Arinex not only have you covered in Australia, but they also plan incentive groups in New Zealand; and Project Manager Sara Halbwirth travelled to Auckland to discover where city style and natural beauty go hand in hand.
Auckland is a world‐class destination; a multi‐cultural city set in a natural paradise – vibrant, modern, and sophisticated and with a lifestyle rated among the world’s very best. From sparkling harbours to native forests, stunning beaches and the tranquil islands of the Hauraki Gulf; Auckland truly has it all.
We arrived into Auckland and transferred to the Cordis, Auckland’s newly refurbished
hotel from Langham Hospitality Group. The rooms are modern, with neutral tones and splashes of colour.
Tonight, we headed 53 floors above Auckland City for a culinary experience in one of the city’s most renowned restaurants - Orbit 360. Orbit offers a modern dining experience in a relaxed environment, with a delicious kiwi-inspired à la carte menu that features the best local and seasonal produce.
By the time we left, satisfied and content, the sun had completely disappeared, and the Southern Lights were sparkling above our heads. The lighting inside was subdued to make the most of the gorgeous 360 view.
With America’s Cup coming to Auckland in 2021 it seemed fitting to get out on the harbour and try our hand at sailing. I took to the helm and tried steering the yacht while the team managed the sails as we skimmed across Auckland’s Waitematā Harbour. But if you don’t feel like getting in with the action it is also lovely to sit back and relax as you sail away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
We disembarked at Waiheke Island and spent the afternoon exploring and wine tasting. Waiheke is a haven of beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches; and is acknowledged by Lonely Planet as one of the top five places to visit in the world. Not only was it amazing from below, but also from above as we got to experience a helicopter ride back to Auckland. This is a must for anyone as the views were just spectacular!
Dinner tonight was at the Sugar Club in Auckland’s Sky City for an amazing dinner. Awarded Two Hats in the 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards, The Sugar Club kitchen focuses on flavours and texture, whilst the dining room and bar are an experiential destination with breath-taking views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf. We enjoyed fine food, creative cocktails in a relaxed and chic atmosphere.
We started the day off at La Cigale & The French Market. Voted Auckland’s Best Food Market by Metro Magazine for the last 8 years, La Cigale French Market is held every Saturday and Sunday.
We found an amazing selection of top-quality products from both New Zealand artisan producers and growers and from overseas. You can buy fresh produce in abundance, fresh breads and pastries hot from our oven, French cheeses, smoked Akaroa salmon, extra virgin olive oils, manuka honey, pâtés and terrines, jams and chutneys… and lots more. And, as in any French Market, the aromas of roasting chickens in the rotisserie and paella cooking waft through the air.
When we finished shopping, we sat at one of long communal tables and enjoyed a coffee with something delicious from one of the counters – our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs!! But it was the perfect energy boost before an afternoon of site inspections.
We finished off our time in Auckland with a dinner at Auckland War Memorial Museum. What a venue! The Grand Foyer was built in 1929 (a time known for grandeur and luxury) and the Grand Foyer's majestic neo-classical design means you'll need little decoration. Beautiful stonework, soaring columns, spectacular stained-glass and led lights create an inspirational backdrop.
The evening wouldn’t be complete without a Haka performance. The haka is the most widely known performance as used by the All Blacks (New Zealand's national rugby team) to challenge their rivals. Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion.
An early start today, it was time to check out and head home. We left with extra luggage, and kilos from the amazing food and drinks, but lots of unforgettable memories!
Arinex - How can we help?
Let us create a bespoke programme to help you stage an unforgettable business event in Western Australia. Reach out to Katie Beer to learn more about this program and other exciting initiatives in the region.
This visit was brought to you by our DMC, Arinex