Social Program and Excursion

Welcome function

The UCNC Welcome Function will be held on Sunday 30 August from 6:00-7:30 pm at Old Government House on the University of Auckland’s City Campus (see map). Drinks and finger food will be served.


An excursion on the afternoon of Tuesday 1 September was included in all full and student registrations (but not day registrations) for UCNC and its associated workshops.

The excursion took us to Auckland’s wild West Coast with its rugged hills, rainforest bush, rocky cliffs and black sand beaches. Photos are here.

The approximate itinerary was as follows:

  • 12 noon: Lunch at the conference venue.
  • 12:45 pm: Five minute walk from the conference venue to Alfred Street to board our bus.
  • 1 pm: We drive to through Auckland’s Western suburbs to the Waitakere Ranges that shield Auckland from the Tasman Sea. We arrive at the site of a former WWII radar station which, in 1948, was the place at which scientists John Bolton and Gordon Stanley first identified stars outside the solar system as the source of radio waves (read the story here). From there, we will follow a clifftop walk to a lookout over the Tasman Sea and the Waitakere’s southern beaches of Karekare (where the Oscar-winning movie “The Piano” was shot) and Whatipu. We’ll meet some of NZ’s coastal flora along the way. See whether you can glimpse the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance!
  • 3 pm: We descend down a windy road into Piha, Auckland’s surf metropolis, but skip the beach for a nosey up the valley and a foray into the bush and Auckland’s kauri logging history after a quick refreshment. We’ll see kauri and other native trees in a picturesque bush-clad valley.
  • Just after 4 pm: We finally hit the beach for a short stroll at North Piha to watch the surf.
  • We’ll then head back up to Waitarua at the top of the ranges for a drink and some food. If the weather will be any good (no guarantees – this is Auckland!), we’ll enjoy a sweeping view across Auckland & will see the city’s lights come on as the sun sets behind us.
  • At around 6 pm, we will head back to town on our bus, disembarking at the university at around 6:45 pm.

Conference dinner

The conference dinner will take place at Old Government House on the University of Auckland’s City Campus (see map) is included in all full and student registrations received prior to 25 August 2015, unless you indicated otherwise on your registration form. Additional tickets for day attendees and/or family members may be purchased at the conference, however please advise us before the 25th as we need to confirm catering numbers.

The dinner will start with pre-dinner drinks and finger food at 7:00 pm, followed by a buffet dinner at 7:30 pm.  See photos here.


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