Best Auckland Venues for Cocktail Functions
by Luke Ellery | 09 Nov 2018
The venue can make or break your cocktail function. A poorly structured layout can affect sound quality, food accessibility, and mingling potential. Auckland has a number of incredible venues for cocktail functions that can cater to lux, chic, quirky, and traditional events. No matter the number of guests or the time of day you want your cocktail function to be, one of these 18 cocktail function venues will serve you just right. You can thank us later for helping you narrow down the search.
1. Auckland Art Gallery
Image sourced from Auckland Art Gallery
Auckland Art Gallery is an iconic landmark of the CBD. It is a venue that is bound to set the tone for a night of style and creativity. A number of spaces are available within the gallery including the Lower Grey Gallery, the Mackelvie Gallery, the East Terrace, and the North Atrium.
2. Auckland Museum
Image sourced from Auckland Museum
The museum event space can host around 500 people in a cocktail setting. The best of all is that, during or after your event, you and your guests can explore selected museum exhibits after hours! The Museum's Maori cultural performers can also put on a private show for you if arranged in advance. If your cocktail function is one that needs to represent a sophisticated crowd, then the museum might be the perfect function space for it.
3. Chancery Rooftop Chambers
Image sourced from Chancery Chambers
The terrace is a combination of decking, pebble, and on trellis gardens. It features a gazebo which looks amazing adorned with festoon lighting. Hiring the Rooftop Terrace includes the Norman Shieff meeting room which opens onto the terrace through two sets of French doors. Also included is the use of another small meeting room with a kitchen and plenty of space for storage. The outdoor terrace comes with outdoor furniture, sun umbrellas, and heaters. It’s the perfect venue for a more relaxed, summer, evening cocktail function.
Image sourced from Cordis Auckland
If you’re thinking of throwing a large scale private cocktail event, then Cordis might be a favoured option. They can host cocktail events for up to 860 people. Their world-class catering is sure to leave your guests feeling treated. Cordis is also an award-winning Auckland hotel, so for any of your guests who take the “cocktail” part of a cocktail party too seriously, there is a place for them to safely stay – no need to worry about late night transport, or dangerous drivers.
5. Crowne Plaza
Image sourced from Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza has been proudly awarded ‘Auckland’s Leading Business Hotel’ 3 years running. So, if your cocktail party is a company-wide, end of year event, you might feel more comfortable knowing that Crowne Plaza is a favourite among the corporate crowd. They can host cocktail parties for up to 460 people in their Ballroom or as little as 20 in their Wellesley venue.
6. Ellerslie Event Centre
Image sourced from My Guide Auckland
Only a 10-minute drive from Auckland centrally located right on a motorway on-ramp, the Ellerslie Event Centre is super easy to get to. It has plenty of on-site parking for the mocktail drinkers and taxis, and it can host up to 1200 people depending on your needs. The view over the Ellerslie Racecourse is indeed a sight to behold. The on-site Ellerslie Event Centre catering team ensure a flawless execution. Rest assured your guests will be blown away by the quality of drinks and canapes on offer at your cocktail function.
7. Fale Pasifika Complex at the University of Auckland
Image sourced from E-tangata
An absolutely inspired design created by 7 artists, academics, and architects each with a deep connection to Pacific cultures. The building is a cultural and spiritual centre for the Pacific communities at the University of Auckland. This absolutely stunning building is available for hire. Perfect for a cocktail night with international guests, to show them a little taste of New Zealand’s strong connection to the many cultures of the Pacific. The building is of utmost importance to the University of Auckland, and in turn to the Academic community in Auckland. Therefore, It is an equally appropriate venue for an academic event – perhaps a cocktail function to celebrate the close of a seminar series.
Image sourced from Hilton Auckland
Hilton Auckland is an iconic feature of the Auckland City Skyline, and its convenient location to some of Auckland’s hottest nightlife spots make it perfect for a cocktail party that you secretly hope will have an epic after-party. The luxury hotel offers world-class catering and drink options, as well as some of the best views of the Auckland harbour.
9. Millennium Hotel
Image sourced from Booking.com
The Pool Deck at Millennium Hotel is maybe the most Hollywood venue we can think of in the Auckland Region. Picture it, you and 149 guests enjoying a complimentary welcome cocktail, walking along the open air deck with breathtaking views of the CBD and lounging chairs lining a warm crystal clear swimming pool – straight out of the movies. The Pool Deck isn’t the only cocktail venue space available at this central Auckland hotel. Their entire event floor can host up to 1000 guests.
Image sourced from MOTAT
The aviation hall, with one of the world's most unique aviation displays, has hosted a handful of our nation’s most prestigious events. Hosting your cocktail event here would mean that you’d be among some very prestigious company. Drink, eat, and socialise under the nose of the Avro Lancaster Bomber before taking your guests down the runway, complete with custom lighting, to witness the impressive Sunderland flying boat. This space can cater for up to 500 guests in cocktail style arrangement.
11. Naumi Hotel (The Razzle Dazzle Room and The Marquee)
Image sourced from Naumi Hotel
The double height ceiling adds a touch of drama to this quirky space which can host up to 150 guests. The Razzle Dazzle room has private access and massive double doors which ensures you plenty of privacy. High-end audiovisual equipment and high-speed wifi are just a few of the amenities provided by the team at Naumi Hotel.
For a more boho feel to your event, consider Naumi Hotel’s Marquee. The permanent marquee structure has lots of lush greenery and natural light which makes it perfect for a summery cocktail event for up to 100 guests.
12. Pullman Auckland
Image sourced from Pullman Auckland
Top of The Town is Pullman Auckland’s stunning top floor function space with panoramic views of Auckland central. It can host a maximum of 120 people in a cocktail setting, and every single one of them is certain to be blown away by the breathtaking views in all directions. If you’re hosting a larger gathering (like a massive gathering), The Pullman Auckland has one of the largest event spaces of any Auckland hotel, the Princes Ballroom can host up to 1000 people in a single space.
13. Rydges Rooftop Terrace
Image by Amoma
Rydges Rooftop Terrace is an iconic Auckland venue that has been used for everything from 21st birthdays to Weddings. The reason it is so widely used is quite simply because it is so darn cool up there. The incredible view out toward the harbour bridge, and the fact the Rydges event staff are so onto it – everything is always executed flawlessly – makes the Rooftop Terrace an ideal venue for any kind of cocktail event. Their guest capacity is 150 but even if you pack that many in, it will feel like you have plenty of space. The glass surrounds, and open-air corners give the space a feeling of openness that is hard to cramp up.
14 & 15. Queens Wharf (Shed 10 & The Cloud)
Image by Auckland Live
Auckland Live manages these two strikingly juxtaposed venues on Queen’s Wharf. Shed 10, an old industrial urban structure built in 1910 – the only original building still remaining on Queen’s Wharf. And just across to the left is The Cloud, a modern work of art and architecture physically embodying the image of a cloud. The Cloud was constructed in 2011 and it was intended to be a temporary structure and fan-zone for the Rugby World Cup. The two buildings have since become iconic features of Auckland and are both popular and versatile function spaces. Tech companies, banks, and tertiary institutions have all used the venue to host massive annual cocktail functions. Since the spaces are largely empty, they are great blank canvases for you to design the perfect event.
16. Sky City
You’d be hard-pressed to find an Aucklander who hasn't heard of – or been to – this iconic Auckland venue. With two levels of function rooms, bars, restaurant, a convention centre and a 700-seat theatre, I’m sure your cocktail party will easily find a home somewhere in this massive convention centre. Sky City hosts some of Auckland’s leading entertainment, so a benefit of hosting a cocktail party here is that there will be plenty to do before and after your event.
17. Glasshouse Morningside
Proposed view of Glasshouse Morningside
Not officially open yet, this incredible greenhouse-style venue is a perfect little oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a stunning glass house filled with bespoke furniture and lush greenery that can host around 400 guests in a cocktail setting. Glasshouse Morningside is the perfect venue for a daytime cocktail function, enjoying the green space, entirely lit with natural light. Having partnered with some of the best caterers in Auckland, this venue can create a menu to suit your individual taste or thematic needs. Watch this space. Glasshouse Morningside will be opening soon and it is certain to become an Auckland hotspot.
18. The Grid
Image sourced from Co worker.com
GridAKL Lysaght Building is a modern, fully equipped cocktail venue that can host up to 150 people. By day it functions as a co-working space and hub for the Auckland tech start-up community. By night, it can be hired by you! Although everyone is welcome to apply to hire the Grid, the Grid team are more likely to accept your application request if your event is tailored toward connecting, informing, educating and inspiring the tech and startup community in Auckland.
19. The Orange
Image sourced from The Orange
A historic events centre; The Orange was a purpose-built event and function hall that was opened in 1923. Since then it has hosted thousands of events. It was at it’s most popular in the 1940s when lines to enter the dance hall would reportedly stretch all the way down Newton Rd. Something was clearly done right because The Orange is still entirely relevant. Timeless brick walls, exposed wooden beams, a lofty ceiling, and a sprung wooden dance floor give the venue an urban chic appearance which has become an extremely popular style for many function spaces to emulate.