Best Venues in Wellington for Cocktail Parties

by Luke Ellery | 03 Mar 2020

Cocktails parties are a must on many yearly social calendars. The corporate social calendar is no exception. Show your team how much you appreciate them by throwing a party where they can dress up and enjoy canapes and cocktails. Wellington has several great cocktail venues suitable for large or small events. From oceanside cocktails at the Wharewaka Function Centre to sophisticated morsels at the Academy Galleries, here is our list of the best venues in Wellington for Cocktail Parties. For more venue options, check out our complete guide to Wellington venues here.

Te Papa

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Image by WellingtonNZ

New Zealand's most famous museum has a handful of event spaces perfect for corporate cocktail functions. The surroundings are inspiring and sophisticated, and the venue is easy to access given its landmark status. There are five function spaces available: Te Marae, Oceania, ICON, Amokura Gallery, and Wellington Foyer. This iconic venue has space for up to 1000 people so if you’re leaning towards a large-scale cocktail function, then Te Papa in Wellington could be the perfect venue for you.



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Image by First Choice decorators

The French know how to throw a good party, and Sofitel maintains the well-established tradition of French cordiality. They throw sophisticated events with mouth-watering canapes and luxury interior decor. Sofitel will set the tone for your event, leaving you and your guests to simply enjoy it. The experienced events team at Sofitel will ensure your event surpasses expectations as it elegantly unfolds.  

Intercontinental Hotel

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Image by Intercontinental Hotel Wellington

Intercontinental Hotel in Wellington promises an insider experience. Their team of locals can arrange professional local celebrity speakers, local produce for the catering, and insider information on what to see and where to go in Wellington. They can fit up to 400 people in a cocktail setting inside their Lambton room. Other room options provide space for smaller groups of 20 to 50 guests.


CQ Hotel Wellington

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Image by CQ Hotel

Another one of Wellington’s versatile hotel venues, CQ is in a great location and surrounded by ample parking. One of CQ Hotel’s most useful benefits (particularly regarding cocktail parties) is that its spaces are all air-conditioned and sound-proofed.  That means no overheating on the dance floor, and no concern for noise complaints from neighbours. The Cuba rooms have exposed brick walls and concrete beams which makes the place easy to decorate and on-trend for those after an urban-chic aesthetic.

Wharewaka Function Centre

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Image by Wharewaka Function Centre

Up to 800 guests can enjoy the excellent facilities at the Wharewaka Function Centre. Being a purpose-built event space, Wharewaka has rooms suitable for all sorts of events - cocktail parties are maybe the easiest kind of event to throw (no seating arrangements required) so you can be sure the Wharewaka Function Centre has myriad options for you. This venue is right on Wellington's Queens Wharf, so you can expect some stunning evening views out over the water.

Terrace Conference Centre

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Image by Terrace Conference Centre

This purpose-built conference centre has hosted some of Wellington’s biggest corporate events. Four levels and 14 rooms give you plenty of options for finding the right space for your size and event requirements. Every room has natural light, high-quality sound insulation, client-controlled air conditioning, and wifi. The Terrace Conference Centre venue is fully licenced, so they can fully cater your cocktail function, including the wine and beer.


Michael Fowler Centre

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Image by Expedia

This striking venue in the heart of Wellington has won numerous architecture awards for its innovative design. Michael Fowler Centre is more than a pretty face though, it will not disappoint when it comes to service and corporate hiring. 5 rooms are available for hire in the Micheal Fowler Centre. The largest room (the theatre) seats over 2000 guests, the other four rooms can host between 20 and 1000 in a cocktail setting.


St James Theatre

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Image by Venues Wellington

St James Theatre is a sophisticated venue. First built in 1912, it is currently being refurbished with plans to reopen in 2020. It promises to maintain its old-world elegance but also be able to offer the latest in AV-tech. It is the current home of the Royal New Zealand Ballet (they, unfortunately, don’t come with the venue hire) and is centred in a busy and cultural part of Wellington, near the public art gallery and Wellington’s museum, Te Papa.


The Opera House

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Image by Venues Wellington and Red Pebble Event Design

The Opera House is one of Wellington’s historic landmark buildings that still bears many of its original features including a lavish marble staircase, proscenium arch, domed ceiling, and raked stage. You can find this venue a short walk from Wellington’s famed Cuba Street - the heart of the city’s vibrant nightlife. Be aware, because this venue is a historic building, it does not have an elevator to reach upper floors - accessibility is something you will need to consider if you choose to book with this gem of Wellington.

Academy Galleries

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Image by Wellington NZ

One of Wellington’s venues most suited to a cocktail party, Academy Galleries is a large and flexible space that (as an art gallery) is already impressively decorated. The venue comfortably fits 250 guests in a cocktail setting. The ambience is bound to provoke thought and result in lots of engaging conversation. Its convenient location along the Wellington Waterfront, right beside Te Papa, makes it impossible to miss - your guests will have no trouble finding their way to your event.

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