Countdown to kick-off of All Blacks Experience – 1 month to go
The finishing touches are being put on the All Blacks Experience, with just one month to go until the newest tourist attraction in Aotearoa opens on 2 December.
The All Blacks Experience is a fully guided, state-of-the-art, interactive showcase of the All Blacks, Black Ferns, and all our national rugby teams in black. Located in the SkyCity entertainment precinct, it comes complete with the smells of liniment, and features a 4-metre-high screen that puts visitors face-to-face with a larger-than-life Test match haka. In one month, it is game on.
All Blacks Experience Board Chair Dame Julie Christie says the team are thrilled to be this close to launch day, and the excitement is growing.
“We recently had some of the All Blacks go through the experience, and they were buzzing at how close you get to life in their boots.
“From sitting inside the changing room, to the feeling they get moments before walking out onto the pitch, there is no other attraction like it, and that’s fantastic for Tāmaki Makaurau and the whole country. What’s really unique is that this is an experience for everyone – rugby fan or not. It’s what it says about Aotearoa and the part the game plays in our history and our lives, that is so moving”
The All Blacks Experience is a joint venture partnership between New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Ngāi Tahu Tourism that has been seven years in the making.
An advisory group helped create the attraction, which included former All Blacks Ian Jones, Tana Umaga and Ian Kirkpatrick, Black Fern Sarah Hirini (nee Goss), New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association Chief Executive Officer Rob Nichol, and two-time Rugby World Cup winning former All Black captain Richie McCaw.
Dame Julie says the group was instrumental in creating an authentic experience.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have the help of past All Blacks and Black Ferns in bringing this together. Their advice has ensured we are delivering something heartfelt and genuine. They really wanted to share what’s it’s like to pull on that black jersey. We’re definitely counting down the days to kick-off!”
Tickets are on sale now at www.experienceallblacks.com and the public are encouraged to book early to secure a spot.
Seventeen team members have been recruited for All Blacks Experience, including seven tour guides who will host manuhiri (visitors).
All Blacks Experience General Manager Phil McGowan says the attraction caters to long-time followers of rugby and those people new to the game.
“One of the great things about All Blacks Experience is that you get to hear from the players in their own words – what goes into becoming an All Black or Black Fern, what it’s like to pull on the jersey for the first time, and just how important culture is to their environment.
“Also, in our interactive zones, visitors get to test themselves against the players, and see whether they’d make the same decision they did at a crucial moment of the game.”
The public can get a sneak peek of All Blacks Experience at the upcoming Discover Auckland Travel Expo on 14 November at Shed 10. Details for the expo can be found at www.aucklandnz.com/travelexpo
Step into the Experience of what makes an All Black! Come and see if you have the skills to match it with some of the best in the game.