MPT Corporate Events – Josh Oakes


The Ultimate Team Building Weekend Retreat

This place came to my attention a little while ago and piqued my interest instantly.


I thought (hoped) that it would work perfectly for a two night corporate team getaway and that’s exactly what it does.


I couldn’t wait to get the family out there for the weekend to check it out (and then get back to the office and let our community know all about it).


After a relaxing drive through the majestic mountain ash eucalypts of the Black Spur, you arrive at this beautiful property at the foot of the Cathedral Ranges.


There’s nothing flash about the dormitory style accommodation, however its cozy and clean – perfect for a team that’s keen on ‘roughing it’ just a little bit and the lakeside glamping tents are just what I hoped they would be.


Activity-wise, this place has it all. There’s simply not enough time in a weekend to have a go at everything on offer. For a corporate team there’s: archery, astronomy lessons, orienteering, wildlife hikes, fishing, cooking lessons on an open fire…the list goes on. Keep it light hearted or turn it into a full team challenge weekend.


After a day of exertion, it’s comforting to know that the bar is cozy, the beer is cold and the staff are a delight.


It’ll be a weekend of team bonding that will both challenge and reward in spades.IMG_2302IMG_2328IMG_2271IMG_2329

Get Your Hands Dirty –

Become an Assistant Winemaker for the Day

Oakridge Urban VineyardNow that vintage is over, the real fun begins in the Yarra Valley!

 If your team has knocked it out of the park this quarter and you’re looking for a meaningful and memorable way to recognise their hard work, then this could well be it.

 An exclusive chance to get your hands dirty alongside the winemaking team of one of the Yarra Valley’s most celebrated vineyards.

 Your team will have a rare opportunity to see first-hand the secrets of an award-winning winemaking team and how their wines are created.

Photography by Rick Liston

 You’ll get involved in a range of activities, both on the vineyard, in the winery and even in the lab! You’ll be collecting fruit from a variety of different sites, crushing and pressing grapes, monitoring tanks, vats and barrels, assessing the fruit in the lab and, of course… there will plenty of time for tasting!

Photography by Rick Liston

 Sneak away at lunchtime for a decadent three-course lunch expertly prepared by the head chef and matched with a selection of premium estate wines.

Oakridge Tasting room

 But the day’s not over yet – After lunch you’ll get to blend, bottle and label your very own creation – the ultimate memento from what promises to be an unforgettable day.

 There’s so much to love about this day and so much a motivated team can get out of it. Not least: A much deserved day out of the office in a pristine wine region.

Grape Picking

 It’s also a fantastic way to focus on systems, processes and the importance of team work, gain an appreciation of our environment, the land and its nuances and of course enjoy some superb food and wine with a chance to spend time with colleagues and share a few laughs.

 It’s one big win!!

 Let me know if you’d like to hear more about our great collection of team event ideas.

Oakridge Wines Hero Shot


If you’re looking for a splash of colour in your next team event…

…Why not try your hand at a street art stencil workshop?


‘Doyle’ is one cool cat changing the face of Melbourne literally one lane at a time.

We took the MPT team down to catch up with him at his studio, check out his latest projects and learn a thing or two from the master himself – that we could then splash on the office walls. You should try it too.

It’s one afternoon our guys won’t stop talking about and the results were…well…check them out for yourself…

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A Yarra Valley Garden Party For Christmas?


Cellar door 2I’m sure you’re aware by now that if you haven’t got your Company Christmas Party organised yet, the clock is ticking and the pressure to do so is piling up…

If I had a team of various ages, shapes, sizes and interests…I’d go with a Yarra Valley Garden Party.

Portet Wines 90222It’s something we’ve offered in recent Christmases and is a proven winner; just a short fifty minute drive from Melbourne and an ideal destination for a unforgettable company Christmas event.

Picnic and Petanque Garden Party featured image

Get things rolling with a ‘behind the scenes’ barrel room tasting with one of the region’s most recognized wine makers, before kicking back on the green lawns for a charming garden party with a gourmet picnic and a selection of estate wines, while challenging your colleagues to a leisurely game of pétanque or croquet.

Picnic and Petanque Garden Party (2)To throw a few extra laughs into the mix, get involved in some of our quirky wine games including wine spitting, grape stomping and grape throwing.

If you wanted to make proceedings a little more formal and festive…more of a sit down Christmas lunch…no problem.

Picnic and Petanque Garden Party (3)We’ll find a secluded corner of the estate, throw out the white table cloths and glassware, sprinkle some tinsel, crank up the Christmas Carols and serve up an elaborate Christmas feast of chestnut and cranberry stuffed turkey, spice honey glazed ham, potato fondant with rosemary and garlic, green beans with caramelised onion and slivered almonds’ honeyed Dutch carrots…you know…the kind of Christmas lunch that grandma’s famous for…washed down with a selection of estate wines.

For more company Christmas Party ideas, get in touch.

Great Summer Party Ideas for Clients and Colleagues

sack race

With summer fast approaching, it can often seem like one corporate event blends seamlessly into the next here in Melbourne, the events capital of the world.

Brilliant! …if you’re on the guest list…a little more stressful if it’s your job to put together the list…and the event.

If you’re already getting a little anxious wondering how you’re going to top last year’s party, then here’s a couple of great party ideas that are guaranteed to wow.

lawn games

Everybody loves a garden party.

Think jugs of Pimms, hampers filled with a smorgasbord of delectable goodies, daybeds and an acoustic duet in one of Melbourne’s majestic garden settings.

tug of war

To turn the ‘fun’ into downright memorable, throw in some good old-fashioned lawn games and your party is guaranteed to be a hit. Get competitive at croquet, skittles, quoits and even a few childhood favourites like a sack race and tug of war.

Alternatively, shake up your next cocktail party by making it a ‘hands on’ affair.

cocktail making

Pair up with a team of professional cocktail makers for some team building mixology.

Learn the basics of shaking, mixing and muddling while inventing your very own creations. Once you’ve tapped into your creative side, kick back and enjoy the results of your hard work over canapés on a stunning Melbourne rooftop.


If you want to go all out, throw in a little ‘molecular mixology’ with smoke gun limes, flamed citrus, salt air, plus a flair bartender performing a daring flair exhibition to add a little theatre to the occasion.

For more ideas on how you can heat up your next summer party contact the team at MPT.

Unleash The Beasts: Corporate Dragon Boat Racing

DragonboatIf your office is full of competitive beasts then you’re going to love this.

Dragon Boat Racing – It’s seriously good fun and a great way to integrate staff from all areas of your company and get everyone motivated and working together.

It’s certainly a spectacle like nothing else and there’s no better time than spring.

Picture up to 20 people paddling side by side in a forty foot long boat adorned with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails.

Dragonboat4Adding to the theatre you have the drummer, sitting in the prow, beating time as the heartbeat of the dragon, a sweep at the stern with a giant paddle, and your team all working furiously together as one.

This is one team event you won’t forget in a hurry.

Dragonboat2After a brief practise session, you’ll be racing off against your colleagues, paddling in perfect unison to pull a fully loaded 2.5 tonne vessel down the race course, your paddle hitting the water in time to the beat of the drum.

The competition is fierce and there’ll be some serious bragging rights over a river side barbecue once your office dragon boating champs are decided.

To find out how to unleash the beasts in your office contact the team at MPT.

Breathe new life into your team this spring with corporate yoga and a full day team retreat

GREEN OLIVEA few days of milder weather in Melbourne got me thinking about some of the things we love to do in the spring. It coincided nicely with a coffee with a mate on the peninsula and it occurred to me what an amazing combination it would be to use his farm for a full day corporate team retreat.

It is just an hour from Melbourne, nestled in the rolling hills of the Mornington Peninsula and it brings together everything that a team could possibly need to recharge, revitalise and reset.

Think: health and wellness, yoga and meditation, a little pampering, farm grown organic produce, a chef led masterclass showcasing said produce, rounded out with a mouth- watering lunch and wine produced from the vineyard. Sounds okay doesn’t it.

So what would a full day retreat at Green Olive Organic farm look like?

Green-Olive-Red-Hill-51I’d recommend getting the team together and on the road early and arrive in time to enjoy coffee from beans roasted on site and freshly baked pastries.

Then it’s time to get the team exercising their bodies and their minds with a private yoga or meditation class in a tranquil farm setting by the lake.

For a healthy, productive and energetic workforce, yoga ticks all the boxes.

For the first timers the session will also include yogic breathing techniques, yoga philosophy, meditation and postures which have been shown to improve health and well being, promote team work and staff interaction, and increase overall health and well being of staff.

sheep-in-vines After rolling up their mats, join the owner for a walk through the farm. It’s ‘Foodie Heaven’ with 27 acres of charming farm land with red fertile soil that allows them to grow and produce premium quality olives, grapes, herbs and veggies. They also raise sheep, chickens and fish and turn amazing produce from local farmers into food that nurtures your heart and soul.

Fresh Pasta Cooking Class Girls making pasta It’ll then be time to meet the Chef and get in the kitchen. You may: try your hand at curing olives grown on the farm, create handmade sausages in natural skins using fresh herbs and spices from the garden, or make mouth-watering gnocchi with basil pesto fresh from the farm.

Sit back and relax with a long lunch of farm grown produce created by you (with a glass or two of wine produced from the vineyard).

go produceMake your way back to Melbourne in the late afternoon feeling suitably feeling refreshed and re-energized and ready to meet your next challenge.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.

Top 5 ways to spice up a Spring Racing Carnival event


Real Life Harness Racing (3)If you’ve been shivering your way through the most brutal Melbourne winter on record then keep your chin up – there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Spring’s right around the corner and with spring comes racing and the most celebrated carnival of all in the events capital of the world.

For all of you out there who will be entertaining clients and international visitors this year at Flemington and are looking for ways to shake things up a little, here are 5 ways you might do just that:

  • Real Life Harness Racing.

Get everybody into town a day early and in the mood for racing with a real life racing event. You’ll never have more fun on four legs. You’ll select your own horse, be paired up with a professional trots jockey and be presented with your very own racing silks. You’ll be involved in the preparation of your horse before moving to the track and going head to head around a professional racing circuit. Your jockey won’t hold back and side bets are encouraged.

  • Masterclass in millinery.

Milinary-lesson One for the ladies. Visit one of Melbourne’s leading millinery studios to see first-hand how some of the most beautiful Melbourne Cup Carnival hats are created. You’ll  then have a chance to make a piece of your own, using top end millinery materials. You will be guided in designing a piece using silk flowers, veiling, feathers and trimmings. You’ll take away an unforgettable experience typical of Melbourne’s creative heart, along with a stylish headpiece that you can wear with confidence on the day.

  • Arrive in style on MV Melburnian.

An Indulgent Yarra CruiseA beautifully restored timber motor boat, built in 1945. There’s plenty of deck space for 20 guests plus a partially shaded outdoor sun deck, leather banquet seating and beautiful soft furnishings. The sound system is state of the art and the skipper likes to keep the mood loungy – very ‘Melbourne’. Paired with some chilled French and canapes, there’s no better way to arrive at the track.

  • Sparkling Masterclass at the European.

Put some sparkle into your pre-race dinner with a masterclass in Australian sparkling. This event is hosted in the gorgeous surrounds of the first floor private Tea Rooms of the European – an opulent private dining space with stunning views over Parliament house and Spring Street. Start with a masterclass exploring the very best Australian made sparkling wines led by the European’s award winning sommelier. You’ll get intimate with the very best from both eastern and western Australia before moving effortlessly into a stunning meal by executive chef Ian Curley.

  • Taste 101 – a Masterclass in Flavour.

A Masterclass in FlavourWith taste sensations on offer from Australia’s leading chefs and caterers this spring racing carnival, why not approach your spring carnival event having done a little homework! Join wine writer Max Allen and food writer Richard Cornish as they introduce you to the exciting world of ‘neuro gastronomy’ to teach you how the tongue, nose and brain work together to create the sense of flavour. How do our brains combine taste and smell to produce flavour? How do our personal memories colour the experience of everything we eat and drink? During this interactive flavour master class Max and Richard will answer these questions – and many more – the only way they know how: by indulging in stunning food and wine (think ripe cheeses, silky smallgoods, old reds, and rare sake). A great way to prepare for the taste sensations on offer at Flemington with two of Melbourne’s most enthusiastic food and wine lovers.

View more event ideas at MPT Corporate.

Top 10 Staff Christmas Party Ideas for 2015


History tells us that as we enter the new financial year, most businesses like to get a jump on organising their Christmas celebrations and lock something away as soon as possible.

With a healthy number of enquiries already for Christmas 2015, I thought I would put together a list of my top 10 Christmas party ideas.

Some are more traditional, some a little out of the box but all packed full of fun!

1. Bubble SoccerBubble Soccer Team Challenge

 What better way to score big on your next corporate event than by getting the whole team on the pitch dressed in massive inflatables? Teams of four or five go head to head, or bubble on bubble, wearing giant inflatable balls. Try getting the ball into the net, while encased in a bubble and getting bounced around by your colleagues. It is nothing short of chaos but guarantees a lot of laughs and plenty of fodder for chats round the water cooler.

It makes for a great team building challenge, or icebreaker and there are no skills required. Matches are around 10 minutes and the game is played on rotation. Its 100% safe and you can leave your shin pads at home.

2. MPT’s Amazing Race ‘Melbourne Style’


Our ‘Amazing Race Melbourne Style’ is the only one of its kind.

Melbourne is a dynamic city with a quirky, creative soul just begging to be explored. Offering world-class food and dining experiences, a thriving bar scene, an enviable calendar of sporting events, local and international art and cutting edge fashion, visitors are consistently blown away and instantly mesmerised by the sophisticated, understated energy of this buzzing metropolis. In teams you’ll be forced to immerse yourselves in all things Melbourne, passing challenges, picking up points as you go and all the while getting a hefty taste of everything that’s so good about it.

Challenges and checkpoints vary depending on day, time of year and budget, though you may have to:

  • Get ‘snap happy’ and accrue points with photos of obscure laneways, hole-in-the-wall bars, street art, or even a statue of Ned Kelly
  • Search for hidden clues on iconic attractions like the Melbourne Star or on secrets rooftops
  • Team up with some of the city’s best baristas and ‘mixologists’ to create the perfect coffee and cocktails
  • Learn to dance the ‘Melbourne Shuffle’
  • Track down exotic cuisines in the culinary capital of the country
  • Track down hard to find goodies at the Queen Victoria Market
  • Create your own Graffiti Art

There’s something for everyone and for a team of local Melbournians it’s guaranteed to be an eye opener. The final clue takes you to a restaurant for the awarding of prizes over lunch.

3. MPT’s Snapper Challenge

The MPT Challenge

Looking for a fun, casual team event with a difference? Why not get your team out on the open water to tackle our Snapper Challenge. Relax on deck, enjoy a gourmet barbecue and see who can reel in the catch of the day…We’ll then have one of our team cook up your catch on board.

Earn yourself serious bragging rights by hooking the biggest of our feisty pink friends. We’ll have a leader board visible for all to see just to add to the theatre. Finish the day back on shore with a few post-fishing drinks on an open terrace to bemoan the one that got away.

4. Sand Sculpting Team Challenge

Sand Sculpting Team Challenge featured image

We all grew up with a love of the beach and spent years trying to build the perfect sandcastle. Now we’ve turned this great Aussie pastime into a team challenge. Learn from a professional sand sculptor and go up against your colleagues in an attempt to create your own mini masterpiece.

Head to the beach and spend 45 minutes learning from the master – the Art of Sand Sculpting – and how to create those special touches that distinguish the good from the great. Teams will then collect their tools and the clock will start. At the conclusion, the judges will choose a winner and prizes will be presented to the victors. The event is best combined with a picnic, barbecue or lunch in a nearby restaurant.

5. Team Regatta Racing

Team Regatta Racing Challenge (2)

Get your game face on and get ready to tackle your colleagues in a thrilling series of regatta races. You’ll be sailing on a fleet of identical first class 7.5m beneteau yachts, it’s a team event like no other. Teams of four will take each other on in a series of races to the finish line.

This is hands on sailing with a winning boat decided over a number of intense races. Teams are paired up with a qualified skipper and are fully engaged in all aspects of sailing the boat.  At the conclusion of race three, the winners will be crowned and it’ll be time to celebrate, or commiserate. Enjoy a celebratory glass of bubbles and lunch with stunning sea views – with an optional upgrade available for three courses.

6. Team Culinary


The team culinary challenge is a great way to get together in a fun environment and have a team foodie experience. Four national teams (Morocco, Vietnam, Spain and Italy) are created and each battle it out with a massive cook-off to see who is the ultimate culinary nation! Teams are given a series of recipes, all the ingredients, plus our chefs’ expert advice.

Teams then familiarize themselves with the recipes before getting 45 minutes to prepare and serve the appetizers to the other teams. Work then begins on the main course and dessert. Bonus points can be won by correctly answering the culinary quiz questions. After dessert we reveal the triumphant culinary nation.

7. Food and wine sensory

Food and Wine Sensory Challenge (2)

This is a challenge that puts all your senses to the test, pitting team against team with categories covering all aspects of food and wine. It kicks off with a round of food trivia questions. Then it’s time for the sensory challenge and an opportunity to taste amazing ingredients. There are categories dedicated to spices, cheeses, olives, a delicious chocolate challenge and the wine challenge where teams try to identify grape varieties.

It’s a great team challenge that works brilliantly with groups of all sizes. It is full of great food and drinks, laughs, the right level of competitiveness and impeccably MC’d. You don’t need to be a big food and wine lover to enjoy it. It is a great way to combine an activity with lunch or dinner.

8. Yarra Valley Picnic and Petanque Garden Party

Picnic and Petanque Garden Party (2)

Just a short fifty minute drive from Melbourne, the picturesque Yarra Valley is an ideal destination for a memorable event. Enjoy a private ‘behind the scenes’ barrel room tasting with one of the region’s most recognized wine makers, before kicking back on the rolling green lawns for a charming garden party.

Enjoy a gourmet picnic, while admiring the scenery or challenge your colleagues to a leisurely game of Pétanque or croquet. For extra laughs enjoy some of our quirky wine games including wine spitting, grape stomping and grape throwing.

9. Real Life Harness RacingReal Life Harness Racing (2)

The most fun I’ve had on four legs (and two wheels). Teams will choose a horse and driver through an auction process. You’ll name your horse and be presented with your very own racing silks before heading to the stables to meet your trainer and co-driver. You’ll be involved in the preparation of your horse before moving to the track, getting on board and taking the reins. Side bets amongst teams are encouraged –as is cheering down the home straight.

This is literally a real, live, race day experience. Going head to head with your colleague as you hit the main straight at full clip is something you’re not going to forget in a hurry. These nags don’t hold back.

10. Murder Mystery Dinner


I LOVE this one. With an intriguing cast of characters and a murder mystery unfolding as you enjoy your dinner, this is one evening you won’t forget in a hurry.

The dinner takes place at a secret location and you’ll enjoy three courses paired with wine. But this isn’t any ordinary dinner. While you dine you’ll get an envelope with everything you need for the evening, including props, money for bribes, and character notes. If you can figure out the recipe for this murder, you’ll be the winner, but with everyone conspiring, that won’t be easy! An evening packed with surprises at every turn.

View more staff Christmas party ideas at MPT Corporate, we’ll help you have an end of year function that will not be forgotten.

If the name of the game is fun

Sometimes you walk into the office, you look around and you just know that you’ve gotta get the guys out of these walls for some good old fashioned fun.

Sound familiar? If so, your team will love this – something that works perfectly for teams of all shapes and sizes.

It was a big hit last week for a valued MPT client.

In spite of a few sore heads courtesy of a team dinner the previous evening, the request was for a ball game, followed by a leisurely lunch.

We took this request to the next level and pieced together a five sport round robin competition. Five-a-side teams going head to head in short (but intensely competitive) 7 minutes games of Volleyball, Soccer, Basketball, Hockey and Dodge Ball.

oracle event 8Everyone played everything… albeit with varying degrees of success, while the ref’s kept a close eye on proceedings.

To make it fair for all, we ensured it wasn’t just the sporty individuals who had their time to shine.

Combining brawn with brains we followed the action on the court with the mother of all sports quizzes.

Scores were tallied and trophies were awarded – along with a few special mentions for those who talked the biggest game, suffered the most injuries, the best cheerleader, the most time spent off the pitch…you get the drill.

As you’d imagine everyone had built up quite an appetite by now so a delicious lunch at a local brewery was the perfect end to as fun-filled morning.

Simple is often best.