Conference Venue Spotlight – Headlands Austinmer Beach

Located in Austinmer, on the picturesque south coast of New South Wales, Headlands Austinmer Beach boasts uninterrupted, panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and is an easy 25-minute drive north of the Wollongong CBD and 90 minutes south of Sydney.

Headlands Austinmer Beach Hotel

Offering 59 low rise, self-contained serviced apartments. Featuring studio rooms through to penthouse’s, each apartment boasts luxurious & stylishly appointed furnishings. Overnight guests receive complimentary parking and free Wi-Fi.

Headlands also boasts a modern & elegant event space featuring state of the art facilities & panoramic ocean views. We can cater for all manner of celebrations & occasions from weddings & engagements, corporate conferences & business retreats, to private dinners & cocktail soirees. Capacities range from 10 to 370 guests.

Our bistro, bar & sunny beer garden offer a relaxed yet stylish environment. Inspiration for our menu comes from our close proximity to the ocean & our chef’s passion for fresh, seasonal produce.

Headlands also features a swimming pool, tennis courts, sports bar, VIP lounge, bar, beer garden and live music on weekends.

Conference Capacity:

Accommodation: 110 twin share.
Conferencing space: 270 banquet style

Number of Accommodation Rooms:


Unique Venue Features:

Themost unique feature would be our direct ocean-front location, the view is breathtaking and the perfect inspirational backdrop for a conference!


Sally Ridges – Hi Laura. I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for making our work retreat successful. Everybody had a lovely time and the rooms were just beautiful.

  • FMA Partners

Lisa Beaver – This email is a little overdue, but I just wanted to say thank you to you and your team for an amazing evening. The room was fantastic. The staff were amazing. My team haven’t stopped commenting on the food – delicious. Absolutely made for a wonderful time for everyone, and I can’t ask for more than that.

  • Flight Centre

For all enquiries and more information, contact Nina from the Headlands Austinmer Beach events team on:
E: [email protected]
PH: 02 4200 1099

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Sam

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.

Pinnacle team events facilitator Sam Welbourne

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
I love how the job is basically to have fun. If you’re having fun, so are the delegates and you get to meet interesting people too.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
So far it would have to be the Casino Night, the delegates really have a good time gambling with fake money.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Nothing so far, I’m sure one can’t be too far away.

My favourite hobbies are:
Playing or watching any kind of sport.

Band I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
I’m listening to Drake and the Hamish and Andy podcast pretty religiously at the moment.

What was the last book you read?:
I re-read my favourite book as a teenager, “Hovercar Racer”.

Favourite holiday?:
I’m pretty partial to skiing in Japan, but I went on a 5 week long motorbike road-trip around the USA and Canada last year and that is the most epic thing I’ve ever done.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Plenty, but Sammy and Welbie are the most common.

I am frightened by _____ :
Bears, the one dangerous animal we don’t have in Australia.

Favourite movie of all time:
It’s a tie between Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Groundhog Day.

First concert I went to:
Bombay Bicycle Club.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Newcastle/ Hunter Valley are about as good as it gets I reckon.

What makes you angry:
People who sit in the right lane and people who slow down to 10km/h under the speed limit for speed cameras.

What makes you laugh the most:
Fart jokes probably, just can’t help myself

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus.

Conference Venue Spotlight – Kooindah Waters

Nestled on the stunning Central Coast of NSW just 90 minutes north of Sydney is Mercure Kooindah Waters Golf & Spa Resort.

Mercure Kooindah Waters Resort

The multi-award winning resort is set on 90 acres which boasts a natural wetlands area and is surrounded by an 18 hole championship standard golf course (ranked in the Top 100 resort courses in Australia). Kooindah Waters has been designed to offer the best of both worlds, from state of the art conference facilities along with resort-style amenities including endota day spa, an indoor heated lap pool and outdoor recreational pool, tennis courts, sauna, gym and spa.

Enjoy the stunning views out across the fairways whilst dining in Karinya’s Restaurant and Wine Bar. Our new Executive Chef looks forward to tantalizing your taste buds.

Within 25mins drive from the resort you’ll discover some of the Central Coast’s hottest attractions, including Tree Tops Adventure Park, Luka Chocolate Factory, Glenworth Valley, The Australian Reptile Park, Wyong Milk Factory, Norah Head Lighthouse, Soldiers and Shelley Beaches and The Entrance with daily pelican feeding.

Conference Capacity:

Up to 400 guests cocktail, 340 theatre and 224 cabaret in Kooindah Ballroom

Number of Accommodation Rooms:


Venue Features:

Award-winning Kooindah Waters Golf Club, Exquisite Endota Day Spa Heated indoor 20-metre lap pool, Outdoor recreational pool, Gymnasium, BBQ area next to outdoor pool and playground, two tennis courts, Kids’ playground, Walking and running track


I write to congratulate you and your team on a beaut venue! From the initial contact, with Kerri’s efficient responses through to Louise whose competence in handling the important details was clear, to the friendliness of your maintenance person on my arrival; we had an amazing experience, and will certainly be passing the message on. I’d like to single out Sam in functions for her clear attention, positive demeanour and ‘no request is too much’ approach. The group had a fantastic two day meeting, with evening entertainment in the separate dining room, and a ‘break-out’ activity ‘the Putting Challenge’. The meeting was in the Pool View Room. We are a service organisation and pride ourselves on our high level of customer service, standards and team work. We are very hard to impress. We had a marvellous experience and commend you on your services, your teamwork, your accommodation, and your facilities. You clearly have a successfully cohesive and friendly team culture. Please thank the staff for making my job so much easier. I felt that all staff provided their best support and were very flexible, particularly your kitchen, serving their lovely meals at earlier times than planned. All this combined with a beautiful building and location, it was a very successful event for our group. We recommend Mitch from Pinnacle Events, whose enthusiasm drove us to silly lengths during the CSI game 😉

  • Macquarie University Hospital

Conference Incentives for 2018 Bookings:

Click here to view some great conference incentives from the lovely team at Kooindah Waters

For all enquiries and more information, contact Kerri from the Kooindah Waters events team on:
E: [email protected]
PH: 02 4355 5777

Breaking down silos with team building

A Silo is one of those business buzzwords that we regularly hear from our clients. Despite how it sounds, breaking down silos doesn’t have anything to do with destroying a farm’s grain-storing structure. According to the Business Dictionary the Silo Mentality is a mindset present when certain departments or sectors do not wish to share information with others in the same company. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company culture.

breaking down silos in the workplace

Silo is a term that has been around for many years and continues to be a prominent issue for organisations today. It is no secret that if you want your team to be more effective, productive, happier and successful, all departments of an organisation have to work well together. So how does one go about breaking down silos in the workplace? See below for our top breaking down silos team building activities:



This session has a strong focus on both the individual and the team. Our Team Development facilitator, Lincoln, provides tools and insight on how to be a Functional Team and methods to identify and potentially shift behaviours. Getting the team culture to be functional is a challenge that will reap rewards for your business. Setting aside personal differences, setting agreements and expectations and having a common purpose are very powerful tools.


An exciting collaborative construction project with teams working in unison to design and construct an impressive bridge. Each team builds the bridge to their customer expectations while overcoming limited resources, communication barriers and strict timelines. The exciting final sees each team’s individual bridge being installed to create the huge, extended Company Bridge. The final construction is tested with a remote controlled car. A fun, engaging, hands on event with very powerful metaphors – where all departments of an organisation strive towards their own goals, but also play a vital role in the bigger picture.


This is a challenging and entertaining activity that will bring out the best in your team. Each team will be assigned a country and the task of building a pipeline to deliver a precious resource from one side to the other. On top of managing time, resources and personnel to build their Country’s, pipeline teams will also need to negotiate and innovate to connect their pipeline to all the other Country’s creating one continuous pipeline. Teams will need to work against time and conflicting objectives to achieve the whole group goal.

Delegates will have great fun, planning, negotiating, inventing and competing against the other Country’s to create their Pipeline. By the completion of the project the whole group will have built a long and winding pipeline that is put to the test when the precious resources are sent down the line.

Is there an ideal team size?

When it comes to sports, teams have a specific number of players. A rugby league team has 13, a basketball team has 5 and a netball team has 7. But when it comes to the workplace there is no fixed rule when it comes to the ideal team size. Teams that are too small risk having a skills gap in an important area while teams that are too large risk a loss of productivity and collaboration.

The size question is one that has been asked since the 1800’s, when French agricultural engineer Maximillian Ringelmann performed a tug of war style experiment and discovered that individual members of a group became increasingly less productive as the size of their group increased. In the seventies, Ingham et al coined the phrase “social loafing” for the phenomenon in the workplace where the more people there are, the more a person can get away with and the less work they have to do.

Team tug of war ideal team size

So, how can you avoid the Ringelmann Effect or Social Loafing in your organisation? And is there an ideal team size for your workplace?

Of course, there isn’t a one team size fits all number that will suit every organisation. However, in the latest edition of micenet Lynne Schinella agrees that small teams are better than large. “Flight Centre allows no more than seven in a team, and Jeff Bezos from Amazon says unless a team can be fed with two pizzas, the team is too large,” Lynne Schinella.

Here at Pinnacle when it comes to team sizes in our team building programs we agree that smaller teams work best. Usually we try and keep our team sizes around the 7-person mark, however anywhere between 6 – 10 is ideal. By keeping team sizes within this range we find this provides the best environment for all members of the team to contribute and have their creativity, ideas, energy & experience flourish.

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Mike

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.

Mike Andrews Pinnacle facilitator

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Everything about Pinnacle is FUN!! … even as I strive to maintain high professional standards in what I do and how I work – the fun factor isn’t compromised at any point when engaging with fellow staff, clients or participants.

I love the freedom (& capacity) within my role to ramp up the fun factor and deliver memorable moments and entertaining experiences – such that our customers, old & new … loyal & true – keep coming back for more!! 

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Look spending half a day at the beach, and helping our participants have a laugh and have some fun is awesome – so a beach based Scramble is right up there as a fave … but then I also really enjoy running a Trivia & Games night where the groups are really competitive to start – and then they have a few drinks and things go crazy from there … HILARIOUS!   

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Hmmmmm – so one of our activities makes use of raw eggs … and there’s ALWAYS potential in any session or activity for something unplanned to happen or not go to script … and this is especially so when overly enthusiastic (and slightly tipsy) participants are “playing with the eggs” …. and not following instructions. Needless to say, on that day I was VERY lucky to have a spare shirt!!

My favourite hobbies are:
I’m a sporty & outdoorsy type – so am happy to jump into most adventure type activities. Recently have got back into indoor rock climbing and a few hours at Flip Out trampoline park is also great fun!

Band I’m listening to at the moment / podcast recommendation:
OK – so this is a bit embarrassing … am on a bit of a nostalgia trip at the moment and am firing up a lot of the old 90’s power ballads … (I blame the Foxtel music channels) DON’T JUDGE ME!!

What was the last book you read?:
Am still half way through the latest Dan Brown thriller – “Origin” … it’s a great read!

Favourite holiday?:
WOW – a tough one to answer … 2013 … went on a 6 week / 4000km road trip around the USA … in a Mustang convertible … soooooo many awesome flashbacks!!

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Yes I have … but there’s NO WAY I’m telling – it’s reserved for exclusive use by that special someone 😉

I am frightened by _____ :

Favourite movie of all time?:
Are you serious ?? – you can’t ask a movie buff that type of Q … maybe I could rate them by genre perhaps …. but if you’re after a random 3 from my top 20 list … let’s go with Forrest Gump, Aliens and Raiders of the Lost Ark … I know, I know – such a “boy’s list” – but you asked!

First concert I went to:
The first “event” I ever went to in a big arena was a school sports excursion to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Horden Pavillion (Sydney) when I was all of 11 years old in year 7 … Most memorable moment at a concert was seeing Robbie William at the SFS … my partner and I had managed to sneak into the VIP area right in front of the stage – and will never forget turning around and seeing 50,000 on the field and up in the stands, all around the ground just going off!!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Well without sounding too boring – I’ve lived in the same place here in Sydney for 10 years … so central and close to the city, with amazing, panoramic Sydney Harbour views … I’m a pretty lucky guy and am VERY happy exactly where I am!! … but to answer the Q – if I had to live somewhere else … I really love the Pacific NorthWest region of the the USA … Eugene, Oregon is an amazing small little town – I’ve got good friends there, so that’d be a no brainer! 

What makes you angry:
Random top 5 …. road rage, idiot politicians, social inequity, narrow-mindedness, when the Tim Tam packet runs empty!

What makes you laugh the most:
OMG – I’m “borderline” one of those happy freaks … I love laughing … and making other people laugh … so here’s a joke …

So a man walks into the ER … albeit very gingerly – and announces to the nurse on duty … “Hi – sorry to bother you, but I’ve got 6 toy plastic horses up my bum” … Fearing the worst – the nurse rushes him in for an examination. 10 minutes later the ER doctor comes out and says … “don’t worry – he’s stable!”

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Sorry to be the party pooper … but as gregarious & extroverted as I am … I’m waaaaaaaaay to self-conscious to ever do anything like that!

Winter Team Building Activities

After a warmer than usual Autumn it finally feels like the chill of Winter is upon us. And although there is still plenty warmth and daylight to allow for outdoor activities, indoor activities tend to reign supreme during the cooler months. See below for our list of Winter team building activities:

Grape to Glass & Wine Events

What could warm up your delegates more than a nice glass of red wine? Our Grape to Glass is the perfect Winter team building activity! This challenge sees teams compete against one another to create their very own blend of red wine. Our other Wine Events include Wine Tasting, Wine & Chocolate Tasting & our Wine Options Game.


Your team will feel the heat when they attempt our Escape the room challenge! This indoor challenge is the ultimate Winter team building event that will test the sharpest minds. Each team is “locked” in a room with a set time frame in which to escape before the world as we know it ceases to exist. Teams must follow the clues, solve the puzzles, unlock the secrets to ESCAPE! Teams race to uncover the 8 digit code that will ultimately set them free – will they do it in time?

Tikes on Bikes

No other activity will warm your heart quite like this one! An inspirational activity which never fails to tug at the heart strings of participants. This indoor activity starts with a lead-in activity where we build the group into a false sense of competitiveness. The aim is to emphasise to the group that the final task of bike building will determine the overall winner of the team challenge, thus creating a bigger impact when the participants realise that the purpose of the day was in fact to donate these bikes to underprivileged children.

Corporate Drumming

Wow your team with an interactive performance using Drums, musical tubes and percussion instruments. Perfect for Winter team building, your group will feel entirely exhilarated after creating a musical masterpiece under the guidance of our Professional Drummer!

Mini Olympics

Just because it’s Winter doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and have a great time. And no other activity gets the blood pumping quite like our Mini Olympics. In this activity teams will rotate through a series of sports challenges designed to encourage fun and competitiveness amongst participants. Volleyball, dodge-ball, catapults, team tennis, cricket – the options are endless!


An Amazing Race / Treasure Hunt style of program that sees teams driven around the local area undertaking experiential team challenges that range from Laser Clay Shooting & Archery to Cheese Tasting & Blind Wine Tasting. Our Explorer is available in the following areas: Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands, South Coast & Blue Mountains.

Explorer travel experience

How to Choose a Team Building Activity for Your Team

So, you have been given the task of organising your next conference offsite or team building event. But there are so many options for team building activities and you’re lost as to how you will choose the right activity that will best suit your team.

Basic Details

To get busy organising your team building event you’ll need to make a few simple decisions to kick things off. Firstly, you should have an idea of the date, time of day and who you would like to participate in the event (how many people). Are you wanting to get people energised with an activity first thing in the morning? Or do you want to see your delegates interacting with each other after a hard day of work or conferencing? Or would you prefer a night activity to accompany your dinner? Have you thought about where you would like the activity to take place? Answering these basic questions will create a great starting point for your organising.

Indoors or Outdoors?

Again, this may sound simple but it’s something that people forget to consider when organising a team event. To ensure your team building event is comfortable for everyone participating it’s good to think about whether indoors or outdoors would be better suited. What time of year is it? Outdoors can be blistery cold in Winter and super stifling hot in Summer, but it can also be the breath of fresh air that everyone needed. How much daylight do we have to work with? Now that daylight savings has ended it tends to get dark at 5:00pm, so any outdoor activities will need to finish by this time or have lighting available.

Conference Themes & Desired Outcomes

Do you have a set conference theme that you would like to carry through to your team building event? Talk to us about how this can be incorporated into your activity. Likewise, if you’ve identified an aspect of your team that might need some work or attention (such as communication, leadership, working as the one team or just having fun) talk to us about which activities we would recommend to meet these desired outcomes.

These are just a few things to consider when getting started on the mammoth task that is conference organising. By answering the questions above you will be sure to end up with an activity that is truly suited to you and your team.

Conference Venue Spotlight – Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley

Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley offers you a spectacular conference venue for your next meeting or event. Set amongst 8 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the office to a grand country retreat… Even though it’s only 45 minutes drive from the Sydney CBD.

Complete with luxurious accommodation, onsite dining, spa and recreation facilities, and a number of local attractions on your doorstep, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is the ideal conference venue for your next meeting or event.

Conference Venue Capacity:

Events up to 150

Number of Accommodation Rooms:


Conference Venue Features:

With a variety of spacious conference rooms, covered outdoor areas, picturesque lakeside spots and even a private chapel, you’ll be spoilt for choice for your next function or event. The hotel has 8 formal and 5 informal meeting rooms which offers conference organisers and delegates the perfect venue for company training, product launches or incentives. All rooms are pillarless, the majority with natural light and some with attached break out spaces and disabled access. An onsite audio visual manager will assist with all your requirements.


“We have received so much feedback on how great the conference venue was as well as the food and service from your team. From my perspective you guys could not have done enough to help and ensure a successful event.”

Carina Tomlinson

“You have a great venue and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Both events were fantastic and the customer service we received from all your staff was the best we have received in a long time, you can tell that everyone enjoys their job at The Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Hotel and your management team should be proud the high level of service they are providing on behalf of the hotel.”

Tania Valerio

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Ruth

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 Pinnacle staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.This month with Pinnacle Office Manager, Ruth Cann.

What I love about working for Pinnacle:
The people! Both the amazing people I work with and the clients who are in charge of organising their conference. No event is the same & I love the variety.

My favourite Pinnacle team event:
Tikes on Bikes for indoors and Survivor for outdoors

Most embarrassing moment at Pinnacle:
Nothing specific stands out, however I’m a fairly clumsy person so I’m sure there’s been plenty of embarrassing moments!

My favourite hobbies are:
Basketball, hiking, going to the beach, making pasta

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Casefile True Crime. I’m currently up to Case 66 – The Black Widow however any Casefile episode is worth a listen! Make sure you start from episode 1 & work your way through.

What was the last book you read?:
The Snowman – Jo Nesbo

Favourite holiday?:
My 18 month trip of non-stop travel through the US, UK & Europe.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Not really… Just Ruthie

I am frightened by _____ :

Favourite movie of all time:
The Departed – you can’t beat Scorsese, DiCaprio & Nicholson!

First concert I went to:
Ben Harper & Jack Johnson – many many moons ago!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Anywhere in Italy!

What makes you angry:
Red Onion

What makes you laugh the most:
My girl friends or Eddy Murphy Raw

What song would you sing at a karaoke night?:
Magic Man – Heart