Sense of Place:

Australian adventures

In association with

Sydney and Melbourne airports are giving travellers the chance to experience some of the best of their home cities, but in very different ways. Both spectacularly capture Sense of Place.

The vibrant pop-up beer garden at Melbourne Airport features artwork from Melbourne illustrator and muralist Justine McAllister.

Travellers can “take home a piece of Sydney” or experience the “look and feel of Melbourne” in two compelling recent examples of Sense of Place in Australia.

Although different in scope, specialist travel retailer AWPL’s new Merchant store at Sydney Airport and Melbourne Airport and Stomping Ground Brewing Co.’s giant pop-up beer garden share common aims.

In Sydney, AWPL’s destination retail concept in Terminal 2 hopes to get shoppers to experience some of the ‘Best of Sydney’. Product categories include gifts and souvenirs, local produce, wine and spirits, skincare, homeware, local art, apparel and toys.

Crucially, the Merchant store spotlights local producers and encourages customers to “take home a piece of Sydney”, according to the retailer. Local brands include chocolate specialist Darrell Lea, BeePower, Bondi Wash, Manly Spirits, Mudgee Wines, Inoko candles, Duck Creek Macadamias and The Rocky Road House.

AWPL has also launched an exclusive souvenir brand, Love Love Australia, at the store.

Local taste: AWPL's Merchant store at Sydney Airport highlights local products and brands including Mudgee Wines.

“A visit to Merchant will form an integral part of the customer journey through Sydney Airport, and further enhance the already strong Sense of Place throughout all three terminals,” says AWPL Head of Merchandise Voula Dimopoulos.

“This celebration of Sydney and its surrounds reflects the growth in demand from domestic and international customers alike for high-quality local products.”

At Melbourne Airport, the goal of setting up a giant pop-up beer garden was to “bring a bit of Melbourne to the airport” in a creative use of empty space, according to Chief of Retail Andrew Gardiner.

The family-friendly attraction sits on around 1,000sq m of otherwise vacant land between terminals 3 and 4, causing it to be dubbed ‘Terminal 3 ½’ (T3 ½). It offers a wide range of locally brewed craft beers on tap, some of Melbourne’s most renowned food truck offers on rotation, and local coffee Proud Mary. The venue will be open for 18 weeks throughout the Australian summer.

Stomping Ground Brewing Co., from the city’s Collingwood district, has collaborated with Melbourne illustrator and muralist Justine McAllister to develop the new look of T3 ½.

“You don’t get much more ‘Melbourne’ than craft beer plus food trucks, then throw into the mix bright art and major sporting events and you get all of the best elements of our city in the one place," says Chief of Retail Andrew Gardiner.

Melbourne Airport first partnered with Stomping Ground last year. “They came in and fitted out a portion of the space, laid down some astroturf, built a pub, and added big-screen TV and deckchairs,” explains Gardiner. “Then every other week they brought in a new food retailer by way of a food truck.

“It was a tremendous success. So, again we’re bringing to life here some of the really good food operators from downtown Melbourne. It’s making use of space that is fallow. It’s not so much a money-making venture but really introducing the look and feel of Melbourne – the Sense of Place.”

Throughout summer, visitors, staff and travellers will be able to watch Australia’s major sporting and other events on a large screen. “Melbournians, like all Australians, are sporting-mad and there’s always something happening over summer,” says Gardiner. “People can sit and watch from the deckchairs while enjoying a local craft beer or something from our rotating local food truck offer. We have Mexican, American, Indian food and so on.

“Melbourne is famous for its coffee culture, and one of the famous Melbourne brands is Proud Mary, which we don’t have in our formal areas at the airport. But we do have it at T3 ½. The brand has massive local reach – customers know it and love it.

“For us it’s about being Melbournian and looking after Melbournians. Plus Melbourne artist Justine McAllister has done a very different iteration from last year and created a real vibrancy. Street art in Melbourne is commonplace and it’s forever changing. It’s about bringing the look of Melbourne to the airport, which our customers love.”

Travellers are being invited to relax at the Melbourne Airport pop-up, which is running for 18 weeks throughout the Australian summer.

T3 ½ will feature flight information display screens inside the bar, so passengers won’t need to rush to the gate, Gardiner adds.

“You don’t get much more ‘Melbourne’ than craft beer plus food trucks, then throw into the mix bright art and major sporting events and you get all of the best elements of our city in the one place, which makes T3 ½ so appealing,” he concludes.

“With the festive season upon us Melbourne Airport is expected to experience its busiest travel period for the year, so it is only fitting to bring the city to life for the millions of people that will fly through over summer.”

The artisan Manly Spirits is another local product available at Merchant in Sydney Airport.

The Moodie Davitt e-Zine | Issue 251 | 12 November 2018