photos by Papamoa Beach Resort
The Best Bay of Plenty Wedding Venues
by Georgia Burgess | 04 Aug 2020
The Bay of Plenty is a charming coastal region situated on the east coast of New Zealand, the alluring Pacific Ocean lapping its shores. Its boundaries greet the Coromandel Peninsula and stretch 260km down the coast to Cape Runaway. The Bay of Plenty has several striking wedding venues, many of which are coastal and have idyllic seaside views. The Bay of Plenty region is the perfect place to choose if you’re after a New Zealand beach wedding. The region also has many magical garden spaces and boutique barn venues. If you’re after more New Zealand wedding venue inspiration, take a look at our Wellington, Auckland, Queenstown, Dunedin, Hamilton and Christchurch wedding venue guides.
Image by Hilton Taupo
If you're looking for a comprehensive wedding venue framed by awe-inspiring views of Lake Taupo and nature, Hilton is the answer. Built in 1889 and refurbished, this hotel venue 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 spaces for your wedding (reception, ceremony and everything in between), 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 is the ideal Bay of Plenty wedding venue.
Image by Longfords Estate
Longfords Estate is a timeless wedding venue located in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty. This wedding venue will not disappoint. Longford estate is set on Longfords Farm. The farm is 2000 acres with gardens, roses, forests and farmland which looks out onto the crystal blue Lake Okareka. You can say ‘I do’ right next to the magical Lake Okareka in a fairyland forest. A classical country setting, this space can host up to 200 lakeside in their silk marquee. There is also an indoor area where you can hold the dining experience. When you’re ready to put your feet up, take refuge in the estate's accommodation which can sleep up to 12 people in their Shearers Quarters. Longsfords Estate also has suites for the special couple in their estate, so your Bay of Plenty wedding can really have it all.
Black Walnut Venue
Image by Black Walnut Venue
Modern meets garden charm at this Bay of Plenty wedding venue. Black Walnut Venue is a boutique space located in Pahoia, not far from Tauranga. The stand-out at this venue is their modern black barn where the reception can take place, also a great fall back option for the ceremony if the weather does not cooperate. The practical barn can be customised to suit your needs. The venue can accommodate up to 130 in their barn reception space. They have a range of lovely outdoor ceremony options which includes lakes, forests and gardens. Their list of preferred suppliers can cook on-site in their commercial kitchen, so you can take your pick. There is ample parking available and they are experts at organising bus services to pick you up from town. Their wedding expertise will ensure your day flows with ease.
Image by Eagle Ridge
Set hillside in Tauranga farmland, Eagle Ridge has stunning panoramic views. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue has a range of rustic and romantic spaces that your big day can sprawl across. Choose to have your ceremony in one of the fifteen acres, with scenic views capturing Mount Maunganui. They have a country-style building where you can choose to host your reception. You won’t be going hungry either, they have a preferred caterer who can refine the menu perfectly to your taste. You can complete the day with a stay in their lodge or suites, complete with ocean vista views. The charming accommodation options can host up to 16 people. A finalist in the 2019 Hospitality and Customer Service Westpac awards, you can be assured you’re in great hands.
Olive Tree Cottage
Image by Olive Tree Cottage
Olive Tree Cottage is truly a breath of fresh air. Located only 15 minutes from Tauranga’s CBD yet surrounded by secluded farmland and gardens. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue has it all. The Olive Tree Cottage was built in the 1930s and was originally a 3 bedroom Kauri cottage. It has now been restored, but still retains its Kauri beginnings. A large indoor dining space flows out to their permanent silk marquee and modern bar. The Olive Tree Cottage can play host to your wedding ceremony and reception. Or choose to have your ceremony in a range of outdoor spaces and gardens. Get ready to relax, their experienced team will ensure your day runs with ease. Their on-site caterers serve up delicious meals and entrees and some spectacular grazing board options. They warmly welcome viewings, so go see if the Olive Tree Cottage is the one for you today.
Image by Newfound - Tauranga Wedding Photographer
Ataahua translates as beautiful in Māori. A fitting name for this stunning Bay of Plenty wedding venue located in Tauranga. The primary attraction is their gardens; elegant European influence combined with plenty of native bush and flora. These gardens are the perfect place to hold your dream ceremony. Follow with outdoor games or a look around the sprawling garden site. The reception can be pursued in their beautiful marquee, outlined with dainty fairy lights or in an indoor space. Their experienced team can assist with everything from planning to execution. Whatever your style, they can help arrange catering, from food trucks to a three-course seated meal. Ataahua is fully licensed, bar staff and a duty manager are provided. They were voted New Zealand’s top wedding venue by Wild Hearts for a reason. Have your fairytale garden wedding with Ataahua.
Image by Kenrick Rhys Photography
Fountain Gardens is a stunning garden venue located on the outskirts of Tauranga. The gardens are only 20 from Tauranga CBD but you’ll feel as though you’ve escaped city life. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue is streaming with spirit, colourful gardens and native bush fill the large property. You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of garden ceremony options. A classical marquee can host your wedding reception and decorated to your taste. They offer full wedding packages including ceremony, reception and in-house catering. The experienced team at Fountain Gardens can take the hard work off your hands and arrange the perfect wedding day.
Surf and Sand
Image by Surf and Sand
Appropriately named, this beachside wedding venue is the perfect salty and sunny space. Surf and Sand is located on Ohope Beach, tucked away at the end of an 11 km coastal stretch. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue is surrounded by 5 acres of tranquil parklands. Choose to have your ceremony on the beach, where the only sound your vows will be accompanied by is waves crashing. If you aren’t sold on a sandy wedding you can also have your ceremony in the grass park which still overlooks the beach. Reception can take place in a modern marquee in the park, sheltered from the elements and decorated with glittering fairy lights. You’ll be able to enjoy the beachfront scenery the next day too, with Surf and Sand accommodation and the Ohope Top 10 holiday park for any additional guests who wish to stay.
Image by First Table
Flat White is a picturesque beachside wedding venue found at Waihi Beach. The cafe is in the centre of Waihi or a 50-minute drive to Tauranga. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue offers views across to Mayor Island and Mount Maunganui as well as the glistening Pacific Ocean. This reputable cafe and restaurant will book out the Beachfront room for the day and night so you can enjoy the space in private. Say ‘I do’ with the sand under your feet and waves crashing on the shore. After, you can make your way up the dunes to their modern cafe space. Their experienced wedding coordinator can help you craft the day to your dreams. They have a dedicated service team to look after your guests. All the essentials are included in their wedding packages along with some extras like unlimited non-alcoholic punch and a bridal basket with drinks and snacks for offsite bridal photos.
Image by Summer House
The Summer House is a lush outdoors venue set on 3 hectares of gardens and pristine native forest. Located in Welcome Bay, Tauranga this venue is only 12km to the city centre. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue only offers one wedding per weekend so you'll have access to the spot for the entire weekend. The ‘Summer House’ looks out onto the well-kept grounds and is commonly used as a make-up/getting ready room for the big day. Common ceremony spaces include the perfectly manicured lawn, framed by flower gardens. After the ceremony, the fun can continue with plenty of outdoor games. There is a large silk marquee which can seat up to 130 people. An outdoor dance floor and bar area blend effortlessly into their natural surroundings. The venue is BYO and has no corkage charge. They are happy to help arrange on-site catering.
Old Forest School
Image by Old Forest School
Old Forest School is a unique Bay of Plenty wedding venue found 45 minutes from Tauranga, Rotorua or Whakatane. The venue is rich in history. It was developed in the early 1930s as a school for the local community. The school was eventually shut down in the 1980s when it spent the next few years abandoned. With love and hard work, the building was restored and reopened in 2013. It is now a popular wedding and events centre. It’s unique and boutique look has seen it featured in many reputable publications such as Viva, Bride & Groom, Paper & Lace and many more. There are a variety of places where vows can be said including the original schoolhouse or under the enormous Sycamore and Redwood tree. Photo options are endless these include the historic schoolhouse, the cabins, the Tin Shed, Lovelock Lane and the forest. The big barn is a common host to receptions, it has gorgeous white wood interior and looks extra special filled with greenery. Dance under the stars accompanied by hanging lights outside the stables and barn area. There are four historic cabins on-site where the night can be spent.
Ohope Golf Course
Image by Ohope Golf Course
Set your wedding day on the stunning surrounds of the Ohope Golf Course. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue is located in Ohope only 20 minutes from Whakatane town centre. The international golf club is found on a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Ohiwa Harbour. Say your vows in a perfect spot on the manicured golf club grounds; native bush filling every empty nook. The popular wedding venue has a large clubhouse with panoramic views, a great spot to host your reception. Experienced wedding planners will help coordinate your day, with catering staff on hand ready to make your day perfect. The venue hire includes table settings, a music system, golf carts for the photoshoot and much more. If you’re after an effortless and memorable day look no further than Ohope Golf Course.
Image by Fantail Photos
The Elms is a beautiful heritage site located in Te Papa Tauranga. The Bay of Plenty wedding venue is rife with history including heritage buildings and nationally significant collections. A perfect place to hold your big day if you want something traditional and romantic. The historic site is an important part of Tauranga’s history, a place of early contact between Māori and Pākehā. There are many charming spots to exchange your vows including out front of the Georgian house, the chapel, the old school library or under the shade of the Cedar tree. The Elms has a range of vintage buildings to accompany your wedding day reception. The range of spaces means you can guarantee a perfect day even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Your wedding photos won’t be short of inspiration either. Get your forever photos in front of lush forest paths, authentic wooden coach houses and the stunning heritage buildings. A wedding coordinator will help you plan your day on this picturesque site.
Papamoa Beach Resort
Image by Papamoa Beach Resort
Have your dream white sand wedding at Papamoa Beach Resort. They are arguably one of the best beach wedding venues in New Zealand, the 16-acre resort has a great selection of spaces to accommodate all. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue is located twenty minutes from Tauranga city centre. Tie the knot with 180-degree ocean views in one of their many ceremony spaces. Their ceremony options include a classic garden setting, a panoramic hillside spot or under the Pohutukawa trees by the beach. Due to the resort nature of the venue, they can’t hold receptions but the lovely Blue Bi You located next door has an amazing reception space. Their dedicated wedding planner will help your vision become a reality. You won't be short of accommodation options either, they have a range of beachfront villas and bach's perfect for the married couple and the bridal party.
Tauranga Yacht Club
Image by Yachting New Zealand
The iconic Tauranga Yacht Club sits on the end of Sulphur Point onlooking the idyllic Tauranga Harbour. The club has been an important part of boating history with the building being developed in 1924. The refurbished and modern space is now a popular Bay of Plenty wedding venue. Combine practicality with amazing water views in their clubhouse. Views of Matakana Island, Mauao and the Tauranga Harbour will accompany your special day. There is a large deck area for mingling and relaxing. The space is large with a capacity of 300 guests in a canape style. There are small and large spaces which can hold your wedding reception, the clubhouse space is truly a blank canvas ready for you to turn it into the wedding venue of your dreams.
Image by L’Orangerie
L’Orangerie is a French-inspired countryside wedding venue. The charming Bay of Plenty farm is found only 20 minutes from the heart of Tauranga. The wedding venue is nestled in a hundred acres of farmland and native bush. It’s setting a decor to have the ambience of rural France, tastefully decorated with rustic tables, aging beams and vintage accessories. Choose to have your ceremony outdoors surrounded by orange trees and jasmine bushes. The large rustic barn is perfect for the reception, where their collection of rustic tables, historic church pews, old school chairs, vintage plates, glassware and heavy silver cutlery can accessorise your wedding day. The sought after venue only hosts one wedding per week, so you can relax and have plenty of time to organise. The family-run business takes immense pride in hosting weddings, you can be assured the uttermost attention to detail will be paid.
Image by Hamurana Lodge
Hamurana Lodge is a special venue situated on 15 acres of farmland. The lodge is a mere 18 minutes from the city centre of Rotorua. This Bay of Plenty wedding venue is tucked away in the hills of Rotorua with stunning views of Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. It’s proximity to the city means you can indulge in all the other delights Rotorua has to offer such as geothermal hot pools. The farmland is filled with native birds, bush and animals. You can choose to have your ceremony amongst nature or in the classical style lodge. There are great spaces to host your reception inside the traditional building. They have a fully licensed bar and are happy to help organise your wedding day. Of course, you won’t be short of accommodation options either, Hamurana Lodge is a reputable hotel with luxurious packages so you can enjoy the next day too.
Image by Jackson Bright
Host your special day at the art deco Blue Baths. The functioning pools located in the Government Gardens were opened in 1933 and are found in the heart of Rotorua. The Spanish style building has been hosting weddings since its opening in 1933. Choose to host your ceremony and reception in a range of architecturally diverse spaces. The Social Room is located on the upper level accessed via a sweeping wooden staircase. It's fitted with french doors offering panoramic views of the Government Gardens and access to a deck area. The Lido Lounge was previously the adult pool, it has now been filled in but still holds much of its 1930s ambience. The Lido Lounge is an intimate space; a blank canvas awaiting your decoration. There is also a large garden space including rose gardens, a tea house or the Band Rotunda - the opportunities are endless. The sunny space has beautiful lighting for those wedding day snaps. The team at Blue Baths promise to go above and beyond to make your day magical.
Image by Tironui
Modern and rustic combine at this country-style Bay of Plenty wedding venue. Situated 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. The venue ensures tranquillity and awe-inspiring views overlooking Lake Rotorua. There is a range of great ceremony spaces scattered across the idyllic farmland. The large purpose-built barn space can provide a reception area for up to 150 guests. However, there is also a range of smaller spaces should you wish to make your wedding more intimate. They have four main wedding packages which can be altered to suit your style. Their wedding team can help you organise a caterer of your choice and you can BYO alcohol.
Tui Ridge Retreat
Image by Booking
Tui Ridge is a special wedding venue located in the Bay of Plenty. Get back to nature with their large garden and forest grounds, home to many native species. The retreat is only 20 minutes from Tauranga city centre. They have a great selection of ceremony spaces offering views of the Kaimai Ranges. Choose to say your vows in the summer house, under the large oak tree or space with the Kaimai ranges in the background. Tui Ridge is perfect for intimate weddings and can arrange natural outdoor decor and a marquee for the reception. They offer professional wedding organisers who will take care of your day. Their off the grid cabins are reminiscent of childhood tree huts, beautifully crafted with native wood. These huts are the perfect way to complete your special day.
Blue Bi You
Image by Blue Bi You
Why not have your wedding day at your favourite local bistro. Blue Bi You is a beachfront cafe, that is a treasured eatery amongst Bay of Plenty locals. The wedding venue is located on Papamoa Beachfront 20 minutes from central Tauranga. Watch the mesmerising Pacific Ocean as you say your vows and celebrate. The intimate venue can host 70 seated guests. The venue space is upstairs overlooking the ocean and has a modern beach bach feel. The culinary experience is divine, they source local and seasonal produce with a strong focus on seafood. The experienced in-house chef can alter the menu to your preferences. The wedding venue is fully licensed, you can liaise with the team to organise the drinks of your preference.