On May 6 – 9 2013, AFAR took a group of curious travelers to Sydney for an unforgettable event like no other: AFAR Experiences Australia. 

 

ITINERARY

arrival night (sunday may 5)

7 pm - 10 pm

Welcome Reception at Water Bar, BLUE Sydney

Take a deep breath – you’ve arrived in Australia’s premier city. From your seat at the lobby bar of the BLUE Sydney hotel, say “cheers!” at a casual welcome reception with AFAR’s founders, publishers, and editors, and get to know some of the most fascinating fellow travelers you’ll ever meet.

DAY ONE (Monday may 6) - guest curator: elizabeth farrelly

9 am

Departure from the BLUE Sydney hotel lobby 

9:30 am - 11 am

Welcome remarks & speaker session at the Sydney Opera House 

Like an operatic crescendo, AFAR Experiences 2013 roars to life beneath the iconic shell of the Sydney Opera House – thanks in part to an opening performance from soprano Rebecca MacCallion. Next, Monica Barone, CEO of the City of Sydney, takes the stage to provide us with a cultural map of the city through stories of its past triumphs, present challenges, and future ambitions.

11:30 am - 2 pm

Lunch Salon with local filmmakers, writers, and academics

Sydney legend and renowned film producer Margaret Fink opens her magnificent home to us for luncheon. Join Fink and today’s guest curator, Elizabeth Farrelly, to share food, drink and conversation with Sydney’s remarkable intellectuals and engaging bon vivants

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Breakout activities, various locations

See here for full descriptions. 

5 pm - 6:30 pm

Free time

6:30 pm

Departure from the BLUE Sydney hotel lobby

7 pm - 10 pm

Opening night dinner party at the Hyde Park Barracks

The Hyde Park Barracks bursts with history, built as it was in the 19th century to house convicts (and designed by none other than a convict architect!). Tonight, the formerly solemn structure comes alive with festivity at our reception-style dinner.

DAY TWO (may 7) - guest curator: wendy whiteley

9 am

Departure from the BLUE Sydney hotel lobby

9:30 am - 11 am

Inside Sydney’s art world: speaker session at the Brett Whiteley Studio

Guest curator Wendy Whiteley is a cultural tour de force. She’ll guide us through the studio of her former husband, the late artist Brett Whiteley, which today operates under the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her personal stories of her husband’s life, and of her own life as an artist and muse, give context to the rich trajectory of Brett’s work.

11:45 am - 2 pm

Luncheon at the secret garden

Following a morning of art education, we’ll be inspired by how Sydney lends its landscape as a canvas. Take in spectacular harbor views in a water taxi crossing to Wendy’s home in Lavender Bay. There, we’ll relax over a picnic lunch in the marvelous garden that Wendy transformed from a garbage dump into a public sanctuary.

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Breakout activities, various locations

See here for full descriptions.

5 pm - 6:30 pm

Free time

6:30 pm

Departure from the BLUE Sydney Hotel lobby

7 pm - 10 pm

Celebrate in one of Sydney's most magical spaces

The industrial Eveleigh Rail Yards gained new life as the home for the contemporary Carriageworks arts venues, and in turn, its heritage iron and brick details provide an atmosphere that inspires art within its walls. Tonight, discover and delight in the venues’ multisensory visual, musical, and theatrical performances.

DAY THREE (may 8) - guest curator: DARE Jennings

10 am

Departure from the Blue Sydney Hotel lobby

10:30 am - 12 pm

Creative and competitive in Australia: speaker session

Australia has the highest business start-up rates in the world after the United States. But building, and contributing to, a sustainable and creative economy is not just business as usual. Investor, entrepreneur and thought leader Mark Carnegie  leads a fascinating discussion along with Jess Scully, the director of Vivid Ideas, an annual festival that inspires the creative industries. 

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Beach barbecue at Bronte Surf Club 

It wouldn’t be Sydney without the beach! Pack your sunscreen and prepare to soak up Australia’s quintessential beach scene at the Bronte Surf Club, the oldest such institution in the world, located on a striking seaside promenade.

3 pm - 5 pm

Breakout activities, various locations

See here for full descriptions.

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Free time

6:30 pm

Departure from the BLUE Sydney Hotel lobby

7 pm - 9:30 pm

Home dinners 

Home dinners have become a cherished trademark of AFAR Experiences. In a small group of AFAR guests, you’ll have an unmatched opportunity to enjoy the warmth and hospitality of a local resident, joining them at their table to break bread with their families, friends and neighbors.

10 pm - midnight

After Party on the Pier

Extend your dinner conversation over drinks when you accompany your home dinner hosts to an evening of revelry at Otto, an adored Sydney restaurant on the wharf at Woolloomooloo. Just adjacent to the BLUE Sydney hotel, its setting amongst the gleaming lights of the harbor is the perfect nightcap to any Sydney evening.

DAY four (MAY 9) - guest curator: john morse 

6 am - 8 am

Early Riser breakout activity

See here for full descriptions.

8 am

Departure from the BLUE Sydney Hotel lobby

8:30 am - 10 am

Private Access to the Art Gallery of New South Wales

We’ll have the galleries of this cultural heavyweight institution to ourselves in the quiet hours before it opens to the public. Following breakfast, we’ll benefit from a private tour that will provide personal encounters with important works of indigenous and contemporary Australian art.

10:30 am - 12 pm

Australia's biodiversity and conservation: speaker session at the Royal Botanic Gardens

Australia has the world’s worst extinction record, with 27 species disappearing over the last two centuries. Charlie Carlow, an expert on conservation, together with Mike Archer, a future-focused paleontologist, will lay out how the country is tackling this dubious distinction and what the world can learn from it.

12:30 pm - 3 pm

Marketplace at Koskela: Eat, play, learn, shop!

We’ll spend an afternoon exploring design emporium Koskela in the company of owners Sasha Titchkosky and Russel Koskela. Hungry? At Kitchen by Mike, the adjacent café, chef Mike McEnearney will personally provide us with fresh, seasonal refreshment. After lunch, the workshop space is AFAR’s for the taking for a lesson in fabric dyeing; otherwise, head to the showroom to browse a treasure trove of beautifully designed homewares.

1:30 pm - 3 pm

A rotating departure from Koskela for the BLUE Sydney hotel will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. every 30 minutes.

3 pm - 4:30 pm

Free time

4:30 pm

Departure from the BLUE Sydney hotel lobby

5 pm - 9 pm

Bid farewell to Sydney from the water

We think the best place to reflect on our joyous time in Sydney is right in the heart of it: from a luxury catamaran in the harbor, surrounded by sensational views. An eclectic guest list of passionate and prominent locals will join us as we dance the night away to lively entertainment. Say so long, but not goodbye, to the lifelong friends you’ve made during this four-day event.