photos by Hilton Lake Taupo

The Top 12 Bay of Plenty Cocktail Party Venues

by Raashka Mannie | 10 Mar 2021

All the way from the Coromandel Peninsula to Cape Runaway, the Bay of Plenty is a region filled to the brim with character. It’s the ocean views that really send this area over the top, dotted here, there, and everywhere with hotels, restaurants, theatres, private estates and other venues that embrace the coastline in all its rugged beauty. Bay of Plenty boasts tourist hotspots such as Tauranga and Rotorua, making them one of the most popular regions in New Zealand to drop by for locals and international visitors alike. When you’re looking to host a cocktail party, you’re looking for a space with oodles of class. We’ve compiled a list of the most splendid Bay of Plenty cocktail venues, from upscale hotels to verdant gardens for an outdoorsy feel that you and your guests will adore. If you’re looking for our complete guide to the Bay of Plenty region, you can find it here.

Hilton Lake Taupo


Image by Hilton Lake Taupo

Stunning views of Lake Taupo and nature all around makes Hilton Lake Taupo one of Bay of Plenty’s favourite cocktail venues. This elegant hotel is here to offer their world-class facilities for your upcoming cocktail party. It was built in 1889 and carefully refurbished in recent years, their space combining Victorian charm and modern comfort, a mere 10 minutes from the city and featuring everything from tennis courts to fitness centres. Hilton Lake Taupo provides a myriad of spaces for your function, including The Terraces, Cellar Lounge, Library and Study, accommodating anywhere from 8 to 260 guests. With fantastic on-site catering courtesy of talented chefs, on-site accommodation options and more, this is a comprehensive cocktail party venue in the Bay of Plenty.

 

Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery


Image by Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery

Try something funkier for your Bay of Plenty cocktail event with Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery. You and your guests are in for a treat with this popular restaurant, just moments from the city centre. This Bay of Plenty venue is a speciality cocktail bar that is all geared up to host your upcoming cocktail night. Catering for up to 150 guests and available for exclusive hire, they offer sumptuous on-site catering and attentive service, happy to host both formal and informal functions. Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery is a short drive from the airport and boasts a modern, laidback ambience with a glassy ceiling, industrial charm and soft lighting. It’s all about creating a modern yet cosy atmosphere at this cocktail party venue, kitted out with all the facilities and add-ons that will ensure that your function is a roaring success. Now, there’s something to raise a toast to.

 

Longfords Estate


Image by Bespoke Photography

Let yourself experience the joys of a full-coverage venue with Longfords Estate. This Bay of Plenty venue does it all, from corporate to personal events, and is only 15km from the airport. Set on a 2000-acre farm and family-owned since 1937, this cocktail party venue can host anywhere from 160 to 320 guests, perfect for your upcoming function no matter the size or style. Longfords Estate is a breezy 10-minute drive from the centre of Rotorua, settled at the end of a long beautiful redwood-lined driveway. Their facilities are seemingly endless, including everything from tailored on-site catering to a quirky caravan bar, Lola, for added character. Managed by local wedding and events planner, Nicolle Hannah, you can rest assured that your cocktail party at Longfords Estate will be a night to remember.

 

Trinity Wharf


Image by Trinity Wharf

Trinity Wharf, one of Bay of Plenty’s most famous and well-loved hotels, rests at the edge of the water and boasts unmatched views of the ocean. This Bay of Plenty cocktail party venue offers flexibility and beauty in equal amounts, with impeccable service and facilities. A 4.5-star hotel, this cocktail party venue has an on-site restaurant and contemporary atmosphere, situated just 10 minutes from Tauranga Airport. Centrally located, it features 7 different spaces to choose from for your Bay of Plenty cocktail party, including the Pool Houses, Trinity Rooms, Lobby and Exhibition Hall. The spaces can be used separately or combined, allowing for up to 400 guests in total. Trinity Wharf also provides high-speed WiFi, catering options, event management, audiovisual equipment and assistance, and so much more, making it a top choice for any Bay of Plenty cocktail party.

 

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service


Image by Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service

Welcome the sand and the sea at Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, a Bay of Plenty venue like few others. Sitting on one of the best beaches in the world, this cocktail party venue serves as a functional but stylish space to host your Bay of Plenty function. Their main space can seat up to 110 guests, with a sprawling deck to enjoy the ocean air and sunshine. Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service also boasts meeting rooms, an upstairs function room and accommodation facilities, making it a more comprehensive and multi-purpose venue in the Bay of Plenty region. Whether you’re looking to host a modest cocktail party or a sprawling one, Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service can be the ideal venue for you. They also offer catering options, audiovisual equipment and high-speed WiFi to ensure your cocktail party is a certified hit.

 

Clarence Hotel & Bistro


Image by Gartshore

There’s nothing like a swanky hotel for a cocktail party, is there? Clarence Hotel & Bistro is a boutique hotel located in Tauranga, found within the walls of the Historic Tauranga Post Office. Dating all the way back to the 1900s, this Bay of Plenty venue offers up plenty of charm and character to frame your cocktail party. As a function space, they have a specially-designed events room for your use, versatile and regularly used for seminars, meetings, cocktail gatherings and more. On top of that, Clarence Hotel & Bistro has delicious on-site catering options, as well as accommodation in any one of their artful and elegant rooms. You can also head downstairs to the Bistro or Iki Bar for drinks and something to nibble on, featuring a diverse, flavoursome menu that is sure to delight you and your guests at your Bay of Plenty cocktail party.

 

Blue Baths


Image by Blue Baths

Blue Baths was once a bathhouse located in the Government Gardens of Rotorua, opened in 1933 and representing stately design. Featuring geothermally heated baths, this Bay of Plenty venue comes equipped with a unique history and unique setting. Their function spaces include The Social Room, a flexible choice sporting a roof deck and plenty of natural light, suitable for up to 120 guests; Lido Lounge, which is 600 square meters and was once a pool, now ‘shallowed’ out and serving as a creative events area for up to 450 guests; the Dining Room, an all-day eatery that can be booked both partially and exclusively, accommodating up to 100 guests and with a thermally-heated porch; Tonic Bar, with audiovisual equipment and a relaxed vibe, fitting up to 50 guests; and, finally, The Backyard, Blue Baths’ newest space, complete with a stretch tent overhead and comfortably catering for a maximum of 350 guests. Host your cocktail event at this characterful Bay of Plenty venue.



Eagle Ridge Estate


Image by Easytour

An award-winning Bay of Plenty venue, Eagle Ridge Estate is here to help you to host superb cocktail parties with its variety of spaces and facilities. With a wealth of experience in hosting all types of events, as well as a dedicated events management team on hand to help you plan the perfect function, this cocktail party venue can be the ideal choice for you. Committed to excellence, Eagle Ridge Estate offers both indoor and outdoor settings for your Bay of Plenty cocktail party, with their main spaces being The Lodge and Function Centre. Their facilities are extensive, covering everything from audiovisual equipment and servicing to fabulous on-site catering and a helipad for guests that want to arrive in style. Eagle Ridge Estate also offers event packages for your convenience, making planning and executing your Bay of Plenty cocktail party a dream.

 

The Black Barn


Image by Anne Paar Photography

The Black Barn is a stylish Bay of Plenty venue overlooking Lake Tarawera and the wild beauty beyond. A mere 15 minutes from the centre of Rotorua, this Bay of Plenty venue embraces rustic Kiwi charm and adds a generous helping of elegance, resulting in a cocktail party venue that outdoes itself. The versatile venue itself boasts a pebbled courtyard entrance, huge kauri doors, rough-sawn macrocarpa walls and polished concrete floors. It extends over 65 acres, with grassy meadows and native bush all around. Working with some of the best chefs in the region, they provide catering that is out of this world, from multiple courses to grazing platters, hosting utterly unforgettable cocktail parties. The Black Barn is one of Bay of Plenty’s favourite venues - and with good reason. You’ll find yourself spoiled for choice when planning your function here.

 

Cambridge Raceway


Image by Cambridge Raceway

Cambridge Raceway was established in 1919 and, today, is a go-to venue in the Bay of Plenty region. Offering a series of event packages, hire items and spaces for your upcoming cocktail party, they know how to go the extra mile for your function. They host everything, from meetings and seminars to, you guessed it, cocktail parties of incredible size. Their facilities include it all, such as free on-site parking, audiovisual equipment and assistance, tailored catering options and more. Cambridge Raceway boasts a multitude of rooms for your cocktail party, including the Skyline Lounge, Presidents’ Lounge, Eastern Lounge, Members’ Lounge, Grandstand, and even their manicured lawns. You’ll be hosting your cocktail party in classic style with this Bay of Plenty venue, fully-equipped to make the event one that you and your guests will never forget.

 

Fountain Gardens


Image by Kenrick Rhys

Settled just outside of Bay of Plenty, Fountain Gardens is located in Plummers Point Peninsula and serves as a beautiful venue for cocktail parties, dinners and more. With a penchant for hosting weddings, Fountain Gardens features 3 acres of jaw-dropping gardens and greenery, glittering to life each night with over 200 lights sprinkled throughout. Their primary function space is an open, light-filled marquee that can fit up to 120 guests, including a separate dance/entertainment area and a separate bar area. If you’re looking to host an outdoor cocktail party, their large lawn can be perfect. Fountain Gardens offers on-site catering options alongside a handy events team to help with the planning and running of your Bay of Plenty event. A special touch to your function could be a garden tour, showcasing some of the best of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna.

 

Baycourt


Image by Downtown Tauranga

The home turf of artists in Bay of Plenty, Baycourt is here to give your cocktail party a little zest. This Bay of Plenty venue is available for hire as a cocktail party venue in the heart of downtown Tauranga. Specialising in hosting the performing arts, Baycourt offers on-site catering, audiovisual equipment and assistance, and even marketing and advertising expertise for your cocktail party. They have a dedicated events coordinator to help with the planning and running of your cocktail party, boasting several spaces for your Bay of Plenty cocktail party. Baycourt has a 4-Star Qualmark rating and is a member of the Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand. They also have a fully-licensed bar in their foyer, making for an excellent breakaway space for you and your guests to mingle in during your cocktail party.

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