Party down under

Houston VIPs discover the sights and sounds of a cool world Down Under at virtual party

Houston VIPs discover sights and sounds of Australia at virtual party

Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Kylie and Andrew Mitchell
Kylie Mitchell, Andrew Mitchell. Photo by Jenny Antil
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Jailyn Marcel and Matt Vandever
Jailyn Marcel, Matt Vandever. Photo by Jenny Antil
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Annemarie Schwendler, Natalie Harms, Lisa Cohen, Allie Schratz
Annemarie Schwendler, Natalie Harms, Lisa Cohen, Allie Schratz. Photo by Jenny Antil
 Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Julie Earl-Levine
Julie Earle-Levine. Photo by Jenny Antil
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Megha Tejpal, Sumeer Tejpal
Megha Tejpal, Sumeer Tejpal. Photo by Jenny Antil
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Kylie and Andrew Mitchell
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Jailyn Marcel and Matt Vandever
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Annemarie Schwendler, Natalie Harms, Lisa Cohen, Allie Schratz
 Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Julie Earl-Levine
Houston, Australia Tourism event, Oct. 2016, Megha Tejpal, Sumeer Tejpal

What: Tourism Australia event.

Where: Life HTX.

The scoop: More than 100 VIP guests gathered at luxe event venue Life HTX for a night Down Under, hosted by Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand, to celebrate the airline's direct route to seven Aussie gateways from Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Guests got an authentic taste of Australia thanks to virtual reality headsets that showcased the country’s coastal and aquatic destinations, plus floor-to-ceiling projections of Australia streaming in the background, Aussie-themed bites by Fare Extraordinaire along with Houston-based Aussie chef Jason Gould who consulted on the menu, Australian wines, and beer from local Aussie brewery, Platypus Brewing.

“Australia is an amazing destination. We’re letting people know all about Australia’s beautiful offerings and incredible nature. And then food and wine is also a major pillar. Melbourne is going to host, for the first time, The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2017. It’s an amazing event,” Julie Earle-Levine, public relations manager for Tourism Australia, North America, told CultureMap.

Earl-Levine also revealed that actor Chris Hemsworth is the new global ambassador for Tourism Australia. What more could we ask for?

Who: Ellie and Bryan Sharp, Jeanne Polochek, Reina Cooper, Nicole Kestenbaum, Felice Sloan, Shanna Jones, Edward Sanchez, Holly Crawford, Patrick Hanlon, Sonia Soto, Deborah Elias, Katie and Josh Devlin.