As Australia and the world emerge from COVID-19, the time has come for meeting and event planners to start thinking strategically about their future programs, and New Zealand, with a myriad of new experiences, should be at the top of their wishlist.

A  raft of new experiences, venues and a new campaign to “take your thinking somewhere new” places New Zealand in a strong position as the world readies for a new era in 2021. Following are just a few ideas from  New Zealand to get you thinking…


Feel like a winner with new immersive Auckland experiences

As the New Zealand International Convention Centre rises out of the ground, SkyCity’s former convention centre is being developed into two new, immersive experiences that showcase some of New Zealand’s world-renowned winners.

Weta Workshop Unleashed is a new entertainment experience from Weta Workshop, New Zealand’s Academy Award-winning design and effects company. It brings together movie magic – from film effects to theatrical design, from interactive experiences to massive miniatures and monsters in-the-making.

Suitable for events for up to 700, event managers and conference organisers could find themselves directing functions in the glow of a miniature castle or testing lighting configurations in the shadow of a UFO. Add hands-on workshops, film effects demonstrations or character transformations for an unforgettable event.

Opening in December, the All Blacks Experience is a guided and interactive journey through the New Zealand rugby story. Visitors can learn what it takes to make, shape and be an All Black, one of the most famous sports teams in the world, and discover what it feels like to stand in the middle of a stadium packed with fans and face a fearsome haka!

Stay sustainably in Auckland’s new eco-friendly hotel

New property

The Hotel Britomart has been awarded a 5 Green Star Design rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council, making it New Zealand’s most eco-friendly hotel.

Opened on October 1, it offers 99 beautifully designed rooms, set amidst the buzzing Britomart precinct of fashion design boutiques and an amazing array of dining and drinking options. Kingi, its stylish all-day restaurant, offers fresh, thoughtfully prepared New Zealand produce and a stellar range of wines.

Additionally, the Park Hyatt Auckland is now open, offering five-star luxury on the waterfront with expansive views across out to the Waitemata Harbour. It offers 195 guest rooms, four restaurants and bars, versatile and elegant event spaces overlooking the harbour, a day spa, a 25-metre infinity pool, and a full fitness centre.


Indulge with a historic vineyard stay

New, boutique Central Otago offering Gibbston Valley Lodge & Spa offers luxury accommodation in an organic and historic winery, 20 minutes from central Queenstown. It offers 24 premium villas, an exclusive wine cellar, small movie theatre, private meeting rooms, and a central lodge area with a fireplace, plush furniture, bar, and indoor/outdoor dining options.

Each villa features a secluded courtyard for soaking up the glorious Central Otago sun and a covered deck for enjoying a romantic breakfast or evening drink. Indulge in a ‘vinotherapy’ beauty treatment at the on-site spa followed by a vitalizing soak in a hot pool, a cave tour, private wine tasting or lunch crafted by the head chef, Anthony Gradiska.

New by Naumi in Queenstown

The Dairy Private Hotel by Naumi Hotels blends exquisite design, rich history, and warm hospitality within two minutes’ walk of the Queenstown town centre. Beginning as Queenstown’s original ‘dairy’ (corner store) in 1920, a stunning refurbishment has delivered a unique boutique property set against the backdrop of the picturesque views of The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Unwind in the sumptuous lounge, curl up in the private library or take in the stunning beauty of the landscape in the outdoor jacuzzi.

The Central is Naumi’s other new boutique offering in Queenstown. With quirky art-filled rooms and common spaces, its lounge also offers a free flow drinks hour nightly from 5-6pm.


Meet by the river in Christchurch

Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre is a world-class venue opening in 2021 in the centre of Christchurch. Its 28,000 sqm of flexible space includes: a 1,400 seat tiered auditorium, divisible into two 700-seat venues; a 1,000 seat banquet space overlooking the beautiful Avon River; 24 meeting rooms, and the 2,800 sqm Exhibition Halls. It offers the latest technology plus catering that delivers the best the Canterbury region and New Zealand has to offer. A virtual tour is available here

And coming soon…

Meanwhile, construction continues on two major convention venues in New Zealand’s main centres. The New Zealand International Convention Centre will offer 32,500 sqm of multipurpose event space, suitable for theatre, exhibitions or dinners for 3,000 people, in the heart of Auckland city; and Tãkina – Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre will provide 18,000 sqm of event space located in the capital’s cultural precinct and on the doorstep of the city’s vibrant culinary scene.

Is it time to take your thinking somewhere new?

Get in touch with our dedicated Australia-based Business Events Managers and discover why New Zealand is perfect for your next conference.

Helen Bambry

Samantha Kent