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All eight corporate suites have been refurbished and a new onsite caterer is available to help deliver smaller cocktail parties and a seated black-tie dinner for 60, or casual mix-and-mingle affairs for a larger crowd. The suites can be configured to accommodate smaller meetings or lecture-style seating for 100 people.
But the real fun happens outside. Here, event attendees can indulge their inner adrenaline junkie by taking the wheel on the 3.5km track, in one of six MX-5 vehicles. Or tackle a vehicle obstacle course, dodging cones and tyres to compete for the best time or most accurate run. The pit lane tyre change contest is a favourite group activity.
“It’s amazing what being on a racetrack does to people from all walks of life,” sales and functions manager Anna McDonald says. “They get such a buzz, even the ones who’ve never been interested in cars and thought they never would be.
“It’s exciting for us, too, to be opening our venue up to the business events and conference market. There’s nothing else like us in the region and we can definitely guarantee the entertainment factor here.”
A purpose-built go-kart track and newly upgraded buildings have brought into the park fold, providing another action-packed offering for visitors and attendees.
Anna says the park ticks every essential box for event organisers; oodles of parking, an on-site café, wheelchair access, bar facilities and all audio-visual necessities. However, she is also continuing to build and tailor unique options for the conference market, including driver training packages and the opportunity to join a crowd of thousands for a live motor racing experience.
Each January, Taupō International Motorsport Park hosts the historic Grand Prix event which pulls in classic car racing enthusiasts from around New Zealand. Trans-Tasman races are also on the cards.
In late 2021, the park was purchased by industry stalwart Tony Quinn, who already owns major motorsport parks in the Waikato, Otago and in Queensland, Australia.
“Tony has invested substantially in the redevelopment of the venue to bring this location up to scratch. That goes well beyond new paint and new carpet though; he’s really raising the profile of motorsport in the Central Plateau and our visitors get to be part of the excitement.”
The park’s location, about seven minutes’ drive from Taupō’s central business district, offers easy access to excellent accommodation, dining and other high-energy activities or more gentle pursuits nearby.
“We’re lucky enough to sit just on the edge of town and so close to the lake, yet it feels quite rural. Things may get a little rowdy here at times and we may be notable internationally but so many Taupō visitors still don’t realise we’re here. We’re a bit of a hidden gem, really.”
If there’s one thing Taupō does best, it’s combining business with pleasure. Step outside of your comfort zone with a thrilling jetboat ride to get the blood-pumping before your next hosted event or get inspired from a conference room that overlooks crystal-clear lake waters.