photos by New Zealand Business Events and Conferences
18 Best Conference Venues in Christchurch
by Raashka Mannie | 19 Jan 2022
Vibrant and ever-changing, Christchurch is a South Island hotspot for conferences of every manner and size. Conference venues in Christchurch range from state-of-the-art centres, newly built and with seamless architecture, to quirky, unique spaces such as the Cardboard Cathedral. Below is a carefully curated list of 18 of the best conference venues in Christchurch. If you're looking for more venue options in Christchurch, take a look at our complete Christchurch venue guide here.
The George offers spaces with a variety of scale for memorable meetings, stunning special occasions and celebrations to meet you and your guests' specific requirements. Pairing contemporary stylish venues with personal service and award-winning cuisine in a park like setting situated only minutes from the heart of the Garden City.
Image by Ōnuku Marae
Have a conference in a culture- and light-filled venue with Ōnuku Marae. Minutes away from the colourful township of Akaroa and just over an hour's drive away from Christchurch, Ōnuku Marae will give you a dose of culture, comfort and class in one go with a venue fit for conferences of every size. One of the largest event, conference and noho marae-style accommodation facilities on Banks Peninsula, this Christchurch conference venue is here to infuse a unique and fascinating cultural experience into your function, celebrating in style with the warm hospitality of Christchurch. There are multiple spaces to choose from, including the Ancestral House, Dining Room and Ōnuku Church, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 350 guests. Ōnuku Marae melds to every type of Christchurch conference no matter the size, with impeccable service and facilities to match.
Papa Hou Theatre
Image by Papa Hou Theatre
Papa Hou Theatre brings you a light-filled, innovative option for your next Christchurch conference. A flexible conference venue that offers more than 5 rooms for your upcoming event, it boasts a wide range of layouts and facilities for your use. Choose between their studios, Board Room and Conference Room for your event, or, if desired, exclusively hire out the entire space for up to 250 guests. This is a Christchurch venue that is beloved for its adaptability and community-driven heart, accommodating conferences, seminars and other corporate gatherings. Credit to their fantastic acoustics, top-notch audiovisual equipment and experienced team, you'll find yourself in the best of hands at Papa Hou Theatre.
International Antarctic Centre
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International Antarctic Centre (IAC) is a fully licensed venue and is part of the award-winning International Antarctic Centre visitor attraction, making it as accomplished a venue as it is exciting. There are 3 spaces at the IAC - Atrium, Sir Edmund Hilary Room and Tim Hobson Room - and the venue has a maximum capacity of 250 guests. One of the many, many benefits of hosting your conference at the IAC is the extraordinary and thrilling way they will make your conference stand out, with options and offers like no other venue in Christchurch. For instance, you can choose between husky dogs to welcoming your guests, Hägglund all-terrain, amphibian vehicle rides, a snowstorm experience and so much more. On top of that, the IAC has New Zealand’s only indoor/outdoor penguin encounter, which is sure to delight many of your guests. 20 minutes from Christchurch city centre and directly opposite the airport, the IAC presents itself as a fun-loving and an unusual conference venue in all the best ways.
Image by The Tannery
10 minutes from Christchurch CBD and the recreational grounds of Port Hills, The Tannery is a versatile and beautiful space for your conference. They present 4 different spaces for you to pick from (The Atrium, Metropolitan Lounge, Blue Smoke and AGA Kitchen) and can cater for up to 300 delegates. The largest space at The Tannery is The Atrium, styled in an elegant and rich Victorian style, with French tiled floors, mahogany shop fronts, stained glass, bespoke iron arches and a translucent roof to top it off, sure to lend your conference a sumptuous ambience like few others. This venue also offers on-site catering from the experienced and professional Cassels & Sons, boasting an array of menus and styles to suit your conference. The Tannery is a reborn industrial precinct, radiating some old-world charm in tandem with their contemporary facilities.
Image by Haere-Roa
Designed to host tradeshows, conferences and other large events in Christchurch, Haere-Roa is a versatile venue just minutes from the city centre. It sports a series of spaces to choose from, including the Ti Kouka, Foundry, Foyer, Room of Equipment and Bentley's. Endlessly flexible, these spaces host anywhere from 30 to 300 guests, making them ideal for your upcoming Christchurch conference. Haere-Roa is also available for hire as a whole, in which case you're able to host around 1000 guests. A key feature of Haere-Roa is the iconic Ngaio Marsh Theatre, re-imagined for future generations. No matter how large or small your event, this Christchurch venue is here to stage a conference that you'll never forget.
Image by Te Pae
Centrally located and on the banks of the picturesque Avon River, Te Pae is a convention centre that is scheduled to open in 2020 and set the world of conferences and conventions alight with their ideals of being a creative and modern space for the growth and sharing of ideas. Designed with the southern landscape in mind, it’s considered a “physical representation” of New Zealand itself. A quick 15 minutes from the airport, Te Pae will host up to 2000 guests, with a tiered auditorium able to accommodate 1400 delegates in total. There will be an exhibition room that comfortably fits up to 200 booths, with no limit on the variations that come with hosting such events. On top of that, Te Pae will feature a total of 24 meeting rooms of varying sizes, each with their own purpose and atmosphere. Te Pae is sure to be an incredible venue for your next Christchurch conference, no matter the size.
Air Force Museum of New Zealand
Image by New Zealand Business Events and Conferences
Air Force Museum of New Zealand combines history and grace in a stunning space available for hire for your next Christchurch conference. They’re a breezy 15 minutes from central Christchurch and are surrounded by the historic Wigram Air Force Base. This venue can host up to 1000 delegates, with 7 spaces to choose from: Thérèse Angelo Wing, Aircraft Hall, Atrium, Brevet Lounge, Donaldson Room, Theatre and Morrison Room. Every space has its own unique charm and adaptability, from the Thérèse Angelo Wing, designed as a display hall featuring multiple breakout rooms and as modern as can be with its opening in 2013, to Brevet Lounge, perfect for conferences under 100 guests and featuring a sophisticated air perfect for conversations over canapés. This venue is a blank slate on which to model your conference. Outside, there are 37 hectares of flat land for outdoor venue options, granting you all the more choice for your Christchurch conference.
La Vida Centre
Image by MCC
La Vida Centre is located in Upper Riccarton and is a multi-purpose conference centre that was built in 2006 and has since expanded over the years, growing into a conference and conventions hub for Christchurch. They can host up to 700 guests in their modern auditorium, but have 3 other spaces to pick between: the Function Room, Function Hall and West Wing. The rooms can be hired individually, depending on the size and nature of your conference, or all at once, for exclusive hire of the entire venue. La Vida Centre also features a cafe for hire, able to accommodate up to 100 guests, as well as a generously-equipped kitchen for the use of your caterer. They’re a 15-minute drive from the city centre and a 12-minute drive from the airport.
Christchurch Town Hall
Image by Tonkin + Taylor
Dubbed one of “Christchurch's most recognisable pieces of architecture,” Christchurch Town Hall has a myriad of multi-purpose event spaces and a lovely riverside backdrop for added ambience. They can accommodate a maximum of 2250 guests, making it one of Christchurch’s larger conference venues. There are 6 spaces to choose from: Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, James Hay Theatre, Limes Room, Victoria Room, Avon Room and, finally, the Boardroom. Each has a unique charm unto their own, ranging in capacity sizes (from the largest, 2250, to the smallest, 12). Christchurch Town Hall is a wonderful solution to an undecided conference venue, lovingly rebuilt and restored over the years to bring about improved facilities such as soundproofing, acoustics, integrated technology and overall ease of use.
The Arts Centre
Image by The Arts Centre
The Arts Centre is a historic and remarkable venue within the heart of Christchurch. The building has been carefully restored over the years and offers the very best when it comes to technology, all whilst preserving its charmingly traditional atmosphere. Accommodating a maximum of 250 guests, The Arts Centre currently has 5 available spaces at which to host an event: the Great Hall, Community Meeting Room, Maker Workshop, Classics Boardroom and Conservatory, and Rutherford's Den Lecture Theatre (which is only available after 5 PM). If you so choose, you can also hire out their exhibition centre, where they love featuring local and budding artists. The Arts Centre has an expert team that can help with all the planning and organising of your conference no matter the size, whether it’s hundreds of guests or a gathering of 30. They also have a list of recommended suppliers/vendors on hand for added ease.
Image by The Verge
The Transitional/Cardboard Cathedral was designed by innovative Japanese architect Shigeru Ban in the wake of Christchurch’s earthquakes and is now a symbol of the fortitude of the city and the effort put into its rebuild. This space is the only sustainable cathedral in the world and it is now a landmark that can accommodate up to 700 delegates. The Transitional/Cardboard Cathedral has 2 spaces to choose from - the Main Hall and the Foyer - both of which can be combined for your function depending on its size and nature. The venue was constructed from cardboard tubes, steel shipping containers and the Cathedral’s original stained glass Rose windows for a gorgeous touch. It stands within the heart of Christchurch and is full of the ethos of the city, making it a delightful option for a conference venue. It will lend your conference a unique and charming edge, filled with the resilience and adaptability that Christchurch is known for.
Image by Face of Business
Pavilions Hotel asks you to step back in time with them with their family-owned hotel located in the centre of Christchurch. Awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence, this hotel features flexibility and complimentary WiFi for all guests. There are 4 spaces within Pavilions Hotel to pick from: Webb Room, hosting up to 25 delegates and providing a space for smaller conferences or a place to break away; Terrace Room, hosting up to 60 delegates and flexible in its arrangement; Jimmy’s Courtyard, hosting up to 60 delegates and serving as a beautiful outdoor event space option; and, finally, Jimmy’s restaurant, hosting up to 60 delegates and available for exclusive hire. Pavilions Hotel also has a series of packages for your conference, many of which can be tweaked for your needs, with a wide array of catering choices. Pavilions Hotel offers boutique hospitality and attention to detail, making it an ideal spot for any conference.
Peppers Clearwater Resort
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With glorious mountain ranges, clear lakes and perfectly manicured golf courses stretching for miles, Peppers Clearwater Resort is a favourite spot for Christchurch conferences. 7 minutes from the airport and with unmatched views of Lake Kaikainui, this resort is known for being a tranquil escape into nature, all whilst retaining the luxury of an elegant and convenient lodge. They offer 4 different spaces for your conference (the Kaikainui Room, with floor to ceiling windows and views of the lake; Meeting Rooms 2 and 3, on the first floor of their dedicated Clubhouse; and the Members Library, with gorgeous French doors that lead onto an open deck), with a maximum capacity of 240 guests, and have the added bonus of on-site catering, incredible accommodation and team-building activities (such as golf, fly-fishing, rugby, tennis, boating and hiking). Peppers Clearwater Resort also has a series of carefully put together packages for conferences, conventions and the like, making planning and hosting your Christchurch conference all the easier.
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu
Image by Artforum
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu is a stunning space in Christchurch, beloved by tourists and locals alike, housing New Zealand’s most important public art collections. Offering multiple spaces for your event - from Bayleys Knight Frank Foyer to Philip Carter Family Auditorium - and feature undulating glass walls, views into the forecourt, along with a stunning marble staircase that leads into an open balcony. Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu can cater for up to 500 guests, with a list of preferred caterers, audiovisual equipment suppliers and more to add a sense of ease to your conference planning. They also boast the fun option of a private art gallery viewing, during which you and your guests tour exclusive exhibitions after hours. Host your conference at one of the most fascinating spaces in Christchurch, conveniently located in the centre of the city and full of glamour.
Links Function & Events
Image by Links Function & Events
Opened in 2016, Links Function & Events was recently constructed at the acclaimed Christchurch Golf Club. This venue sports floor to ceiling glass and boasts panoramic views of the Shirley Links golf course, coupled with French doors for a seamless flow of indoor/outdoor activity at your conference. They can accommodate up to 230 guests, with the Charles Gallery just upstairs for a breakaway space or more intimate meetings. This modern space is flooded with natural light and also has the latest technology, including temperature control, lighting, automatic blinds, complimentary WiFi and audiovisual technology. Links Function & Events has an on-site bar for your convenience and impeccable catering facilities, with several catering options for your conference. Additionally, Links Café is nearby and available for exclusive hire after 6 pm, with a locally-sourced menu.
Lincoln Events Centre
Image by IKON Architects
Lincoln Event Centre is a quick 20 minutes from central Christchurch. The venue is surrounded by verdant grounds and courts that host any manner of sporting events, from rugby to outdoor bowling. They’re comfortable hosting 1000 of your guests, with any of their 8 available spaces open to hire for your conference, including purpose-built rooms like Nicholas Hall, as well as lounges equipped with commercial kitchens for your caterers to set up in. This state-of-the-art venue is as flexible as they come, serving as a home to community meetings and large-scale events alike. Lincoln Event Centre aims to be an open and diverse venue within Christchurch, with a modern appeal and architectural design that highlights this in every room, whether it’s the clear acoustics of Liffey Stadium or the business centre available for any corporate event. Host both larger and smaller conferences at Lincoln Events Centre, and rest assured that they are seasoned professionals.
Image by Wilkie + Bruce Architects
A super modern venue nestled in Christchurch central, The Piano is available for exclusive hire and makes for a refined, charming option for a conference space. It comes equipped with a commercial kitchen, fully kitted to help your chosen caterers serve over 300 guests. It also has 4 separate spaces to choose from: Philip Carter Family Concert Hall (the stage of which can also be used) is a raised-stage auditorium with stunning acoustics, fully soundproofed and with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment on hand; The Atrium, a double-height foyer serving as an entrance to the Concert Hall and featuring a grand piano in a recessed acoustic shell; and The Chamber and The Box, part of several rooms that are available for exclusive hire, or to be used as breakout rooms for larger conferences. The Piano is an easy 20-minute drive from the airport. With its contemporary feel and stocked facilities, it serves as a premier venue for conferences in Christchurch.
Image by Celebration Centre
11 minutes from the heart of the city, Celebration Centre is a venue hosted by Celebration Centre Church. Their conference and events centre conveniently features a cafe and on-site catering options, alongside plenty of off-street parking for your guests. Their space - an auditorium that can host up to 850 delegates - is flexible with a large, open stage, and professional audiovisual equipment and technology (from a solid sound system and wireless microphones/headsets to LCDs and data/overhead projectors). Celebration Centre also boasts seminar rooms and a premium boardroom, which can be used to host smaller conferences or as breakaway rooms for discussion and mingling. They believe in excitement and growth, which is sure to lend your conference a vivacious atmosphere that will make it all the more thrilling for you and your guests.