July 12, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

As a business events getaway Yarrawonga has a lot going for it – it is on the banks of Murray River’s Lake Mulwala, it enjoys a temperate mid-year climate where cool mornings give way to bright sunny days, and it is easily driveable from Melbourne and Canberra. And with Albury airport one hour away, it is also accessible from other state capitals.

It also boasts one of Australia’s newest residential conference facilities, the waterfront Sebel Yarrawonga, part of Accor.

And while The Sebel Yarrawonga launch on November 1, 2020 was timed for the easing of Victorian COVID restrictions, it was later to face the state’s further pandemic lockdowns during 2021.

In May 2021, the $6.3 million Yarrawonga Tourist Trail, funded by all levels of government, was officially opened, running 5km from the township along the lake shores with pathways, boardwalks, jetties and viewing platforms, terminating at The Sebel.

Lake levels are low at the moment to allow maintenance work on the weir, which is expected to be complete by August. According to The Sebel Yarrawonga general manager, Jason Cooley, this “creates quite a different scenery but becomes a playground for fossickers and treasure hunters”.

We’re not sure what fossickers expect to find in the lake popular with fishermen,  but the 4.5 star eco-luxe designer resort has been described as “a jewel in north east Victoria”.

This is a reference not only to its prime location on a landscaped peninsula stretching into Lake Mulwala, offering water views from guest rooms; it also acknowledges its range of facilities: three food and beverage outlets including a fine dining restaurant specialising in regional produce and wines and an open-air dining and bar option, a spa and wellness centre, an 18-hole Championship golf course, and infinity-edge pool.

Perfect for team building and small to mid-sized conferences and events, The Sebel currently has 63 guest rooms configured as either studio, one, two or three bedroom apartments, accommodating up to 150 delegates on a share basis.

It also has laid foundations for a stage two accommodation development, which will add a further 54 rooms for potentially another 100 delegates.  Originally due for completion next year, no firm date has been set for stage two to be open to the public.

There’s also 600m2 of dynamic space for up to 500 guests across six flexible meeting spaces, a terrace and a boardroom for 10. The hotel’s restaurants can also be used to host events. All have sweeping views across the lake and the largest room opens up to 198m2.  Fully integrated audio, video and fixed projection equipment plus Wi-Fi is included.

The Sebel Yarrawonga is currently offering an incentive for mid-year meetings, both this year and next – offering high end retail vouchers for event bookings which meet a $15,000 spend threshold.