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Mice Net : February 2010
26 mice.net rotorua The inaugural flight from Sydney to Rotorua in November was full of champagne, cheers at take-off and landing, and plenty of happy Air New Zealand staffers who, along with the local tourism fraternity, had been working hard for many years to make the direct trans-Tasman flight a reality. I was fortunate to be the only editor from a convention and incentive travel publication invited on the first flight which was followed by a three-day tour of everything Rotorua has to offer the business events segment along with a handful of Sydney-based PCO and incentive travel planners. Along with Geraldine Hutchison from Air New Zealand our group was driven, flown, walked, jet-boated and sailed to see the best bits of this exciting destination. And, as I learnt at many stops for breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunches, pre-dinner drinks, and at the dinners themselves, Tiger Woods is not held in the highest regard by women following his now well-publicised and numerous indiscretions. But back to the tour... It was quite a number of years since I had been in Rotorua. I remembered bits and pieces but nothing really stood out in my mind. This time was a whole lot different. As a conference or indeed incentive destination Rotorua is first-rate and could rival anywhere in New Zealand for levels of accommodation, quality off-site experiences, and magical show- stopping vistas. In just three days our little group enjoyed a four course meal overlooking the Pohutu geyser at the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve at Te Puia; ate a sumptuous barbecue breakfast in the majestic redwood forest; listened to opera in the historic Blue Baths in-between dinner courses; had afternoon tea at the stunning Treetops Lodge (arriving there by helicopter); jet-boated our way across Lake Rotorua through the Ohau Channel and onto Lake Rotoiti before enjoying a relaxing soak in the Manupirua Hot Pools; chilled out on the 53 foot Pure Cruise New Zealand catamaran; enjoyed a spa treatment at the Polynesian Spa; and shot, bumped and ground our way around the many activities at Off Road NZ and the Agrodome. Of course there were other things as well including site inspections of the Millennium, Distinction Hotel, the Novotel, the Duxton, the impressive Energy Events Centre, Rotorua Museum of Art and History, breakfast at the Te Runanga Tea Rooms and a luge ride and lunch at Skyline Skyrides. What made the trip more enjoyable was the fantastic transfers provided by Mount Classic. A fleet of Rolls Royce vehicles from the airport was followed by a Mercedes minivan and then, on the final morning, a 12-seater limousine back to the airport. How good is this? The highlights were fast and furious. I particularly enjoyed the hot laps at Off Road NZ in their sprint car. (Another couple of laps and I'm sure I would've been closer to the fastest times set by the staff!) Breakfast in the redwood forest was a treat, as was the dinner at BRAD FOSTER LEARNT about much more than Rotorua's geysers and mud pools after taking off on the inaugural flight from Sydney recently, especially when it comes to what women want. seven women, TIGERWOODS, AND ME