired with some typical Greek antipasto – YUM!

What’s On in May

The weeks before winter seem like the perfect time to hibernate with a good book or head indoors for some yummy food & a decent movie. Lucky, in May there are opportunities to do all these things, with food, film & writing festivals all happening. Don’t forget to spoil your mum on Mother’s Day, Sunday 13th May.

Newcastle

WHAT: RSPCA Million Paws Walk
WHEN: Sunday 20 May 2018
WHERE: Foreshore Park Newcastle
INFO: Click here

Hunter Valley

WHAT: Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival
WHEN: Various dates throughout May
WHERE: Hunter Valley
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Flickerfest
WHEN: Saturday 5 May 2018
WHERE: Ironbark Hill Brewhouse
INFO: Click here

Sydney

WHAT: Sydney Writers Festival
WHEN: 30 April – 6 May 2018
WHERE: Across Sydney
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Vivid Sydney
WHEN: 25 May – 16 June 2018
WHERE: Across Sydney
INFO: Click here

 

 

 

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Brooke

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Being outdoors, working with some of the best people I know, and seeing our delegates get such enjoyment from what we do with them.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Although I love being outdoors, my favourite event to facilitate is actually an indoor event – Tikes on Bikes – without a doubt my most loved.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Receiving a cheque from a client and mistakenly throwing it in the bin with other rubbish from the car whilst stopped at a service station on the way home after the event. 

My favourite hobbies are:
Swimming, yoga, eating healthy food, going on adventures and being with my loved ones.

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Guided meditation for birthing, lol. As I am about to have my second baby!

What was the last book you read?:
Unmasked by Turia Pitt

Favourite holiday?:
My honeymoon in 2015 to Central America

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Chooky

I am frightened by _____ :
Snakes

Favourite movie of all time:
The Book Thief

First concert I went to:
Elton John. My parents took me when I was 12 years old

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Newcastle is pretty hard to beat!! As long as it’s near a beach and with my family i’m happy!!

What makes you angry:
When I see people get up and leave their rubbish behind after eating.

What makes you laugh the most:
Watching people trying to fold up collapsible beach tents when they have no idea how to do it

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
You’re the voice – John Farnham

Venue Spotlight – Q Station Manly

Q Station is located on the site of Sydney’s former Quarantine Station. The 65 heritage buildings have been creatively transformed into hotel accommodation, conference & event space, restaurants, a café and a museum. Showcasing a stunning view of Sydney Harbour, this unique property is an ideal choice to motivate and engage your employees at your next meeting or function.  With plenty of outdoor space and rooms flooded with natural light, your guests will enjoy the Q Station experience surrounded by native Australian bush land on the edge of Sydney Harbour.

Located just thirty minutes from the centre of Sydney CBD, Q Station is a short drive from Manly and also offers access via ferry or chartered vessel, direct to the private wharf.  Unlike any other Sydney venue, Q Station can be booked exclusively for larger groups and is a unique destination providing function rooms, accommodation, fine dining and team building activities for your delegates.  Stay, dine and discover this beautiful property.

Conference Capacity: 200 pax

Number of Accommodation Rooms: 84

Current Winter Special: Save $5 per person when hosting your conference between May – August 2018!

$77 per person
Full Day Delegate Package
including continuous tea and coffee,
morning and afternoon tea,
buffet/working style lunch,
venue hire from 9am – 5pm,
note pads, pens, mints and water jugs.

Testimonials:

“The venue was great. The staff were very friendly and helpful.”
Rabobank

“Perfect venue – we will continue to use Q Station for all of our functions in future.”  Royal Far West

“The room was lovely – bright, sunny and welcoming – excellent venue for a 2 day corporate meeting.”
Screenrights

“Communication was excellent and I really appreciated the flexibility given that we had a fairly last minute booking. Everyone loved the venue!”
Origin Energy

“It is a wonderful venue and allows participants to focus on their workshops with no distractions except for a beautiful view which brings calm.”
Sydney Water

For all enquiries and more information, contact Q Station’s sales team on:
Phone: 02 9466 1597
Email: [email protected]

Travel Tips – Fiji

BULA! Well… Fiji was on my wife’s bucket list – not mine. But our recent trip there left me a touch more than pleasantly surprised. We decided on travel in October out of school holiday time to be more cost effective. After an obscenely early Sydney departure to Nadi with connecting mini bus then catamaran – we arrived at Plantation Island Resort.

With mixed reviews prior to booking here, we were blown away with the idyllic destination perfect for our young family. We splurged on a Beachfront Bure and it was worth every cent to walk out the front door onto the unbearably white sand, with two perfectly aligned palm trees and a swinging hammock. Two more steps and you were in the warm, clear blue water with fabulous snorkelling only metres from the shore. Our children were often found collecting coconuts, chasing hermit crabs and feeding the tropical fish.

We hired bright yellow retro Bula Bikes which were a fun family activity and easy transportation around the island. The children attended Kids Club when the activities suited their interest – tie dye tshirts and coconut boat making were a hit. They also loved the inflatable water park while we enjoyed the sailboats, kayaks and paddle boarding on offer. We had a breakfast and dinner buffet  package and all loved trying new cultured food and island inspired delicacies. The Coco Hut also provided us with a delectable coffee each morning while the kids slurped up fresh coconut water.

We had a day trip to Cloud 9 which is an adults only floating pontoon with snorkelling, sunbathing, music, bar and wood fire pizza on offer. All in all – this holiday represented tropical bliss with a fabulous mix of relaxation and adventure. I highly recommend it! Thank you (or should I say VINAKA?)

What’s on in April

After a long and sweaty Summer, the cooler months of Autumn are a welcome relief. However, it is also a good time to get out and enjoy the outdoors before the chill of Winter sets in and we all become homebodies. These events that will make you realise April is a great time of year for activities.

Newcastle

WHAT: Newcastle Beer Fest
WHEN: Saturday 7 April 2018
WHERE: Camp Shortland near Nobby’s Beach
INFO: Click here

Hunter Valley

WHAT: A little bit of Italy in Broke
WHEN: Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 April 2018
WHERE: Broke
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Cessnock STOMP Festival
WHEN: Sunday 8 April 2018
WHERE: Cessnock
INFO: Click here

Sydney

WHAT: Sydney Comedy Festival
WHEN: 23 April – 20 May 2018
WHERE: Different venues throughout Sydney
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Sydney Racing Carnival
WHEN: Saturday 7th, 14th & 21st April 2018
WHERE: Randwick Racecourse
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Classic & Wooden Boat Festival
WHEN: Friday 13 – Sunday 15 April 2018
WHERE: Australian National Maritime Museum
INFO: Click here

South Coast/Southern Highlands

WHAT: Grapest 5K Run
WHEN: Saturday 7 April 2018
WHERE: Crooked River Wines Gerringong
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Thirroul Seaside & Arts Festival
WHEN: Friday 6, SAturady 7 & Sunday 8 April 2018
WHERE: Station Street Thirroul
INFO: Click here

WHAT: KISS Arts Festival
WHEN: Friday 17 – Sunday 29 April 2018
WHERE: Kiama Harbour
INFO: Click here

Venue Spotlight – The Retreat Wisemans Ferry

The Retreat is a tranquil haven, nestled on 50 acres of the banks of the Hawkesbury River in the Rustic Village of Wisemans Ferry.

The Retreat is situated approximately 60km North-West of Sydney CBD which is easily accessible, yet sufficiently far away from the office. 54 well appointed rooms with King or Queen size beds. All rooms are available in single or twin share occupancy and we can accommodation up to 110 guests.

The Retreat offers a highly personalised service with the flexibility to meet your individual requirements.

Conference Capacity: 5 Conference Rooms for 2 to 80 Guests

Number of Accommodation Rooms: 54

Contact the Conference Team to discuss your next conference:
Website
Email
Phone: 02 4566 4422

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Tony

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Seeing different beautiful locations

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate: 
Trivia nights

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
A 50+ year old lactating mother fill a glass with her own breast milk and then drink it in front of the entire group during a games night

My favourite hobbies are:
Windsurfing, Mountain biking, playing guitar

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Joe Rogan Experience

What was the last book you read?:
Tribe (non-fiction) by Sebastian Junger

Favourite holiday?:
NZ Mountain biking

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Fanny – (Antony- Anthony-Anfany-Fanny)

I am frightened by _____ :
Regrets

Favourite movie of all time:
ATM –  Man on Fire but Donny Darko is up there all time

First concert I went to:
Spy versus Spy at Penrith Leagues Club

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
I love where I live but if I had to move probably Bay of Islands in NZ

What makes you angry:
Laziness (often my own), lack of consideration of others, lack of empathy towards others

What makes you laugh the most:
Life, Bill Burr

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Faith No More – Midlife Crisis

Travel Tips – Northern Italy

Lake Como
Arguably one of the most beautiful & famous areas in Italy. Hop in a boat or take the Brunate funicular to enjoy the view of this majestic lake.

Milan
One of Italy’s largest cities renowned for it’s food, culture, architecture and (of course) shopping! The gothic Duomo is a must see!

Cinque Terre
Possibly my most favourite place in the world! The Cinque Terre has it all: delicious food, beautiful hiking trails and all the houses are a sea of colour against the backdrop of the Ligurian sea! The region is famous for being the birthplace of Pesto – so make sure you order a pesto pasta. 

Bologna
Home of the delicious Bolognese sauce, beautiful baroque/gothic architecture. Make sure you walk up the two towers of Bologna (stay anywhere close to this area) for the most amazing view of the city. And as always, eat lots of pasta!

Verona
Such a beautiful city! Made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Verona has a wonderful amount of charming piazza’s & squares to explore. Make the small hike up to Piazzale Castel San Pietro for the most beautiful view of the city.

Venice
It is nice to just walk around the canals & alleys & look in the many shops. Try & book your accommodation close to Piazza San Marco or the Rialto Bridge, it is easy to get lost but do not worry – Venice isn’t too big. Venice isn’t particularly known for its food & it is very touristy. Try not to spend more than 10/12EUR max on a pasta at a restaurant. Visit the island of Murano (famous for its glass) or Burano.


Trains in Italy do not always run on time but they are very fast & the easiest way to get from place to place. Book tickets through www.italiarail.com or www.trenitalia.com
When you’re hiring a car make sure you check out: http://www.travelsupermarket.com

What’s on in March

There are still plenty of Summery events happening throughout the first month of Autumn, from St Patrick’s Day & Easter celebrations to the Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney. Make the most out of the last month of daylight savings with these fun filled events:


Newcastle

WHAT: Beaumont Street Carnivale
WHEN: Sunday 11 March 2018
WHERE: Beaumont Street
INFO: Click here

Hunter Valley

WHAT: Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival
WHEN: Fri 23 – Sun 25 March 2018
WHERE: 199 Lang St Kurri Kurri
INFO: Click here

WHAT: St Patrick’s Day at Harrigan’s
WHEN: Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 March 2018
WHERE: Harrigan’s Irish Pub
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Picnic in the Vines
WHEN: Saturday 24 March 2018
WHERE: Tallavera Grove
INFO: Click here

Sydney

WHAT: Sydney Royal Easter Show
WHEN: Friday 23 – Saturday 31 March 2018
WHERE: Sydney Showground
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Mardi Gras Parade
WHEN: Saturday 3 March 2018
WHERE: Sydney CBD
INFO: Click here

WHAT: St Patrick’s Day
WHEN: Sunday 18 March 2018
WHERE: The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
INFO: Click here

Southern Highlands

WHAT: Burrawang Easter Market
WHEN: Saturday 31 March 2018
WHERE: Burrawang
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Thirlmere Festival of Steam
WHEN: Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 March 2018
WHERE: Thirlmere
INFO: Click here

 Canberra

WHAT: Balloon Spectacular
WHEN: Saturday 10 – Sunday 18 March
WHERE: Old Parliament House
INFO: Click here