photos by BarUp

Best Queenstown Venues for Cocktail Parties

by Raashka Mannie | 03 Dec 2019

When going through your cocktail party checklist, one of the top priorities is choosing a venue most suited to the event. It all depends on the venue’s size, location and, most notably, ambience. Queenstown, famed for its picture perfect surroundings and the shimmering waters of Lake Wakatipu, offers a wide selection of cocktail party venues, from casual and colourful to sleek and modern. We have gathered the most outstanding ones to present a list of 11 of the best Queenstown venues for cocktail parties. For a complete list on Queenstown venues, check out our list here.


1/ Little Blackwood

Image by Little Blackwood

Queenstown’s best cocktails abound, Little Blackwood sits on the very edge of Lake Wakatipu and is a classic bar and eatery. With gorgeous views of the Remarkables and the world famous Steamer Wharf at their doorstep, it offers a contemporary backdrop for a cocktail party. Include the heated deck in your event and Little Blackwood is able to host up to 100 of your guests, with the option of live music and fine dining alongside a roaring fireplace within the heart of the venue. Little Blackwood is a unique, customisable space and is happy to dedicate their team to help plan your ideal cocktail party.


2/  BarUp

Image by BarUp

BarUp is a sophisticated cocktail lounge above Searle Lane, equipped with an open fireplace and wide, outdoor balcony. In the midst of Queenstown, this cocktail venue is available for private hire and offers catering, promotional staff, DJs/music and more for your event. A hidden gem of the Queenstown nightlife, BarUp’s specialities reside with their cocktails, superb menu and extensive back bar collection of fine wines, beers and liquors.


3/ QT Queenstown

Image by QT Queenstown

With breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, QT Queenstown is a luxury boutique hotel that pride themselves on being a contemporary option for luxury and convenience. Their fully-served spaces for cocktail parties and events are away from the hubbub, with bespoke packages and menus to suit any and all of your needs. There are 12 different rooms within QT Queenstown to choose from, and a team dedicated to event planning and management. From the cosy and chic Wakatipu Room, ideal for breakouts or smaller meetings, to the stylish and open Bazaar, able to accommodate up to 175 guests, QT Queenstown is a perfect choice for a cocktail party.


4/ Matakauri Lodge

Image by Roberston Lodges

Experience the mountains with Matakauri Lodge, a luxurious venue that overlooks the Remarkables, Cecil and Walter Peak. Able to host up to 60 guests, Matakauri Lodge offers 4 different event rooms and a varied selection of on-site dining options, alongside handcrafted programmes and a team with impeccable taste and planning. They are an idyllic and relaxing space for a cocktail party, with unmatched views and a wealth of experience in professional event management. Matakauri Lodge is a scenic 25-minute drive from the airport, resting shortly from the city centre and at the cusp of Lake Wakatipu.


5/ Millbrook Resort

Image by TripAdvisor

A breezy 15-minute drive from the airport, Millbrook is an award-winning 5-star resort that offers class and convenience in one sparkling package. They have a dedicated and experienced events team to help plan your entire cocktail party from head to toe, with 7 different event rooms to choose from to be hired exclusively. Surrounded by 500 acres of open space and the stunning vista of Queenstown itself, Millbrook Resort will tailor your cocktail party to your requirements and is able to host up to 285 guests.


6/ The World Bar

Image by The World Bar

The World Bar, home of the teapot cocktail and good times, sits within the heart of Queenstown and is a 20-minute drive from the airport. They have an ‘events guru’ that is dedicated to planning and organising your cocktail party, and are known for their hospitality and warmth. The World Bar offers 2 separate spaces for events: The Shed, a unique and charming throwback to the days past, able to host up to 45 guests; and The Garden, a sprawling space ideal for unwinding any time of the year. They are able to create bespoke menus for your cocktail party, and even offer on-site accomodation in a stunning apartment (The Hide) overhead if needed.


7/ Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa

Image by Trivago

With modern, classic spaces, a lakefront location and excellent service, Hilton Queenstown is a natural choice for a cocktail venue. A 5-star hotel with a host of 6 different event spaces, able to accommodate up to 240 guests, Hilton Queenstown also offers a wide outdoor terrace space to take in the breathtaking views of the alpines and lake. Hilton Queenstown is located a mere 5-minutes from the airport and 8-minutes from the city centre, making it as convenient as it is glamorous. Pick between the smaller, cosier Coronet Rooms for intimate cocktail parties, or branch out into a more fabulous and larger gathering with the Milford Room. No matter the size of your event, Hilton Queenstown can cater to you.


8/ Pier Restaurant & Bar

Image by Pier Restaurant & Bar

Pier Restaurant & Bar sits on Steamer Wharf, priding themselves on being a blend of the modern and the old to settle somewhere in between as a comfortable and unique mix for your cocktail party. Able to cater to over 200 guests, Pier boasts the largest outside dining area in all of Queenstown with the Remarkables serving as a spectacular backdrop to it all. Their team is both professional and friendly, committed to making your event planning all the easier, and are happy to help you every step of the way.


9/ Skyline Queenstown

Image by Skyline Queenstown

Take in the view from above with Skyline Queenstown, able to claim the title of the most magnificent views in all of Queenstown. They are able to cater for up to 900 guests, with a seasoned and professional team, as well as on-site catering and a fine selection of wines. Skyline Queenstown is a 30-minute drive from the Queenstown airport. They offer tailored packages for all occasions, including cocktail parties, and even permit full complex closure for exclusive events. With the stunning vista that Skyline Queenstown offers, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the premier venue options for cocktail parties.


10/ Moonlight Country

Image by Moonlight Country

Moonlight Country is one of New Zealand’s leading alpine resorts. 15-minutes from Queenstown on the main road, 9-minutes from Arrowtown and 8-minutes from the airport, it is located amidst the lush beauty of Queenstown with a wealth of natural history. Its purpose-built venue, The Barn, is a perfect venue for a cocktail party with its ability to host up to 280 guests within the venue itself, and 600 with the addition of a marquee. They also offer off-site venue options in Arrowtown and within the resort’s land itself, with carefully chosen themes and menus for your event. Moonlight Country has a host of fun and exciting packages to thrill you and your guests, all amongst the beauty of nature.


11/ 1876

Image by 1876

In a historic building in Queenstown, a former Magistrate’s Court, 1876 is a bar with a relaxed and open vibe that makes for a lovely venue for a cocktail party that you and your guests can unwind at. With a dazzling menu, full bar, sun deck and garden bar, 1876 is a popular choice for event hosting. They’re located within the heart of the city and have a team happy to cater to your event, with the option of bespoke menus and both indoor and outdoor dining depending on your requirements. 140 years in the making, 1876 is a venue with all the charming history of Queenstown that can lend your cocktail party a unique edge.

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