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Spring into seafront events at Tarra Queenscliff

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Spring into seafront events at Tarra Queenscliff
In a major diversification for a transportation business, Searoad Ferries, which operates Victoria’s Sorrento to Queenscliff ferry service, has expanded into the corporate events market, building an iconic seafront function centre for 400.

The two-level award-winning architect-designed building glimmers in the light and features wings at each end. While it was officially opened in April, the hospitality business has opened in stages and will be fully operational this month with a spring launch of its ground floor restaurant, which will also service its first floor events offering.

Currently Tarra has two private event spaces upstairs for up to 200, with a private balcony and views across Port Phillip Bay. Its ground level facilities are only available for events after 6pm when the ferry service closes for the day.

Event manager, Jennifer Illig said that Tarra could cater for up to 400 at private evening events using both levels, as well as an outdoor forecourt.  During business hours the first floor could be set for anything from a boardroom setup for 12 to 140 in theatre, 200 cocktail, 90 cabaret or 120 in banquet using a divisible space. There’s also a lounge area available for delegates to enjoy the panoramic bay views.

The executive chef provides a sit-down or stand-up lunch depending on numbers. The food focus is on fresh locally sourced ingredients matched with wines from the region.

The dedicated events team – who have event experience working in major hotels – at Tarra ensure a seamless function. There are in-house data projectors and screens and other AV gear can be hired in with local operators available.

At roughly 90 minutes by road from Melbourne via Geelong, Tarra is well positioned to draw corporate groups from the CBD to the waterfront promontory, which has no neighbouring buildings and provides a very private setting for business planning. Onsite parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis.

One advantage of the Searoad connection is that it can allow Melbourne’s southern and Mornington Peninsula residents to arrive from Sorrento by ferry without having to drive around the bay.

“They can step straight off the ferry and into the event,” Illig said.  And one of the unique breakout spaces available is the ferry itself.

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