photos by Anne Paar Photography
15 Fabulous Bay of Plenty Gala Dinner Venues
by Raashka Mannie | 11 Feb 2021
There’s nothing like a seaside spot for a gala dinner. Rumbling waves, crisp air and stunning views all make for the perfect backdrop for hosting functions that aim to impress. Bay of Plenty is a popular choice for this very reason: quaint, accessible and with a wide variety of venues with oodles of character. Whether it’s a traditional and classy hotel venue, such as the Hilton Taupo, or a cutesy bistro that offers the works for your gala dinner, you’re sure to find a space to host your function with flair. For a more comprehensive look at all the venues Bay of Plenty has to offer, take a look at our guide here.
Image by Hilton Taupo
You can’t go wrong with Hilton Taupo, a world-class hotel that delivers perfection time and time again. Boasting awe-inspiring views of Lake Taupo and nature, this gala dinner venue is here to offer their top-notch facilities for your upcoming event. Built in 1889 and carefully refurbished over the years to embrace the more traditional architecture, their space combines Victorian charm and modern comfort, a mere 10 minutes from the city and featuring everything from tennis courts to fitness centres. They provide a myriad of options for your Bay of Plenty gala dinner, 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, Hilton Taupo is the ideal Bay of Plenty venue for your upcoming gala dinner.
Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery
Image by Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery
You and your guests are in for a treat with the much-loved Miss Gee's Bar & Eatery. This Bay of Plenty venue is a speciality cocktail bar that is all geared up to host your gala dinner. 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 moments from the city centre 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 gala dinner venue, kitted out with all the facilities and add-ons that will ensure that your function is a roaring success.
Image by Bespoke Photography
Longfords Estate is a gala dinner venue that does it all, from corporate to personal dining, in the ever-gorgeous Bay of Plenty. Set on a 2000-acre farm and family-owned since 1937, this versatile gala dinner venue can host anywhere from 160 to 320 guests, perfect for functions of varying sizes and bringing you personalised service that will set your event apart from the crowd. 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. Longfords Estate is the comprehensive Bay of Plenty venue you're looking for, guaranteed to bring your gala dinner a sense of style that few others can achieve.
Image by Trinity Wharf
With crystalline water lapping at the doors, Trinity Wharf is a Bay of Plenty venue that offers flexibility and beauty in equal amounts, with stunning views and stunning service to boot. A 4.5-star hotel, this versatile gala dinner 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 function, including the Pool Houses, Trinity Rooms, Lobby and Exhibition Hall. The rooms 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 every Bay of Plenty gala dinner.
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service
Image by Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service
Do a little something different with Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, a Bay of Plenty venue like few others. Sitting on one of the best beaches in the world, this gala dinner 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 Bay of Plenty. Whether you’re looking to host a modest gala dinner or a sprawling one, Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service can be the ideal venue for you. They also offer catering options, as well as audiovisual equipment and high-speed WiFi to ensure your gala dinner is as refined an affair as possible.
Clarence Hotel & Bistro
Image by Gartshore
This is a boutique hotel in Tauranga that delivers bespoke service with a smile, promising a gala dinner for the ages. Clarence Hotel & Bistro rests within the walls of the Historic Tauranga Post Office. Dating all the way back to the 1900s, this Bay of Plenty gala dinner venue offers up plenty of charm and character. As an event space, they have a specially-designed conference room for your use, versatile and regularly used for conferences, seminars, lectures, meetings and, most importantly, your upcoming gala dinner. 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.
Papamoa Beach Resort
Image by Papamoa Beach Resort
Papamoa Beach Resort is a Bay of Plenty venue that offers a purpose-built space on the manicured grounds of the resort. A stone’s throw away from the ocean, Papamoa Beach Resort’s event space is known as The Deck, offering plenty of facilities and function spaces for your gala dinner, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 100 guests. Their rooms include The Motiti Room, their largest option and kitted out with audiovisual technology for your event, The Lounge, with two fireplaces and an in-house sound system, and The Deck, drenched in sunlight and offering extraordinary views of Papamoa Hills. Papamoa Beach Resort also provides on-site catering, packages for your Bay of Plenty gala dinner, accommodation options, and so much more.
Image by Blue Baths
Established in 1933, Blue Baths was once a bathhouse located in the Government Gardens of Rotorua. 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. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to hosting a gala dinner at this Bay of Plenty venue.
Image by Trustpower Baypark
Trustpower Baypark specialises in conferences, seminars, gala dinners and other large-scale events, located right next to Mount Maunganui Main Beach and offering gorgeous views throughout. With close proximity to Tauranga Airport and, a little further down the line, Rotorua Airport, Trustpower Baypark is here to make your gala dinner as convenient as possible. They have a series of multi-functional rooms for your Bay of Plenty function, from corporate lounges to well-equipped auditoriums, with a maximum capacity of up to 4,400 delegates. Trustpower Baypark can accommodate both indoor and outdoor events, with a natural flow between their well-kept grounds and modern interior. Facilities include high-speed WiFi, audiovisual hire and assistance, on-site catering options, event management, and more. If you’re looking to host a gala dinner of epic proportions, this is the Bay of Plenty venue for you.
Eagle Ridge Estate
Image by Easytour
For an elegant gala dinner, choose Eagle Ridge Estate. Priding themselves as a venue for private functions in Bay of Plenty, this venue hosts cocktail parties, gala dinners, conferences, meetings and everything in between, with a dedicated events management team on hand to help you plan the perfect function. Award-winning and committed to excellence, Eagle Ridge Estate offers both indoor and outdoor settings for your Bay of Plenty event, with their main spaces being The Lodge and Function Centre. Their facilities are seemingly endless, covering everything from audiovisual equipment and servicing to mouthwatering 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 gala dinner a seamless dream.
The Black Barn
Image by Anne Paar Photography
It’ll be something special with The Black Barn, a stylish 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 gala dinner venue that outdoes itself. The venue itself boasts a pebble 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 gala dinners. The Black Barn is one of Bay of Plenty’s favourite venues - and with good reason.
The Yacht Club
Image by Tauranga Yacht Club
Now here’s a waterfront venue that will never let you down: The Yacht Club. Featuring unparalleled 180-degree views of the Tauranga Harbour, looking out at Mauao, Mount Maunganui and Matakana Island, your gala dinner will be the talk of the town at this Bay of Plenty venue. Breathtaking and elegant, this venue can cater for up to 250 guests and is the perfect spot for your Bay of Plenty event. Their main reception is located on the cusp of the waterfront, offering panoramic views of the harbour and creating an effortlessly beautiful backdrop for your function. The Yacht Club has a seasoned team on hand to help you from start to finish, with on-site catering available. Their spaces include the Ocean View Room, Harbour View Room, Mount View Room and Deck; they also have a bar and kitchen on-premises. The Yacht Club is Bay of Plenty’s premier waterfront venue, with unmatched views and service.
Image by Cambridge Raceway
Established in 1919, Cambridge Raceway is a go-to venue in the Bay of Plenty region. Offering a series of event packages, hire items and spaces for your upcoming gala dinner, they know how to go the extra mile for your function. They host everything, from meetings and seminars to, you guessed it, gala dinners 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 gala dinner, including the Skyline Lounge, Presidents’ Lounge, Eastern Lounge, Members’ Lounge, Grandstand, and even their manicured lawns. You’ll be hosting your gala dinner in classic style with this Bay of Plenty venue, fully-equipped to make your night truly unforgettable.
Image by Captured by Tahlia
Modern style and rustic appeal meet at this country-style Bay of Plenty venue. Located in Rotorua off the beaten track, only 15 minutes from the town centre. Tironui is perched on the top of rolling hills on a property purposely restored to host weddings and other functions. The gala dinner venue ensures tranquillity and awe-inspiring views overlooking Lake Rotorua. There is a wide range of superb spaces scattered across the idyllic farmland, if you choose to dine outdoors; the large purpose-built barn space can provide an indoor option for gala dinners of up to 150 guests. If you’re looking for a more intimate spot for your Bay of Plenty gala dinner, Tironui can make it happen. With an enthusiastic and attentive team on hand, they can help you to plan a gala dinner that will knock your socks off.
Waverly on Wairoa
Image by Waverly on Wairoa
A purpose-built venue in Tauranga, Waverly on Wairoa is seated right above the serene waters of the Wairoa River, offering peaceful views and surrounded by the natural beauty of Bay of Plenty. This gala dinner venue features natural polished floors, neutral tones, vast sliding doors and an enormous deck to soak up the sunlight. A handful of minutes from Tauranga’s centre and an hour from Bay of Plenty, Waverly on Wairoa hosts every kind of event, from conferences to gala dinners, equipped with an expert events team to help with the organising of your Bay of Plenty function. They also offer team building activities for you and your guests. Waverly on Wairoa can accommodate anywhere from 60 to 140 guests; their main events space adapts to whatever layout you please. With a commercial kitchen for your caterer’s use, this Bay of Plenty venue is a wonderful option for your upcoming gala dinner.