Take 5 With Pinnacle – Mike

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

Mike Andrews Pinnacle facilitator

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Everything about Pinnacle is FUN!! … even as I strive to maintain high professional standards in what I do and how I work – the fun factor isn’t compromised at any point when engaging with fellow staff, clients or participants.

I love the freedom (& capacity) within my role to ramp up the fun factor and deliver memorable moments and entertaining experiences – such that our customers, old & new … loyal & true – keep coming back for more!! 

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Look spending half a day at the beach, and helping our participants have a laugh and have some fun is awesome – so a beach based Scramble is right up there as a fave … but then I also really enjoy running a Trivia & Games night where the groups are really competitive to start – and then they have a few drinks and things go crazy from there … HILARIOUS!   

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Hmmmmm – so one of our activities makes use of raw eggs … and there’s ALWAYS potential in any session or activity for something unplanned to happen or not go to script … and this is especially so when overly enthusiastic (and slightly tipsy) participants are “playing with the eggs” …. and not following instructions. Needless to say, on that day I was VERY lucky to have a spare shirt!!

My favourite hobbies are:
I’m a sporty & outdoorsy type – so am happy to jump into most adventure type activities. Recently have got back into indoor rock climbing and a few hours at Flip Out trampoline park is also great fun!

Band I’m listening to at the moment / podcast recommendation:
OK – so this is a bit embarrassing … am on a bit of a nostalgia trip at the moment and am firing up a lot of the old 90’s power ballads … (I blame the Foxtel music channels) DON’T JUDGE ME!!

What was the last book you read?:
Am still half way through the latest Dan Brown thriller – “Origin” … it’s a great read!

Favourite holiday?:
WOW – a tough one to answer … 2013 … went on a 6 week / 4000km road trip around the USA … in a Mustang convertible … soooooo many awesome flashbacks!!

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Yes I have … but there’s NO WAY I’m telling – it’s reserved for exclusive use by that special someone 😉

I am frightened by _____ :

Favourite movie of all time?:
Are you serious ?? – you can’t ask a movie buff that type of Q … maybe I could rate them by genre perhaps …. but if you’re after a random 3 from my top 20 list … let’s go with Forrest Gump, Aliens and Raiders of the Lost Ark … I know, I know – such a “boy’s list” – but you asked!

First concert I went to:
The first “event” I ever went to in a big arena was a school sports excursion to see the Harlem Globetrotters at the Horden Pavillion (Sydney) when I was all of 11 years old in year 7 … Most memorable moment at a concert was seeing Robbie William at the SFS … my partner and I had managed to sneak into the VIP area right in front of the stage – and will never forget turning around and seeing 50,000 on the field and up in the stands, all around the ground just going off!!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Well without sounding too boring – I’ve lived in the same place here in Sydney for 10 years … so central and close to the city, with amazing, panoramic Sydney Harbour views … I’m a pretty lucky guy and am VERY happy exactly where I am!! … but to answer the Q – if I had to live somewhere else … I really love the Pacific NorthWest region of the the USA … Eugene, Oregon is an amazing small little town – I’ve got good friends there, so that’d be a no brainer! 

What makes you angry:
Random top 5 …. road rage, idiot politicians, social inequity, narrow-mindedness, when the Tim Tam packet runs empty!

What makes you laugh the most:
OMG – I’m “borderline” one of those happy freaks … I love laughing … and making other people laugh … so here’s a joke …

So a man walks into the ER … albeit very gingerly – and announces to the nurse on duty … “Hi – sorry to bother you, but I’ve got 6 toy plastic horses up my bum” … Fearing the worst – the nurse rushes him in for an examination. 10 minutes later the ER doctor comes out and says … “don’t worry – he’s stable!”

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
Sorry to be the party pooper … but as gregarious & extroverted as I am … I’m waaaaaaaaay to self-conscious to ever do anything like that!

Winter Team Building Activities

After a warmer than usual Autumn it finally feels like the chill of Winter is upon us. And although there is still plenty warmth and daylight to allow for outdoor activities, indoor activities tend to reign supreme during the cooler months. See below for our list of Winter team building activities:

Grape to Glass & Wine Events

What could warm up your delegates more than a nice glass of red wine? Our Grape to Glass is the perfect Winter team building activity! This challenge sees teams compete against one another to create their very own blend of red wine. Our other Wine Events include Wine Tasting, Wine & Chocolate Tasting & our Wine Options Game.


Your team will feel the heat when they attempt our Escape the room challenge! This indoor challenge is the ultimate Winter team building event that will test the sharpest minds. Each team is “locked” in a room with a set time frame in which to escape before the world as we know it ceases to exist. Teams must follow the clues, solve the puzzles, unlock the secrets to ESCAPE! Teams race to uncover the 8 digit code that will ultimately set them free – will they do it in time?

Tikes on Bikes

No other activity will warm your heart quite like this one! An inspirational activity which never fails to tug at the heart strings of participants. This indoor activity starts with a lead-in activity where we build the group into a false sense of competitiveness. The aim is to emphasise to the group that the final task of bike building will determine the overall winner of the team challenge, thus creating a bigger impact when the participants realise that the purpose of the day was in fact to donate these bikes to underprivileged children.

Corporate Drumming

Wow your team with an interactive performance using Drums, musical tubes and percussion instruments. Perfect for Winter team building, your group will feel entirely exhilarated after creating a musical masterpiece under the guidance of our Professional Drummer!

Mini Olympics

Just because it’s Winter doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and have a great time. And no other activity gets the blood pumping quite like our Mini Olympics. In this activity teams will rotate through a series of sports challenges designed to encourage fun and competitiveness amongst participants. Volleyball, dodge-ball, catapults, team tennis, cricket – the options are endless!


An Amazing Race / Treasure Hunt style of program that sees teams driven around the local area undertaking experiential team challenges that range from Laser Clay Shooting & Archery to Cheese Tasting & Blind Wine Tasting. Our Explorer is available in the following areas: Hunter Valley, Southern Highlands, South Coast & Blue Mountains.

Explorer travel experience

How to Choose a Team Building Activity for Your Team

So, you have been given the task of organising your next conference offsite or team building event. But there are so many options for team building activities and you’re lost as to how you will choose the right activity that will best suit your team.

Basic Details

To get busy organising your team building event you’ll need to make a few simple decisions to kick things off. Firstly, you should have an idea of the date, time of day and who you would like to participate in the event (how many people). Are you wanting to get people energised with an activity first thing in the morning? Or do you want to see your delegates interacting with each other after a hard day of work or conferencing? Or would you prefer a night activity to accompany your dinner? Have you thought about where you would like the activity to take place? Answering these basic questions will create a great starting point for your organising.

Indoors or Outdoors?

Again, this may sound simple but it’s something that people forget to consider when organising a team event. To ensure your team building event is comfortable for everyone participating it’s good to think about whether indoors or outdoors would be better suited. What time of year is it? Outdoors can be blistery cold in Winter and super stifling hot in Summer, but it can also be the breath of fresh air that everyone needed. How much daylight do we have to work with? Now that daylight savings has ended it tends to get dark at 5:00pm, so any outdoor activities will need to finish by this time or have lighting available.

Conference Themes & Desired Outcomes

Do you have a set conference theme that you would like to carry through to your team building event? Talk to us about how this can be incorporated into your activity. Likewise, if you’ve identified an aspect of your team that might need some work or attention (such as communication, leadership, working as the one team or just having fun) talk to us about which activities we would recommend to meet these desired outcomes.

These are just a few things to consider when getting started on the mammoth task that is conference organising. By answering the questions above you will be sure to end up with an activity that is truly suited to you and your team.

Conference Venue Spotlight – Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley

Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley offers you a spectacular conference venue for your next meeting or event. Set amongst 8 hectares of beautifully manicured gardens at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped the office to a grand country retreat… Even though it’s only 45 minutes drive from the Sydney CBD.

Complete with luxurious accommodation, onsite dining, spa and recreation facilities, and a number of local attractions on your doorstep, Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley is the ideal conference venue for your next meeting or event.

Conference Venue Capacity:

Events up to 150

Number of Accommodation Rooms:


Conference Venue Features:

With a variety of spacious conference rooms, covered outdoor areas, picturesque lakeside spots and even a private chapel, you’ll be spoilt for choice for your next function or event. The hotel has 8 formal and 5 informal meeting rooms which offers conference organisers and delegates the perfect venue for company training, product launches or incentives. All rooms are pillarless, the majority with natural light and some with attached break out spaces and disabled access. An onsite audio visual manager will assist with all your requirements.


“We have received so much feedback on how great the conference venue was as well as the food and service from your team. From my perspective you guys could not have done enough to help and ensure a successful event.”

Carina Tomlinson

“You have a great venue and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Both events were fantastic and the customer service we received from all your staff was the best we have received in a long time, you can tell that everyone enjoys their job at The Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Hotel and your management team should be proud the high level of service they are providing on behalf of the hotel.”

Tania Valerio

Take 5 With Pinnacle – Ruth

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our Pinnacle staff about their lives both inside and outside of work.This month with Pinnacle Office Manager, Ruth Cann.

What I love about working for Pinnacle:
The people! Both the amazing people I work with and the clients who are in charge of organising their conference. No event is the same & I love the variety.

My favourite Pinnacle team event:
Tikes on Bikes for indoors and Survivor for outdoors

Most embarrassing moment at Pinnacle:
Nothing specific stands out, however I’m a fairly clumsy person so I’m sure there’s been plenty of embarrassing moments!

My favourite hobbies are:
Basketball, hiking, going to the beach, making pasta

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Casefile True Crime. I’m currently up to Case 66 – The Black Widow however any Casefile episode is worth a listen! Make sure you start from episode 1 & work your way through.

What was the last book you read?:
The Snowman – Jo Nesbo

Favourite holiday?:
My 18 month trip of non-stop travel through the US, UK & Europe.

Have you ever had a nickname?:
Not really… Just Ruthie

I am frightened by _____ :

Favourite movie of all time:
The Departed – you can’t beat Scorsese, DiCaprio & Nicholson!

First concert I went to:
Ben Harper & Jack Johnson – many many moons ago!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Anywhere in Italy!

What makes you angry:
Red Onion

What makes you laugh the most:
My girl friends or Eddy Murphy Raw

What song would you sing at a karaoke night?:
Magic Man – Heart

Travel Tips – Greek Islands

Can you imagine anything more relaxing than spending two weeks travelling the Greek Islands?

We arrived to Athens late in the evening & made our way to our Airbnb in the main tourist area of Plaka. Here we spent two very hot Summer days & nights roaming the ancient streets and checking out the Acropolis & Parthenon. There are plenty of shops, restaurants & rooftop bars with beautiful views of the vast city. One of the bars with the best view would have to be Point A.

From Athens, we made our way by plane to the beautiful island of Milos. Here we stayed in Pollonia and spent our days exploring the many cliff jumps and swimming spots hidden around the coastline. I had never seen water as crystal clear in my life! We jumped on a boat tour around the island and loved every minute of it.

From Milos we hopped on a ferry to the Island of Ios. Ios was full of Australians and is known for it’s raging nightlife. After three nights of Espresso Martinis & Mythos Beer we were very happy to arrive to the beautiful island of Santorini. In Santorini we stayed in Firostefani which was perfect for restaurants and a view of the famous sunset. The best way to explore the island is by scooter or quad-bike. There are various beaches to visit – black beach, red beach, Kamari beach. However the best swimming spot in all of Santorini would have to be off the rocks at the base of the cliffs of Oia at Amouddi Bay. Another must see is a visit to Santo Wines, a beautiful winery perched at the top of the cliff overlooking the sea. Taste a dozen of their delicious wines paired with some typical Greek antipasto – YUM!

What’s On in May

The weeks before winter seem like the perfect time to hibernate with a good book or head indoors for some yummy food & a decent movie. Lucky, in May there are opportunities to do all these things, with food, film & writing festivals all happening. Don’t forget to spoil your mum on Mother’s Day, Sunday 13th May.


WHAT: RSPCA Million Paws Walk
WHEN: Sunday 20 May 2018
WHERE: Foreshore Park Newcastle
INFO: Click here

Hunter Valley

WHAT: Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival
WHEN: Various dates throughout May
WHERE: Hunter Valley
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Flickerfest
WHEN: Saturday 5 May 2018
WHERE: Ironbark Hill Brewhouse
INFO: Click here


WHAT: Sydney Writers Festival
WHEN: 30 April – 6 May 2018
WHERE: Across Sydney
INFO: Click here

WHAT: Vivid Sydney
WHEN: 25 May – 16 June 2018
WHERE: Across Sydney
INFO: Click here




Take 5 With Pinnacle – Brooke

If you’ve ever wondered what makes a Pinnacle Team Events facilitator tick then you have come to the right place! Each month we will be taking 5 minutes to chat with each of our facilitators about their lives both inside and outside of work.

What I love about being a Pinnacle Facilitator:
Being outdoors, working with some of the best people I know, and seeing our delegates get such enjoyment from what we do with them.

My favourite Pinnacle team event to facilitate:
Although I love being outdoors, my favourite event to facilitate is actually an indoor event – Tikes on Bikes – without a doubt my most loved.

Most embarrassing moment as a Pinnacle facilitator:
Receiving a cheque from a client and mistakenly throwing it in the bin with other rubbish from the car whilst stopped at a service station on the way home after the event. 

My favourite hobbies are:
Swimming, yoga, eating healthy food, going on adventures and being with my loved ones.

What I’m listening to at the moment/podcast recommendation:
Guided meditation for birthing, lol. As I am about to have my second baby!

What was the last book you read?:
Unmasked by Turia Pitt

Favourite holiday?:
My honeymoon in 2015 to Central America

Have you ever had a nickname?:

I am frightened by _____ :

Favourite movie of all time:
The Book Thief

First concert I went to:
Elton John. My parents took me when I was 12 years old

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?:
Newcastle is pretty hard to beat!! As long as it’s near a beach and with my family i’m happy!!

What makes you angry:
When I see people get up and leave their rubbish behind after eating.

What makes you laugh the most:
Watching people trying to fold up collapsible beach tents when they have no idea how to do it

What song would you sing at karaoke night?:
You’re the voice – John Farnham

Venue Spotlight – Q Station Manly

Q Station is located on the site of Sydney’s former Quarantine Station. The 65 heritage buildings have been creatively transformed into hotel accommodation, conference & event space, restaurants, a café and a museum. Showcasing a stunning view of Sydney Harbour, this unique property is an ideal choice to motivate and engage your employees at your next meeting or function.  With plenty of outdoor space and rooms flooded with natural light, your guests will enjoy the Q Station experience surrounded by native Australian bush land on the edge of Sydney Harbour.

Located just thirty minutes from the centre of Sydney CBD, Q Station is a short drive from Manly and also offers access via ferry or chartered vessel, direct to the private wharf.  Unlike any other Sydney venue, Q Station can be booked exclusively for larger groups and is a unique destination providing function rooms, accommodation, fine dining and team building activities for your delegates.  Stay, dine and discover this beautiful property.

Conference Capacity: 200 pax

Number of Accommodation Rooms: 84

Current Winter Special: Save $5 per person when hosting your conference between May – August 2018!

$77 per person
Full Day Delegate Package
including continuous tea and coffee,
morning and afternoon tea,
buffet/working style lunch,
venue hire from 9am – 5pm,
note pads, pens, mints and water jugs.


“The venue was great. The staff were very friendly and helpful.”

“Perfect venue – we will continue to use Q Station for all of our functions in future.”  Royal Far West

“The room was lovely – bright, sunny and welcoming – excellent venue for a 2 day corporate meeting.”

“Communication was excellent and I really appreciated the flexibility given that we had a fairly last minute booking. Everyone loved the venue!”
Origin Energy

“It is a wonderful venue and allows participants to focus on their workshops with no distractions except for a beautiful view which brings calm.”
Sydney Water

For all enquiries and more information, contact Q Station’s sales team on:
Phone: 02 9466 1597
Email: [email protected]

Travel Tips – Fiji

BULA! Well… Fiji was on my wife’s bucket list – not mine. But our recent trip there left me a touch more than pleasantly surprised. We decided on travel in October out of school holiday time to be more cost effective. After an obscenely early Sydney departure to Nadi with connecting mini bus then catamaran – we arrived at Plantation Island Resort.

With mixed reviews prior to booking here, we were blown away with the idyllic destination perfect for our young family. We splurged on a Beachfront Bure and it was worth every cent to walk out the front door onto the unbearably white sand, with two perfectly aligned palm trees and a swinging hammock. Two more steps and you were in the warm, clear blue water with fabulous snorkelling only metres from the shore. Our children were often found collecting coconuts, chasing hermit crabs and feeding the tropical fish.

We hired bright yellow retro Bula Bikes which were a fun family activity and easy transportation around the island. The children attended Kids Club when the activities suited their interest – tie dye tshirts and coconut boat making were a hit. They also loved the inflatable water park while we enjoyed the sailboats, kayaks and paddle boarding on offer. We had a breakfast and dinner buffet  package and all loved trying new cultured food and island inspired delicacies. The Coco Hut also provided us with a delectable coffee each morning while the kids slurped up fresh coconut water.

We had a day trip to Cloud 9 which is an adults only floating pontoon with snorkelling, sunbathing, music, bar and wood fire pizza on offer. All in all – this holiday represented tropical bliss with a fabulous mix of relaxation and adventure. I highly recommend it! Thank you (or should I say VINAKA?)