Social Program

To secure your place, bookings must be received by Monday 6 April 2020. Any bookings after this date are subject to availability and refunds will not be offered unless the ticket is re-sold.

All tours are subject to cancellation unless minimum numbers are met. In the event that a tour is cancelled you will be contacted by RACS Conferences & Events Management and offered an alternative should one be available. If an alternative is not available, a full refund will be processed.

When registering, please include the tour guests dietary requirements and mobile number (in case contact needs to be made in advance). Please note, transport is not provided unless specified.

Bookings for the social program are available via the online registration form

Monday 11 May 2020

Moroccan and Middle Eastern Cooking Class with Spice Bazaar

Commences/Departs: Bus will depart from MCEC at 9:30am to arrive at Spice Bazaar for a 10:00am class. Please arrive at the MCEC Registration Desk ready for departure at 9:15am
Concludes: The class will conclude at 2:30pm, with the bus departing Spice Bazaar at 2:45pm. The bus will arrive back at the MCEC at approximately 3:15pm
Duration: 5.75 hours
Cost: $175.00 per person including GST
(Children under the age of 10 will not be able to join this tour)
Inclusions: 2 glasses of wine, 2 dining sittings, apron for use during the session, all recipes and ingredients provided, return bus transfers
Bring (optional): Camera
Clothing: Comfortable clothing and enclosed shoes
Description: Spice Bazaar Cooking Classes are hands on, relaxed, fun and inspiring and loaded with flavour. Experience a private cooking class and feast on Moroccan and Middle Eastern Food.

Food is the ultimate social glue. Everyone must eat, and cultures have bonded and socialised at the dinner table for millenniums. The cooking class ensures that all attendees have a valuable role to play, regardless of your cooking experience level. The whole experience is instructive, social, fun, and delicious and will definitely be a day of feasting you will remember. You’ll take home the recipes and knowledge to recreate the dishes for your own friends and family.

Tuesday 12 May 2020

Yarra Valley: Wine, Cider, Beer and Chocolates Day Tour

Commences/Departs: Bus will depart from MCEC at 7:45am to the Yarra Valley. Please arrive at the MCEC Registration Desk ready for departure a 7:30am
Concludes: The bus will arrive back at the
MCEC at approximately 4:45pm
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: $302.00 per adult including GST
(Children under the age of 18 years will not be able to join this tour)
Inclusions: Return coach transfers, wine, cider or beer tasting, winery lunch (main course, shared dessert platter and a glass of wine), chocolaterie stop to sample chocolates
Bring (optional): Bottled water, sunglasses, camera
Clothing: Jacket/coat for wet weather, hat and
appropriate walking shoes
Description: There’s no tastier way to spend a day than this wine, cider and chocolate tour of the gorgeous Yarra Valley east of Melbourne

The Yarra Valley is located an hour’s drive from Melbourne and offers access to magnificent wineries and numerous gourmet food experiences. This tour features a craft cider and beer tasting, along with visits to a chocolaterie and three fabulous wineries. A delicious winery lunch is also included.

Contemporary Art in the City Tour

Commences/Departs: Tour begins at 10:00am. Please meet inside The Atrium, Federation Square, Swanston Street Melbourne
Concludes: This tour will conclude at 1:00pm at The Atrium, Federation Square, Swanston Street Melbourne
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $120.00 per adult including GST (no child fee applies)
Inclusions: Guided tour in the city and entry into selected galleries
Bring (optional): Camera, bottled water
Clothing: Suitable walking shoes and clothing
Description: Visit a number of leading contemporary art galleries along with up and coming art spaces in the laneways and historical buildings of Melbourne’s CBD.

Join Monash University Museum of Art’s Director, Charlotte Day, for a morning tour of Melbourne’s vibrant art gallery scene. Visit a selection of Melbourne’s best commercial galleries including Anna Schwartz Gallery, Tolarno Galleries and Sarah Scout Presents, followed by a visit to the iconic Nicholas Building, a creative hub of galleries and small businesses. During this tour, you will meet gallery directors, curators and exhibiting artists, and hear about different gallery models and approaches to creative practices.

Wednesday 13 May 2020

Modern Masters Art Tour: Joy Hester and Sidney Nolan

Commences/Departs: Bus will depart from MCEC at 9:00am. Please arrive at the MCEC Registration Desk ready for departure at 8:30am
Concludes: The tour will conclude at 3:30pm. The bus will arrive back at the MCEC at approximately 4:00pm
Duration: 7 hours
Cost: $250.00 per adult including GST
Cost: $100.00 per child including GST (Child price includes under 16 years of age)
Inclusions: Transport, museum entry, morning tea and lunch with wine at TarraWarra Estate, return bus transfers
Bring (optional): Camera, bottled water
Clothing: Suitable walking shoes and clothing
Description: Join us on this special outing to two of Melbourne’s most iconic art museums both located in glorious landscapes: Heide Museum of Modern Art in Heidelberg and the TarraWarra Museum of Art in the spectacular Yarra Valley.

The morning will be spent visiting Heide Museum of Modern Art, led by Senior Curator Kendrah Morgan, who will introduce the museum and the extraordinary life and work of artist Joy Hester. Following morning tea at Café Heide, the tour will depart by bus to TarraWarra Museum of Art to enjoy a lovely lunch in the award-winning architect designed Cellar Door, followed by a tour of the exhibition of twentieth century legendary artist Sidney Nolan by curator Anthony Fitzpatrick. This tour is for lovers of all things modern and provides a great introduction to two key protagonists of Australian art.

Gardening Australia’s Sophie Thomson and Austin Health Gardens and Grounds Project Officer Steven Wells

Commences/Departs: Bus will depart from MCEC at 9:15am to arrive at Austin Health Gardens for a 10:00am start. Please arrive at the MCEC Registration Desk ready for departure at 9:00am
Concludes: The tour will conclude at 12:30pm. The bus will arrive back at the MCEC at approximately 1:45pm
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $161.00 per adult including GST
Cost: $25.00 per child including GST
(This cost applies to children aged between 10 and 17 years of age. Children under the age of 10 are not suited to join this tour)
Inclusions: Tour of the Austin Therapeutic Garden, return bus transfers
Bring (optional): Camera, sunglasses, bottled water
Clothing: Umbrella, raincoat, closed in shoes
Description: Hosted by gardening media personality Sophie Thomson, this tour will include insights into Melbourne’s Austin Hospital Therapeutic Garden developed by Steven Wells, a nurse and horticulturalist. Steven is the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship which led to him recently studying hospital gardens around the world.

Both Sophie and Steven are passionate
advocates in the role gardening and greening
can play in hospitals and its ability to
contribute to patient recovery and resilience.
Both are well known speakers in this area.

Thursday 14 May 2020

Queen Victoria Market and Lygon Street Local Flavours Tour

Commences/Departs: Please meet at meeting point at Queen Victoria Market shown on map at 9:15am for 9:30am start
Concludes: This tour will conclude at 2:00pm on Lygon Street
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $148.50 per person including GST (Children under the age of 12 are not suited to join this tour)
Inclusions: Market samples and tastings, bottled water, coffee or alternative hot drink, 2 course lunch, glass of local wine or beer, souvenir gift
Bring (optional): Warm jacket or raincoat/umbrella, camera
Clothing: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes
Description: Meet at Queen Victoria Market for a 4.5 hour small group tour exploring the food and people of this iconic market before heading into Lygon Street, Melbourne’s little
Italy, with a relaxed and knowledgeable foodie showing the way.

Gain rare insight into the history of the city and how the character of Melbourne has developed while enjoying Queen Victoria Market’s best coffee with a special behind the scenes tasting experience. We will embark on a food tour of Melbourne’s biggest Market like no other, packed with stories, samples, tastings and time to explore. The tour will lead to a delicious and wholesome sit down lunch and drink at a specially chosen Lygon Street favourite. Please note that this tour includes large amounts of walking.

Behind the Scenes at the National Gallery of Victoria and Buxton Contemporary

Commences/Departs: Meet at the Water Wall, National Gallery of Victoria, 180 St Kilda Road Melbourne at 9:45am for a 10:00am start
Concludes: Tour will conclude at 1:00pm at the Water Wall, National Gallery of Victoria
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: $100.00 per adult including GST (no child fee applies)
Inclusions: Gallery entry
Bring (optional): Camera, bottled water
Clothing: Suitable walking shoes and clothing
Description: Join us to visit exhibitions and behind the scenes at the renowned National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne’ newest public art museum, Buxton Contemporary.

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is Australia’s largest and oldest art museum and is the 22nd most visited art museum globally. This tour will offer behind the scenes insight into its collection and ambitious curatorial activities. The tour will include a ten minute walk to Buxton Contemporary, Melbourne’s newest public art gallery, which was started with the donation of 350 artworks valued at over 10 million dollars by Melbourne developer Michael Buxton. At Buxton Contemporary we will be met by curators to learn about how the gallery uses the collection as the foundation for its exhibitions showcasing Australian art.

Friday 15 May 2020

Healesville Sanctuary and Puffing Billy Tour

Commences/Departs: Bus will depart from MCEC at 8:00am. Please arrive at the MCEC Registration Desk ready for departure at 7:45am
Concludes: The bus will arrive back at the MCEC at approximately 5:00pm
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: $149.00 per adult including GST
Cost: $130.00 per child including GST
(A child ticket is applicable for children between 4 and 14 years of age. Children aged under 4 are free)
Inclusions: Aussie-style morning tea, Puffing Billy ride, entry to Healesville Sanctuary, Sanctuary tour with a volunteer guide (followed by free time to explore), lunch voucher up to the value of $20.00 (used at any café at the Sanctuary), return bus transfers
Bring (optional): Hat, bottled water, camera,
sunglasses
Clothing: Jacket/coat for wet weather and comfortable walking shoes
Description: Travelling on a private airconditioned bus, your first stop is the acclaimed Healesville Sanctuary, where you can view the many iconic Aussie wildlife species that call the sanctuary home. Learn about Healesville Sanctuary’s research efforts to sustain endangered species and how it treats thousands of sick and injured native animals every year. Meet wombats, kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, emus and even the highly elusive platypus.

The tour will then board the iconic, centuryold Puffing Billy steam train in Belgrave for a ride through beautiful Sherbrooke Forest and across the famous Trestle Bridge enjoying magical views of Emerald Lake and exploring its historic railway station before making your way back to MCEC.

Ride the Yarra River Trail

Commences/Departs: Meet the guide at MCEC Registration Desk at 9:45am for tour to commence at 10:00am
Concludes: Tour will conclude at 2:30pm. Guests will be walked back to the MCEC.
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: $99.00 per person including GST
Inclusions: Bike, helmet, tour guide and lunch
Bring (optional): Bottle water and camera
Clothing: Clothes suitable for bike riding and wet weather apparel
Description: Melbourne’s Yarra River is a popular bike riding route for locals and tourists both for its bike-ability and bush scenery. Head up the river for 10km and you’ll feel like you’re not even in the city.

As you wind up through Melbourne’s east, you’ll discover hidden gems including the
multi-arts precinct and the Abbotsford Convent where we stop for lunch. After lunch, we continue our tour visiting the Dights Falls and Studley Park Boathouse. This route covers 22km one way going as far as Fairfield Boathouse, however, a group decision will be made on the day if a shorter route is taken on the way back to the city.
Please note children attending must feel confident to ride the bike provided.