1000 Guest Private Function at Matakana Country Park

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The Matakana Country Park and Destination Matakana had a little party on April 12 – for 1,000 guests. It was a private party for the Chinese employees of a huge US health and wellness company. The guests had arrived in New Zealand a week earlier via three chartered aircraft, and toured the country in groups of two hundred. Their final get-together at Country Park saw a convoy of 28 buses departing Auckland bound for the Matakana Coast – and a ‘Country Extravaganza’ experience.

They first checked out the pop-up ‘Market Place’ showcasing local products including Chocolate Brown treats, Trio candles, Honey Centre products, Matakana Estate and Runner Duck wines, grape juice, olive oil, OOB icecreams and Matakana Botanicals cosmetics.

There were sheep dog and shearing demonstrations and an equestrian show with miniature horses; the mini train was busy giving rides, and the Country Park’s beautiful horse and carriage (arranged by Patrick ?) was very busy.

Later, photos on the lawn outside the Stables Restaurant, after which the guests made their way down the specially-created forest path to the gigantic marquee for dinner.

The 100-strong catering crew from Auckland had already arrived, and were set up in their own rather large kitchen marquee. The Stables Restaurant catered for the support crew – bus drivers, tour guides and translators – inside the restaurant. The Grand Finale was a lavish fireworks display which wowed guests and passers-by alike.

The point is that it’s the first time there’s been a sit-down crowd like this at Matakana Country Park, or in fact anywhere on the Matakana Coast. There have been a few big ones like last year’s ASB National Conference, which catered for approximately two hundred. Guests enjoyed team-building workshops created by the Military Arts Academy, then partied later in the Woolshed. They were accommodated in an army-style tent city at ‘Camp Baker’ within Country Park. But 1,000 people – this was a first.

The event coordinating duo of Fiona Angus and Melita Campbell are experienced and unflappable. Their company, Destination Matakana, is able to liaise with any group to seamlessly facilitate a fantastic event.

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Fiona said of the event, “Being the first to host an event of this scale that incorporates a sit-down gala dinner, pop up market place and full-on ‘Country Experience’ meant we needed to ensure the event ran with military precision – and it did. The client has confirmed that we not only met their expectations but beat them, and everyone had a great time.

“Our vision for Destination Matakana has always been to bring large-scale corporate, tourist, and private events to the region to provide economic benefit for local business.  We always ensure local companies are given first option in the supply of any products and services – this event contributed around $100,000 to local business and the local economy. We thank everyone who has been involved in this event and look forward to bringing more to the region.”

It’s interesting to note that event organisers Destination Matakana won the bid for this event from the Viaduct. It goes to show that many visitors want to get out of the city and experience a taste of the countryside.