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Mice Net : June 2009
christchurch christchurch showcase NAME: Australian PCO famil BY: Christchurch & Canterbury Convention Bureau and Air New Zealand DESTINATION: Christchurch, New Zealand NO. ON ORGANISING TEAM: four plus 18 operators PAX: 10 S Participants had little time to sit still on the famil. Hagglund rides are available at the International Antarctic Centre. 56 mice.net WHAT YOU DID: The group of Australian PCOs flew in from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on Friday afternoon in early autumn for a long weekend showcasing Christchurch city and surrounds. Blue Star Taxis Executive Fleet whisked the group in style from Christchurch International Airport on the 15-minute trip into the central city and their accommodation at Hotel Grand Chancellor, the largest in-hotel conference facility in the South Island. Drinks and dinner at nearby SOL Square was a chance to experience the centre of entertainment in Christchurch, nestled amongst historic buildings and lanes in the industrial heart of old Christchurch. Here 10 very different restaurants offer a unique twist for an incentive or conference evening dine-around. Early Saturday morning the group boarded the Tranz Alpine train at Christchurch Railway Station to sample one of the world’s great railway journeys, west across the plains. Hassle-free Tours met the group enroute for an afternoon experience through the Canterbury High Country, and a 4WD adventure across Mt Torlesse Station, a 10,000 acre working sheep and cattle farm in the spectacular foothills of the Southern Alps. Reaching the Waimakariri Gorge they boarded the famous Hamilton jet boat for an exciting 30 minute jet boat ride on one of New Zealand’s most spectacular rivers with Alpine Jet. Returning to Christchurch via Melton Estate gave the group a chance to soak up the atmosphere of this new convention venue and the picturesque 12-acre vineyard just 20 minutes southwest of the city. Evening brought dinner at Crowne Plaza Christchurch’s Yamagen Japanese Restaurant. The group sat at the teppan bar for delicacies cooked in front of them, before enjoying dessert in the hotel’s glass-roofed central Atrium. Sunday’s first stop was Sign of the Takahe, an extraordinary castle-like heritage building at the top of the Cashmere Hills, now home to a restaurant and funky bar and café and dazzling views of the city. Two of Christchurch’s unusual and distinctive pre-themed venues were the next stops on the itinerary - Air Force Museum and the International Antarctic Centre. Offering six different venue options for up to 650 dining or 900 enjoying cocktails, the Air Force Museum has recently expanded and upgraded several of its exhibits. The group was quick to spot the touch of glamour, nostalgia or just ‘plane’ fun this venue would lend an event. Next stop was the International Antarctic Centre, another venue with significant theming opportunities which offers an inside look at life on the frozen continent. A delicious lunch alfresco under the huge chestnut tree beside the Avon River gave the group a chance to relax before heading to the central city (just five minutes away) to The Great Hall at the Arts Centre, a 140-year-old neo-Gothic building part of the original University of Canterbury. A tram took the group to Victoria Square and a chance to familiarise themselves with the magical setting at the Town Hall for Performing Arts, adjacent to Christchurch’s purpose-built convention centre. J U N E 2 2 0 7 0 8 9 – M I C E . N E T C A E S T U D Y N O . 1 4 5 6 -