by Maya Dollarhyde | April 13, 2017

Australia is home to exotic wildlife, iconic architecture in cosmopolitan cities, and awe-inspiring natural wonders. It is no surprise groups are looking here for their incentive outings. 

"Our innovative events, delivery capabilities, unique landscapes, exceptional food and wine, and high-quality products and experiences deliver above expectations for incentive events," says Penny Lion, executive general manager of events, Tourism Australia. Visitors seem to agree. In 2016, the Land Down Under welcomed over 8 million international visitors, and continues to host a bevy of business travelers despite the distance it takes to reach the continent. 

"For businesses wanting a truly inspirational event in 2018, Australia is packed with 'can't be bought' experiences," says Lion. "And Australia has never been easier to access, with more flight connections from the U.S. than ever before."

Cairns and Port Douglas
Visits to Cairns and Port Douglas provide a multitude of unique experiences, like snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, trekking through Daintree Rainforest, and touring crocodile country with experienced animal handlers. Stay on Four Mile Beach at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, which recently underwent an AUD-$40 million makeover. Water lovers can indulge in snorkeling expeditions on the reef via a private catamaran with Quicksilver Cruises, enjoy freshwater or saltwater pools at the 295-room hotel, or hit the famed Four Mile Beach itself with 12 guest-only entrance points. Take an exclusive, guided group tour at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures, an ecotourism experience on a 10-hectare World Heritage site. 

For a special adventure, forgo the hotel for a luxury-style yurt, tent, or cabin. Glamping Hub can accommodate up to 50 people in a group, the unique accommodations providing a wealth of outdoor experiences within striking distance of the Great Barrier Reef and wildlife habitats, all among the foothills of Australia's National Parks. 

Outings in the Outback 
Fly into Ayers Rock Airport from Sydney to experience Australia's desert region. Stay at the five-star Sails in the Desert Hotel at Ayers Rock Resort. Here you can travel by camel along dunes in the desert, and visit indigenous art and cultural centers situated in the area. Take a helicopter tour with your group over Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park at Ayers Rock and enjoy 327,414 acres of parkland, including the world-famous sandstone monolith, Uluru Mountain. Visitors planning a visit should book a private tour of the Field of Light, a light installation set up at the base of Uluru. 

Sydney and Melbourne
Take in the Sydney Opera House during a twilight helicopter tour, enjoy Bondi Beach views from a private seaplane, or for an exhilarating, team-building experience, scale the Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb. Book a 90-minute or 3.5-hour climbing tour, then head back to the newly opened, 590-room Sydney Darling Harbour Hotel. 

In Melbourne, attendees can swim with the sharks and stingrays at Shark Dive Xtreme at the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium. This daring opportunity allows four divers at a time for a 90-minute shark dive experience. Sea Life offers function spaces to cater from 20 to 2,000 guests and provides personalized group tours; see penguins, tropical fish, Australia's massive saltwater crocodiles, sharks, and stingrays.