Best Auckland Venues for Cocktail Functions
by Luke Ellery | 18 Feb 2020
The venue can make or break your cocktail function. A poorly structured layout can affect sound quality, food accessibility, and mingling potential. Auckland has several 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. If you're looking for other options, check out our complete guide to Auckland venues here.
Image by Glasshouse
This incredible greenhouse-style venue is a perfect little oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a stunning glasshouse filled with bespoke furniture and lush greenery that can host around 400 guests in a cocktail setting. Glasshouse in 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 taste or thematic needs.
Image by 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.
Image by 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.
Image by Tuning Fork
Part of the famed Spark Arena, Tuning Fork is an Auckland cocktail venue for hire that is as flexible as it is charming. It has a distinctly exclusive air to it with its 'behind-the-scenes' atmosphere and dim lighting. It has a maximum capacity of 200 guests (cocktail-style) and offers both audiovisual assistance and on-site catering options. The Tuning Fork is mostly a live music venue that doubles as a bistro, so it's doing triple the amount of work by also acting as one of Auckland's coolest cocktail venues. The walls are adorned with signed memorabilia from some of the world’s leading artists and the venue is directly connected to Spark Arena, so it comes with some of the most professional staff around.
The Grounds at Whoa! Studios
Image by The Grounds at Whoa! Studios
The Grounds at Whoa! Studios is a modern and purpose-built venue, perfect for cocktail functions. Choose to host your cocktail event at this Auckland venue, located only 15 km from the CBD and 30 km from the airport. With plenty of natural light, an expansive outdoor space and a restaurant, The Grounds at Whoa! Studios is a wonderful cocktail venue option in Auckland. They offer on-site catering options and have a dedicated team that is available to help you make sure that your cocktail party runs exactly as planned.
Image by 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.
Image by Wandabar
Choose to host your cocktail function with Wandabar, an exclusive space that will leave you and your guests feeling as VIP as it gets. Tucked away in the very heart of the city, this Auckland venue is found through the wonder of Cassette Nine, equipped with a private bar and DJ for your cocktail party. With bespoke drinks and dinner menus, Wandabar is a venue that does exclusive like none other, able to host up to 50 lucky guests. If you're looking to expand on that number, you can choose to expand into the main booths. Wandabar is one of Auckland's best-kept secrets, sure to offer your cocktail event a sense of exclusivity like few others.
Image by 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.
Image by Parlour
Parlour thrives off exclusivity and intrigue, with a shabby chic and speakeasy character designed to let your guests unwind - perfect for a cocktail function. Located in the heart of Auckland City, this venue specialises in intimate gatherings of no more than 30 to 40 guests, ensuring that your cocktail night is as VIP as it gets. Their staff is professional and poised, here to ensure that your Auckland event runs as smoothly as possible, offering everything from on-site catering to custom-made cocktails to highlight your night. With audiovisual equipment on hand, Parlour also makes for a great venue for more relaxed events. You and your guests can nibble on canapés in the middle of bustling Auckland City in one of the coolest venues around, available for both partial and private hire.
Image by 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.
Auckland Art Gallery
Image by 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. Several spaces are available within the gallery including the Lower Grey Gallery, the Mackelvie Gallery, the East Terrace, and the North Atrium.
Chancery Rooftop Chambers
Image by Chancery Chambers
The terrace is a combination of decking, pebble, and 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.
Ellerslie Event Centre
Image by 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 flawless execution. Rest assured your guests will be blown away by the quality of drinks and canapes on offer at your cocktail function.
Fale Pasifika Complex at the University of Auckland
Image by E-tangata
An 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 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 by Booking.com
The Pool Deck at the 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 by 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 a cocktail style arrangement.
Image by 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.
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.
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 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.
Image by 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.
Image by Coworker.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.
Image by 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.