photos by BarUp
Best Queenstown Venues for Cocktail Parties
by Raashka Mannie | 31 Mar 2023
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 of Queenstown venues, check out our list here.
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QT Queenstown is a bedtime story that turned out to be true. An impeccably styled lakeside heaven with a little added quirk, the award winning hotel venue surrounds you with Wakatipu’s visual magic. Renowned for hosting distinguished events, QT Queenstown presents world-class spaces, facilities, catering and accommodation, at QT Queenstown you’ll be dreaming big.
Image by QT Queenstown
QT Queenstown is an impressive hotel venue with elevated views of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding mountain ranges. Indulge in world-class catering, high-end facilities, opulent spaces and luxury accommodations at QT. Hosting anywhere from 10 to 450 guests, QT Queenstown provides a glorious backdrop for your cocktail party.
Image by The Winehouse
Snug and modern, The Winehouse is a restored villa that plays host to a number of exciting cocktail functions in Queenstown. With croquet lawns, a beautiful pavilion basking in the sun just a short stroll away, The Winehouse offers incredible garden views and mountain air to invigorate you and your guests. The Winehouse as a function space includes a range of activities, packages and services, with friendly staff and on-site catering options for your cocktail function. They offer exclusive use of the venue for up to 260 of your guests, as well as in-house design and planning to make your cocktail party even simpler to organise. If required, audiovisual equipment can be hired and set up at your request.
Cloudy Bay Shed
Image by Cloudy Bay Shed
The intimate cocktail night you've been wanting to host can come true at Cloudy Bay Shed. Based in Cromwell, this is actually the latest Cloudy Bay Tasting Room presented in modern style. Sleek, chic and entertaining up to 60 guests, this Queenstown venue is here to make a statement on behalf of your cocktail party. They offer sublime catering options, a curated selection of drinks, on-site parking and more. The team at Cloudy Bay Shed are consummate professionals, helping you to put together effortless functions in the heart of the country's wine region. During the warmer months, this Queenstown venue offers Jack's Raw Bar, a lovely outdoor garden restaurant, for your use. If you're after more tailor-made experiences at your cocktail night, you can book private tastings, vineyard tours and more to make things extra memorable.
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 can 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.
Highlands Motorsport Park
Image by Highlands Motorsport Park
Highlands Motorsport Park is a cocktail venue that offers so much fun to be had. Located in Central Otago, it's versatile, entertaining both outdoor and indoor cocktail events. Not only do they offer themselves up as a cocktail venue, but also as a hotspot for fun activities and outings. As a venue, Highlands Motorsport Park 6 available spaces to hire: the Pit Lane Function Room, Private Members lounge, Museum, a breezy balcony, café and marquee option. They can host anywhere from 20 to 300 guests, making them an ideal choice for cocktail parties. With on-site catering options and plenty of parking, this Queenstown venue makes itself exceptional - especially when you take in all the recreational activities they have to offer. Make your cocktail party unforgettable with Highlands Motorsport Park.
TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak
Image by TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak
Host a fabulous cocktail party with TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak, an event space quite unlike any other. This iconic century-old vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, is a wonderful and unusual space for any cocktail function. You can cruise around Queenstown, experiencing Alpine scenery from every breathtaking angle, and then anchor down at the gorgeous Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak High Country Farm. TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak can accommodate a maximum of 400 guests (cocktail-style), permitting exclusive hire for your Queenstown cocktail event. They offer private rooms, multiple dining experiences, on-site catering, transport options and so much more. For a truly incredible cocktail event, TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak is available for hire.
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.
Image by QT Hotel
With breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, QT Queenstown is a luxury boutique hotel that prides itself 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 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.
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.
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 can create bespoke menus for your cocktail party, and even offer on-site accommodation in a stunning apartment (The Hide) overhead if needed.
Image by New Zealand Weddings Magazine
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 can host up to 285 guests.
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.
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.
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.
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.