Discover the best places to stay, meet and play in this event planner’s guide to Auckland.
By Katherine Ross.
Auckland, New Zealand offers a wealth of experiences for corporate groups, with an abundance of great accommodation, activities and venues to choose from, whether for a conference or incentive event.
Everything you need is available in the CBD, but it’s worth stepping outside the city and exploring nearby gems like Waiheke Island.
With so much on offer, it pays to have an expert team to help navigate the region and execute a seamless event.
A new player in the business events industry, Panache Conference and Events, a subsidiary of Acland Travel, recently launched in Melbourne to provide high-quality conference, event and travel experiences in Australia and beyond.
Panache leverages the group’s existing supplier networks and the team’s more than 20 years of experience to deliver first-class events.
To showcase this, Panache hosted 10 event planners on a famil in New Zealand to showcase the best of Auckland and Waiheke Island, while giving them a first-hand look at how Panache can assist in producing corporate event and travel programs.
From award-winning dining and thrill-seeking adventure to luxe accommodation, here are some of the highlights from Auckland and beyond:
Masu is a contemporary Japanese robata restaurant and bar, located at the base of SkyCity Grand and headed up by top Auckland chef Nic Watt. Masu’s semi-private dining room can accommodate 18 guests for intimate corporate functions. The room is framed by bubble glass creating the impression of privacy without being completely separated from the main dining room.
Part of Langham Hospitality Group, this 411-room hotel offers stylish interiors and is located near the colourful Karangahape Road. The hotel has 13 stunning function spaces with the largest space catering for up to 1500 guests. There are two dining options: Eight, which offers interactive food stations and The Lobby Lounge, perfect for intimate meetings and evening cocktails.
PLAY//Boomrock Kauri Bay
Auckland’s ultimate experience venue offers everything from claybird shooting, axe throwing, a digger challenge and the opportunity to win the owner’s Range Rover if you get a hole in one in extreme golf. Located 45 minutes from Auckland CBD or just 12 minutes for those with a helicopter, this is an adult’s playground not to be missed. The on-site lodge is the perfect way to end the event, while the culinary team can create custom menus for up to 250 guests.
EAT//Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant
Indulge the taste buds and dine in one of the two award-winning on-site restaurants, Mudbrick Restaurant and Cocktail Bar or The Archive Bistro. Perched on the Mudbrick ridge with views across the Hauraki Gulf and back to Auckland city, you can combine a long lunch with a wine tasting and vineyard tour. Just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, there are several spaces available for conferences and events as well as boutique accommodation.
Centrally located in Auckland’s CBD, SkyCity Grand offers a five-star experience with 312 guest rooms and nine restaurants. With Auckland Harbour and city skyline views, SkyCity Grand is on the doorstep of the SkyCity entertainment complex, home to the casino and Sky Tower.
Fly high above Waiheke Island on EcoZip Adventures’ state-of-the-art flying fox ziplines. Ride a series of ziplines, each over 200 metres long and return to base with a guided nature walk through the regenerated rainforest. Catering for groups from 10 through to 250, the property is located just 30 minutes from the ferry terminal.
The Sky Tower
At 328 metres high, Sky Tower is an iconic feature of the Auckland skyline. Part of SkyCity, the tower offers three dining options: the revolving Orbit 360˚ Dining, the luxe Sugar Club or the casual Sky Café.
Think putt putt, think again. Holey Moley, located at the Viaduct, lets you experience a round of golf like never before. The venue offers a full service bar and music to set the scene for a great event.
Destination Waiheke Island
With a wealth of experience and a connection to the island they call home, Destination Waiheke are the team to help organise your event on Waiheke Island, covering venue sourcing, transport, accommodation and more.
Delamore Lodge is a boutique hotel offering picturesque views and luxury service. Its dedicated event space caters for up to 70 guests sit-down and exclusive accommodation is available for 12 delegates.
This event planner’s guide to Auckland originally appeared in the Autumn edition of Spice Magazine.
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