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Mice Net : October 2008
coffs harbour coffs harbour start packing The Coffs CoasT CaTers to the needs of meeting planners like no other destination in NsW. sonya Petkovska found out why on a recent tour of duty. Day 1 We are met at the airport by our ‘minder’ Scott Secommbe who is a local and has lived in the region all his life. No matter where you go he’s bound to know someone and all requests are handed within 30 minutes. After a round of introductions we are whisked off to the stunning Bonville International Golf Resort. Built in 1992 Bonville is 100 per cent Australian owned and has been voted the most beautiful golf course on the Australian mainland for the last seven years. General manager Brad Daymond has a hands-on approach to every event they host, even suggesting that clients use the golf course for sit-down dinner events. And apparently many do. We check into our hotel for the night at Breakfree Aanuka Beach Resort. Rain and rough seas stopped my group from experiencing surf rafting and surf kayaking but we heard that the last group totally enjoyed the Liquid Assets-operated experience. Breakfree Aanuka Beach Resort has a Polynesian design to it. Think absolute beachfront with the most amazing views of the ocean and you’re well on your way to imagining this little slice of paradise. Day 2 After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast at the riverside Shearwater Restaurant we headed off to Muttonbird Island to work off our over-indulgence. Unfortunately the rain stopped us from venturing too far but I highly recommend taking the indigenous tour full of interesting stories about the people who once occupied the island. Rain didn’t stop five of my travelling companions from braving the cold to experience a once-in- a-lifetime swim with the dolphins at the Pet Porpoise Pool located in the heart of Coffs Harbour. Later, it was off to the Novotel Pacific Bay and the Zip Flying Circus where you can test whether that life in the circus you always dreamed about would ever have eventuated. The property can cater to groups up to 500 and offers marquee-style, indoor and outdoor facilities. We finished the day off by checking into the Opal Cove Resort followed by a site inspection of their 12 flexible conference rooms well-suited for up to 700 pax. The resort has 164 accommodation rooms comprising hotel, suite and self-contained villa-style accommodation. We finished the night off with a grand dinner and the amazing Rowland Moye, a local entertainer belting out some tunes we all knew! Day 3 Our prayers were answered on our last day when we woke up to blue skies. Packed with sea sick tablets we headed off to Spirit of Coffs Harbour Cruises for whale watching. May through to late October is whale watching season in Coffs Coast. The trip takes two-and-a-half hours which is just enough time to work up an appetite. Later, we strolled down to Wild Harvest which is operated and run by the Coffs Harbour Fisherman’s Co-operative most of whom supply fresh seafood to the co-operative most days of the week. The day ends and the highlight (and I never thought I’d enjoy this) was when we climbed into helicopters and landed in the middle of Camp Extreme dressed in full combat gear and given a taste of what it’s like to shoot your colleagues with a paintball gun! Qantas has regular flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. For more information or to book your next conference contact Coffs Coast Marketing’s Kate O’Grady on (02) 6648 4834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. mice.net 49