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Mice Net : December 2008
auckland night before by 8am the next day my stomach had me under the pump for more of the same. Thankfully, the Hyatt Regency Auckland chef’s table with Claudio Ruegger, Nicolena Oborn and Marc von Arnim helped to quickly fill the void with some small, bite-sized delicacies that had me in seventh heaven once again. With some simple yet elegant theming courtesy of Steve Dean of Steve Dean Design our group took in the views of the city from our bird’s eye vantage point in the lofty function space. It was then off on a site inspection of the hotel before we returned to the Viaduct, this time for boating of a different kind on board an authentic America’s Cup yacht. For anyone who hasn’t sailed on one of these yachts before, be warned – you might be called upon to do a bit of work if you so choose. If you don’t, then find a nice spot away from the crew and enjoy. There are two of these yachts which can be hired by groups for team-building experiences on water. The Sky Tower Observatory Restaurant was our next stop. It was, after all, a few hours since we last ate. This is Auckland’s highest vantage point, with views that really are to die for. It’s also a great place from which to see people scare the bejesus out of themselves on the Sky Walk or the Sky Jump. Site inspections of the Auckland Convention Centre at THE EDGE ®, The Langham Auckland and the Heritage Hotel Auckland preceded our final night experience which started at the just-refurbished Hilton Auckland for cocktails followed by dinner in one of the most interesting venues in Auckland – The Wharf. This venue is on the other side of Auckland Harbour, on the so-called North Shore, and is a great space with lovely views back towards the CBD. Food, service and everything else was provided by The Orange Group. Later, our little posse headed off to Degree bar in the Viaduct to watch the Bledisloe Cup decider, unfortunately won by the All Blacks. As a first-timer in New Zealand for a rugby match between our two countries it was fun to see our kiwi hosts biting their fingernails right to the very end. We’ll get them next time! Quite a number of our young female Aussie participants didn’t appear as enthusiastic about rugby as their New Zealand sisters, and were quick to search out some alternative entertainment as soon as they could. Still, it was all good, minus the rugby loss of course. Day 3 New meetings space was the highlight of our tour of the Rendezvous Hotel Auckland in the morning before we walked to the nearby Civic Theatre for a tour of this historic venue followed by a delectable brunch on centre stage, catered by Austin’s. As all good famils should do, participants then had some free time to shop, sleep, exercise (ha ha), and relax before heading out to the airport for the return flight home. This was a trip that blended the standard with the different, the usual with the unusual, and the old with the new. It left those who took part with a strong understanding of what you can do in Auckland from, as the tag-line said, “mild to wild”. For a copy of “50 outstanding things to do in Auckland from Mild to Wild” contact business development manager – business tourism at Auckland Tourism, Andrea Breton on email – email@example.com. mice.net 91 mice.net 91