One night in Sydney’s Surry Hills, guests were welcomed to Aotearoa Awaits, a cultural showcase of New Zealand’s art, music, food and wine.
Broadsheet took over Paramount House to immerse guests in some of the best Aotearoa has to offer – to prepare us for our next trip across the Tasman.
The atmosphere was buzzing as guests arrived to a large-scale installation of Māori artist Jade Townsend’s wall veil artworks hanging from the building. This piece represented nau mai, the welcome into a multi-cultural space of learning and celebration.
On the rooftop, the space was welcomed by Doonooch Dancers from Gadigal and Booderee country, followed by Māori group Auaha performing a Pōhiri with song and dance, and an interactive kapa haka twice throughout the night.
Also on the rooftop, under hued pastel lighting, guests devoured a menu by Christchurch-born chef Amber Doig of The Butler. Doig used a selection of native New Zealand ingredients and producers such as Cloudy Bay clams, horopito and kawakawa herbs, Manawa Mānuka honey and New Zealand venison to make a snacking menu which nodded to her Māori heritage. Three courses were paired with organic and minimal-intervention New Zealand wines sourced and curated by Max Walker of Paranormal Wines.
A change of pace ensued as Paramount Recreation Club was transformed into an evocative montage of New Zealand’s natural environment. We saw and listened to lush rainforests, the serene Lake Ruataniwha in Mackenzie, and all the way to the volcanic Tongariro in the North Island. A bespoke scent by Perfume Playground captured guests as they breathed in the smell inspired by the southmost regions of New Zealand.
To round out the night, Auckland wine bar and neo-bistro Bar Céleste owners Emma Ogilvie and Nick Landsman held a pop up in Golden Age bar, slinging an exceptionally cheesy truffle Croque Forestier. Over the bar, guests tasted more of New Zealand’s wine, Garage Project tinnies and Six Barrel sodas. On the stage, Wellington-based musician-anthropologist and rising pop producer Estère performed live, sharing her warm electronic, folk and R&B sounds. She was supported by Melbourne-based, Wellington-born DJ Natalie Ex, who played some of New Zealand’s finest music. The good vibes were palpable as guests were transported to a night out in New Zealand.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Tourism New Zealand. Stop dreaming about New Zealand and go.