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The Top Christchurch Garden Venues
by Raashka Mannie | 03 Mar 2020
Besides their tenacity, Christchurch is known as the Garden City - perhaps, in a fitting display, for their ability to flourish no matter the circumstances. There are a number of venues throughout Christchurch and the greater Canterbury Region that make use of their green gardens, full of native flora and fauna, and making for ideal spaces to host events. With agriculture rooted in the very history of Christchurch, it only makes sense that their venues show a similar love for all things green and growing. Below is a list of the best garden venues in Christchurch, from sprawling and urban to quaint and rural. You’re bound to find a garden venue that suits your function just right, but if you’d like to see more options, take a lot at our complete guide to Christchurch venues for hire here.
Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens
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Resting in the middle of Christchurch’s renown Botanic Gardens, Curator’s House sits like a crowning jewel in all its Spanish-inspired glory. With a charming, Tudor-style building, featuring intimate dining rooms and a private garden shrouded in quiet beauty, this Christchurch garden venue outdoes itself. The Botanic Gardens and Avon River frame the space, allowing for exciting options such as the choice to arrive by punt and picture-perfect surroundings. The house features a total of 7 spaces, from The Gold Room to The Garden Courtyard, all available for hire depending on your preferences. Curator’s House can host over 150 guests and offer in-house catering, whether you’re after a three-course meal or canapés for your guests to nibble at as they mingle in the flourishing gardens.
Hagley Park and Gardens
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Hagley Park and Gardens has been the heart of Christchurch since the 1850s, a space for enjoyment and recreation for tourists and locals alike. Extending over 400 acres of mature woodlands and open space, this Christchurch venue comprises North and South Hagley Park, which are separated by Riccarton Avenue and bordered by Deans, Hagley, Rolleston and Harper Avenues. Since the 1900s, Hagley Park and Gardens has been a popular and beautiful option as a garden venue, with facilities for sporting events, barbeques and much more. It also offers several serene walks for your guests to unwind with, whether it’s through the Botanic Gardens or Millbrook Reserve. To find out more about how to host your event at Hagley Park and Gardens, contact Christchurch City Council.
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Ilam Homestead is a garden wedding venue that features famed and protected azalea and rhododendron plantings - sure to provide a vibrant backdrop for your event. They’re tucked away in the grounds of the University of Canterbury and can cater for up to 120 guests. With an array of catering choices, a fully licensed bar, outdoor dining options, an idyllic garden and an open fireplace, this Christchurch garden venue is as lovely as it gets. If you fancy an outdoor function, Ilam Homestead has a marquee option. You can host your event amongst a plethora of flourishing flowers, then dine under the setting sun or head into the much-loved building for a perfectly catered meal by one of their preferred vendors. Ilam Homestead is barely 16 minutes from the centre of Christchurch, and only 12 from the airport. In the midst of their famed garden, they will have your function feeling a million miles away.
Edmonds Factory Gardens
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In 1923, Thomas Thomas Edmonds, the manufacturer of the famous brand of baking powder, commissioned a garden to be built around his factory. This garden was dubbed Edmonds Factory Gardens, a gorgeous space that also doubles a garden venue for outdoor functions. These gardens have been the recipient of several awards over the years, offering 3 spaces for events: The Bluebird Lawn, with a maximum capacity of 100 guests; Back Lawn, with a maximum capacity of 150 guests; and Front Lawn, with a maximum capacity of 30 guests. In between these spaces is a glasshouse, perfect for wandering through and admiring the sprawling gardens further. To find out more about how to host your event at Edmonds Factory Gardens, contact Christchurch City Council.
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Cossars Wineshed is a garden venue that invites you to host your event with them. Their facilities include a gorgeous, high-ceiling dining room with a capacity of 100 guests, a full commercial kitchen for your caterer’s use, a sun-soaked outdoor courtyard, sprawling lawns and rose gardens, as well as a pretty vineyard. Cossars Wineshed prides themselves on their personality and wholesome atmosphere. Their spaces boast wrought-iron chandeliers, terracotta tiled floors, plenty of natural light, a spacious mezzanine floor, a limestone chipped courtyard framed by olive trees, lavender, roses and wisteria, and a renovated barn with a rustic feel and recycled rimu floors. There are 3 separate choices for your event space with Cossars Wineshed, each as lovely as the last, from a French-styled reception hall to the sublime courtyard for an outdoor function.
Links Function & Events
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Links Function & Events was recently constructed at the acclaimed Christchurch Golf Club and opened in 2016. This venue sports floor to ceiling glass and boasts panoramic views of the Shirley Links golf course, coupled with French doors for a seamless flow of indoor/outdoor activity at your conference. They can accommodate up to 230 guests, with the Charles Gallery just upstairs for a breakaway space or more intimate meetings. This modern space is flooded with natural light and also has the latest technology, including temperature control, lighting, automatic blinds, complimentary WiFi and audiovisual technology. Links Function & Events has an on-site bar for your convenience and impeccable catering facilities, with many catering options for your conference. Additionally, Links Café is nearby and available for exclusive hire after 6 pm, with a locally-sourced menu.
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Chateau on the Park by Hilton is settled on 5 acres of beautiful property, complete with a moat, its very own vineyard and a gorgeous rose garden. It gives the illusion of a faraway venue with all the privacy in the world; in reality, it’s barely 3km from the centre of Christchurch. There are 9 spaces within this luxurious hotel: Great Room 1, Great Room 2 and Great Room 3 (all of which can be combined to accommodate for up to 340 guests), as well as Camelot, Tower Room, Ballantyne, Boardroom, Turret Room and The Den Bar Lounge. Hilton is renowned for their attention to detail, professionalism and elegance, making it a premier garden venue option in Christchurch.
Mona Vale Homestead
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Mona Vale Homestead specialises in hosting incredible functions with a personal touch. After a $3.2 million rebuild, Mona Vale Homestead reopened its doors in 2016 and has since bloomed into one of Christchurch’s premier garden venues. The Victorian building has been restored to its former prestige, settled on 5.5 hectares of garden park. Choose to have your event in the building itself, with canapés and flutes of champagne on the patio, or make your way over to Iris Lawn, right beside the sparkling Avon River for a special event in their marquee. Mona Vale Homestead also offers in-house catering, with a canapés menu, seated choice menu and platter-style menu for you to choose from. Their catering team has over 50 years’ experience, known all over Christchurch and Canterbury for their incredible dishes and attention to detail. As an added bonus, they have the options of including lawn games for your guests, from croquet and quoits to giant Jenga.
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Set alongside a vineyard, Hinton’s is a family-owned garden venue that excels in creating a quaint atmosphere that is ideal for intimate dinners, cocktail parties and much more. It has two venues to choose from: the Tasting Room, for smaller gatherings, with a more rustic, cosy feel; and the Villa, able to host up to a 100 guests and offering a unique and charming setting for an event with its rolling gardens. The Villa was built in early 1920 and has since been restored, with grapevine views and acres of green grass. Additionally, Hinton’s specialises in their choice of wines and have an award-winning selection to recommend.
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Riccarton House features 30 acres of sprawling park grounds and is mere minutes from the centre of Christchurch. Originally built in 1856, it’s considered a heritage homestead and is decidedly flexible when it comes to hosting events. Choose indoors or outdoors (or both!) to host your function, with marquee and lawn options open to you. From the Rose Garden Courtyard to the Marquee Lawn, Riccarton House has a space for your event no matter the size. You might even want to have your event in the centre of native bush, surrounded by 600-year-old Kahikatea trees. Inside, Riccarton House has open fireplaces and a host of spaces for a warmer function during the winter, flowing from the entrance hall to the dining room. They also have on-site catering, with their team taking inspiration from the local farmer’s market and bringing a touch of local Christchurch joy to your function’s menu.
Trent’s Estate Vineyard
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A dreamy garden venue in Christchurch, Trent’s Estate Vineyard is set amongst grapevines and paddocks, a stone’s throw from the city and yet in a world of its own. The venue features a whitewashed Mediterranean-style historic building (lovingly restored over the years to maintain ambience and tradition), a sheltered lawn, bubbling fountain, conservatory, Victorian-style gazebo and pond - all the essentials in creating an inspired function, from dinners to cocktail parties. Trent’s Estate Vineyard is also a fully licensed and fully catered venue, but do have BYO options for flexibility. A single acre of the venue remains a vineyard, so you and your guests should feel free to stroll through the grounds to admire everything they have to offer. The hiring of Trent’s Estate Vineyard means exclusive use of the entire premises, with add-ons such as glassware, crockery and more.
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Located in Prebbleton, a mere 11km from Christchurch central, Pemberton Gardens is a private Christchurch venue that sports established gardens, an outdoor courtyard and a pagoda. Choose from a host of options for your event space, with lush grounds and a large reception area. They can accommodate up to 250 guests, with a purpose-built pavilion, wheelchair access, commercial kitchen, and an expansive stage and dance floor. Included in the hiring of Pemberton Gardens is tables and chairs, linen, crockery and cutlery, glassware, a high-tech PA system, as well as cleaning of the venue. There are also several nearby accommodation options to choose from, beverage packages and preferred caterers for your consideration.
The Vines Club
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A short drive from Christchurch and an even shorter one from the airport, The Vines Club is a secluded garden venue that promises ease and comfort. Choose from their set packages for your event, or talk to them about tailoring one to suit your needs. Packages include audiovisual equipment and set-up, personalised event tailoring and planning, complimentary WiFi and bespoke catering. They have a capacity of 100 delegates and specialise in training days, product launches, seminars and meetings. With 5 acres of perfectly landscaped gardens and all the privacy in the world, The Vines Club is the ideal venue for productivity and networking at your next Christchurch event.
Old Stone House
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Widely considered a Christchurch landmark, Old Stone House is at the foot of the Cashmere Hills. It was originally built in 1870 and was fully restored after the earthquake, reopened in early 2018 for functions and community use. Able to host up to 100 guests, Old Stone House is immersed in heritage gardens, with immaculate lawns and a comfortable indoor/outdoor flow. Inside, the Old Stone House features a main function room and a mezzanine level for use, available for exclusive hire; the outdoor space is a public reserve that cannot be sanctioned off for private use but is expansive enough that you will have a sense of seclusion. Old Stone House is a garden venue with a lot of character and old-school charm.
Christchurch Park Function & Event Centre
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Modern facilities located on 4 hectares of beautifully manicured grounds, Christchurch Park Function & Event Centre is a venue that offers itself up for all kinds of corporate events. Their function centre can accommodate 2 to 250 guests, with a dedicated boardroom, main hall for gala dinners, cocktail parties and the like, many breakout rooms, a restaurant and bar, as well as green lawns for garden events, this Christchurch venue is close to the airport, pier and other convenient hotspots in the city. Venue hire includes audiovisual equipment and assistance, as well as on-site catering options and an events team to help you with planning and organising your event. Christchurch Park Function & Event Centre was originally designed to be an accommodation and training venue for sports teams, and so features a high level of comfort, accessibility and functionality.
Omarino Wine Park
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On the outskirts of Christchurch is Omarino Wine Park: an award-winning garden that also doubles as a spacious and spectacular venue. This Christchurch garden venue spans across 20 acres of verdant grapevines and expertly maintained gardens, with a large, modern function space on-site. Omarino Park is the largest winery venue in Christchurch, with a seating capacity of 200 guests a cosy atmosphere as a result of their secluded location. Omarino Wine Park serves award-winning wines, features an elegant banquet room, hardwood deck overlooking the sprawling vineyard, as well as a number of catering options for your function. Their team is committed to making your event as special as you’d imagined it, with all the fine details taken care of. They’re happy to tailor functions to your tastes, from the menu to the styling of the venue.