The Task

My sister's getting married, that alone is a scary enough thought. I always thought we'd be young, single party girls forever. And then she met Richard, and after years of co-habitation, he popped the question and she's engaged.

Now, here's the problem - they live in Sydney, but have decided to get married on Waiheke Island and do most of the planning from there... through me. Hmm...planning the wedding for Ms Fussy! Excellent! And I've also got the happy task of planning her hens party (did I mention that she's one of the fussiest person around?).

So like any good party organiser would do, I took to Google. My younger sister got married last year (yes, one-by-one they are all jumping the single ship), we organised her hens night in Melbourne entirely through the Internet. This should be a breeze I thought... right? Wrong.

New Zealand has a distinct lack of online resources or ideas for hens night - HELP!

So, here I go - I'll do this for the girls. I'll search the depth of Auckland and the online world and update this site with my attempts. I'll do the hard work, so anyone else who comes upon this doesn't have too.

I'll go from budget to pricey, from the 'pamper' hens nights to the slightly uhm.... risque ones, from just the one night out, to an entire girls weekend away.

Here I go...

At last - a decision!

It's been an interesting journey researching options for hens parties, but I've got it, I've finally got it. The right mix of party, a bit of indulgence (in a different kind of way), its a tad risque and yes, there'll also be cocktails.

What you ask?

A Sex Toy Party - much like a Tupperware party, but just sex toys instead.

The company I'm thinking about is DVice. They come to your home with a range of toys, explain what everything is, how they work and you can even purchase them on the night. The host gets a 'surprise gift' and discounts on purchases based on how much the guests buy.

It's cheap to organise - all you pay is a refundable deposit of $50 (refunded if a certain amount is spent at the party). I have heard about this company and apparently its quite reputable and the hosts are generally really informative and lots of fun.

There is another option that I don't really know that much about - SexToys2gogo. They even have a package deal of a sex toy party AND a male stripper (no, not Levi) for $255. But fearing Nan's reprimand if I do have a stripper, I think I'll stay away from this option.

I can have it at my apartment, organise cocktails with the showing, I've always fancied myself to be a cocktail guru. We can hit the town later - the blessings of living in the city means we can all just roll out into town after.

Finally - that's sorted, now the real works starts. Invitations to send, the actual party to organise... and then it's the wedding!

Male entertainment perhaps?

This is going to be an interesting one researching. Last night of freedom, means traditionally exposing the hen to men... scantily clad men perhaps?

Where do I start?

Gosh, try googling 'male strippers' and you get quite a few options. For the sake of research, I had to check out some really dodgy websites, here's the 'nicer' of the dodgy ones.

Levi - Anyone who calls himself Auckland's hottest male stripper & has a strap line like "the gift that unwraps itself', got to make it to the top of the list. His scrapbook looks pretty impressive and he was even on KiwiFire (anyone remember or watch that old reality show?). He's got a range of services as well, you can choose from a basic strip ($200 for 2 songs) to to the combo option (strip & 1 hour of waiting for $300).

Levi appears top of the list again on ' NZ Male Strippers - NZ's One & Only Exclusive Male Stripper Directory' . He's about the only Auckland option though.

There are a couple of male review shows as well if that's what takes your fancy, there's Bad Boys New Zealand and Men of Steel - where guess who makes an appearance? Yes, Levi again.

Much as Levi intrigues me, I can't get past his goatee, and Nan may well do some serious harm to me if I get a stripper... so the hunt continues

Belly dancing hen

Between you and me, this is one of my favourite activities. It started, 9 years ago when I was dabbling in journalism and sent to write a story on belly-dancing including free classes. Luckily, you don't need to have a flat stomach for this (a wobbly one is recommended!) and when the music takes hold you can just get carried away. Did you know that belly dancing started to help woman with the pains of labour before giving birth? It's true, I read it on the Internet.

We got a professional belly dancer to come to Lai's(my younger sister) hens party and teach the girls to dance- everyone loved it! She came, music blaring, got Lai to dress up in this amazing blue belly dancing outfit and gave the rest of us jingly scarves to wear around our waist. First, she taught us the art of belly dancing and then went on to teach us some more risque moves like 'the chair dance' - yes, you dance around a chair instead of a pole. Everyone had a blast and it definitely helped us loosen up for the rest of the night.

That was in Melbourne though, so I'm keen to see if there's any good options in Auckland.

Kimberly at does hens parties. Interesting website and she definitely does seem to have a lot of experience, but no prices on her website.

But that's about it! I can't find anything else. That's quite disappointing.

Hens Paaarrtttyyyy!

Now, Nan loves her food, wine. cocktails and hitting the dance floor (quite tragically) after a few of the latter. And if there's one thing I know in Auckland, it's the night life around the city, so perhaps we could just have it at a bar. Great place for those dares too. But no one's going to be a sober driver, and it can be awfully difficult - getting a group of taxis on Friday night in the city

So here's what I'm thinking, maybe -
Hire a limo

There are a few options available in Auckland:

  • Lincoln Limousines - For 10 people, hire starts from $350 for the first hour and then it's $210 for additional hours. You can also get one for 16 people, but that's a whooping $590 for the first hour... whoa! Would be OK if you split the cost I suppose, but for some reason I told Nan that Lai (the other sister) and I would pick up the cost.

  • Classic American Limousines - For smaller crowds, you can hire a limo for just $199 per hour. They seem to have a pretty good range too.

Or a Party Bus?

If we did have quite a large crowd, we could hire a party bus - I've always wanted to hire one of those. Couple of options available in Auckland- Party Bus company and The Good Time Bus. No prices on their website though.

Location, Location, Location

Once we get transportation sorted, where to next? Drink champagne, cruising around Mission Bay maybe and then on the bars!

Caluzzi Bar & Cabaret - Since Showboys shut down, this is quite possibly one of the most popular locations for a hens night out. It's just $55 per person (including dinner & show), but this is a drag show girls - so the 'boys' may not quite be what the girls are after.

Gina's - If it is good-looking and LOUD male waiting staff they are after, we may have to check out Gina's Pizza & Pasta. Ahh... the boys there... Mamma Mia!

There are the old favourites at the Viaduct - Degree, Lenin Bar, Cowboys (a bit small and a growing clientele of sleazy older men) O'Hagans (not that good any more though), Bungalow 8 (love the decor of this bar, but it can be a bit quiet and it has a strange black 'sucky' fish attached to the fish tank). For an old school, back-down memory lane dance-fest, you can't beat Boogie Wonderland and Soul Bar (though be warned, you cannot enter Soul Bar with any hen-gear like veils, horns or cowboy hats etc.)

Quite a selection of bar to choose from at View too or The Viaduct.

Pole dancing hen

I completely forgot about Pole Dancing. It seemed to have been the flavour of the last hens party season. Everyone who did it really enjoyed it, and were very impressed with how athletic some of the moves were. I was told it's great exercises if you wanted to carry on doing it past the hens night.

A Pole Lot of Fun can set up the classes at my apartment. They bring the pole and can teach between 8-10 girls some basic moves on the pole, including the fireman spin.

I'm still tossing up having the hens night at my apartment (setting up is a pain and even worse... cleaning up after the party will be a nightmare!). However, Pole Fitness NZ in Freemans Bay caters for hen parties at their studio and you can bring along nibbles and drinks to some of them.

Very unusual idea - lingerie party!

I just came across this idea for a hens night, unusual idea.

La Belle Lingerie offers private openings for hens nights. They can do talks on lingerie trends, bridal lingerie trends and history of lingerie. The cost? You need to purchase a voucher for the bride on the night... takes care of the presents too. And I quite like the idea of a shop that's exclusive for your use (very Hollywood!).

Unfortunately it's in Dunedin and I can't seem to find an alternative in Auckland... still good idea though.