Impact Publications : MiceBTN_62
Page 36 • MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2016 SyDNEy A city lookout icon, the Observatory Hill Rotunda receives a half-million ‘facelift’ BAND rotundas world wide have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years, fulfilling not only their original entertainment role but also used for wed- dings, political speeches, movie locales and more. While some are utilitarian and just part of the urban landscape, usually in a park setting, others hold a special place in local lore and have become visitor attractions in their own right. Such is the Observatory Hill Rotunda in Sydney, a city institution given a new lease of life thanks to a A$500,000 restoration. The work was undertaken Mondays to Thursdays for four months, ensur- ing the venue was still available on Fridays and weekends when it is most in demand. Offering panoramic views over Sydney Harbour, it is popular for photogra- phy and hosts more than 100 weddings a year. The Federation-style octagonal timber rotunda on a brick base was built in 1912 on the northern slope of Observatory Hill Park. That was during a period when park-going became a large part of people’s leisure time and bands play- ing music in bandstands for the public were a regular occurrence. More than 40 metres above sea level, Observatory Hill is the most-elevated point in Sydney and was originally covered with vegetation including eucalypts, angophora, blackbutt, banksias, acacias and tea trees. ‘NSW First’ workshops join six new webinars SYDNEY and NSW regional centres will be locales for a program of ‘NSW First’ tourism workshops this year. They build on previous workshops, add- ing new categories as well as extending further across the state and throughout the year. “For the first time we will deliver 30 workshops in 21 locations around NSW in addition to six new digital webinars,” said Stuart Ayres, the state’s minister for trade, tourism and major events. “The new ‘market ready’ and ‘export ready’ streams provide more tailored content than ever before, with a growing emphasis on export-ready development.” Other categories include industry devel- opment, inbound strategy and seller train- ing for operators attending trade events. On the web: www.destinationnsw.com. au/workshops Unique gardens offered for ‘appropriate’ events - and there’s a published blacklist ONE of the most unusual garden venues in an Australian city is to be available for a limited number of cultural and other events. The Paddington Reservoir Gardens was created after the reservoir lay unused for many years following a roof collapse in 1993. The City of Sydney eventually sought input from urban designers and others to transform the area, which was protected by a heritage listing. What resulted was a unique area that retains elements of the reservoir’s past with a sunken garden environment, creating what has been described as “a place of respite and inspiration”. It is rich in unusual spaces and exudes a feeling of tranquillity. Unsurprisingly, the project has won a vast number of national and international awards. Now the council is working on a management plan that will open the Padding- ton Reservoir Gardens for events such as exhibitions, light music and workshops. A key factor will be ensuring these events are in keeping with the facility’s peace- fulness and with little impact on nearby residents. Despite requests, the gardens will not be available for catered functions, prod- uct launches, weddings, film screenings and fashion shows. These are seen as not being in keeping with either the venue or its neighbourhood.