photos by Te Pae
Christchurch Venues for Hire - The Complete Guide
by Raashka Mannie | 20 Mar 2020
Christchurch is a magnet for tourists and locals alike throughout New Zealand. Known for its beauty and urban appeal, it has recently undergone a makeover that makes it all the more exciting. With architecture blending the old and new, bustling city life and so much more, it’s no wonder that it’s a hotspot for top-tier venues and events alike. Host events at landmark venues that celebrate the culture of Christchurch, or choose modern spaces for your conference, gala dinner or cocktail party. No matter the event type, Christchurch has a venue to accommodate it.
Image by Te Pae
Opening in 2020, Te Pae will be a fifteen-minute drive from the airport and feature as a landmark venue for Christchurch. Surrounded by greenery and flowing water right beside the Ōtākaro Avon River, this purpose-built events centre aims to connect and inspire. Te Pae will host up to a stunning 2000 guests, with a tiered auditorium able to accommodate 1400 delegates in total. There will be an exhibition room that comfortably fits up to 200 booths and will be as malleable as required for the function being hosted. On top of that, Te Pae will feature a total of 24 meeting rooms of varying sizes, each with their own purpose and atmosphere. Te Pae is to be a testament to Christchurch and its people.
Air Force Museum of New Zealand
Image by Idealog
Elegance and tradition are one at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, with the compelling backdrop of history as the undertone for any event hosted at this Christchurch venue. A quick 15 minutes from central Christchurch and surrounded by the historic Wigram Air Force Base, they have 7 spaces to choose from and a maximum capacity of up to 1000 of your guests. This venue is a blank slate on which to model your event, with several breakout areas and meeting rooms for your delegates to use at their convenience. Outside, there are 37 hectares of flat land for outdoor venue options, awarding you with all the more choice for your Christchurch event.
Isaac Theatre Royal
Image by NZ International Comedy Festival
In the middle of the bustling Christchurch, Isaac Theatre Royal offers its classic decor and modern facilities for any of the spaces within it for your next Christchurch event. With full bar facilities and amazing catering choices, Isaac Theatre Royal adds its natural charm and quirkiness to any it hosts. Accommodating up to a whopping 1290 guests, this Christchurch venue knows how to do grand as well as it does intimate, with 5 rooms to choose from: the full Auditorium, Auditorium Stage, Gloucester Room, Dress Circle Foyer and Grand Circle Foyer. Each space has its own character and offers its own history (which Isaac Theatre Royal is simply filled with), from the sumptuous elegance of Dress Circle Foyer to the purpose-built functionality of Gloucester Room with its very own kitchenette and servery.
Christchurch Town Hall
Image by Christchurch City Council
A heritage feature of Christchurch that has been lovingly restored over several years, Christchurch Town Hall offers a riverside backdrop and 6 different spaces to choose from with a staggering maximum capacity of 2250 guests. Douglas Lilburn Auditorium is the largest space within the venue, with state-of-the-art acoustics and flexible configurations, making it perfect for anything from gala dinners to massive seminars. For smaller events, the Limes and Avon Rooms are perfect, overlooking the Avon River and providing gorgeous views of the water. Christchurch Town Hall is made for events, no matter the type, with malleable spaces that can stand alone or blend into one as breakout rooms. Their facilities include soundproofing and audiovisual equipment, including automatic blinds, a high-end sound system and so much more.
Hagley Oval Pavilion
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Hagley Park is popular with both tourists and locals alike. Nestled within the heart of it is Hagley Oval Pavilion, with clear views of Canterbury’s premier cricket ground, complimentary WiFi, modern settings, and an abundance of natural light. There are 3 main spaces at Hagley Oval Pavilion to choose from for your event: the Function Lounge, Players Dining Room and The Studio, with a maximum capacity of 280 delegates and a contemporary feel throughout. As if you weren’t already spoilt for choice, there are also 4 breakout rooms for your use, able to host up to 30 guests. Hagley Oval Pavilion is known for its state ultra-modern facilities, including lighting, automatic blackout options, temperature control and audiovisual technology.
Addington Raceway and Events Centre
Image by Christchurch City Council
Originally constructed in the 1930s, Addington has long since expanded into a venue with professional and thorough events management, superior in-house catering and an experienced technical production team. Mere minutes from Christchurch CBD, this venue can and does host any type of event, from trade shows and expos to conferences and meetings. There are 8 spaces within Addington Raceway and Events Centre to pick between: Christian Cullen, Silks, Terror To Love, Blossom Lady, Chairman’s Suite, Stables, Silks Suite, and Breckon’s Winners Bar. All have varying capacities, from as intimate as 15 to as bustling as 600. The team at Addington’s is well-seasoned and knows exactly how to create the recipe for success for your event, with bespoke catering, theming, styling and so much more.
Tait Technology Centre
Image by Christchurch Convention Bureau
Tait Technology Centre is a purpose-built events centre that is conveniently located 2 minutes from Christchurch Airport. With an award-winning architectural setting, it sets the tone for the atmosphere of your event. Rooms are flooded with natural light, featuring state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and endless flexibility when it comes to seating. There are 3 spaces to choose from, Kauri, Totara and Matai Rooms, all of which can be combined as you please to suit the nature of your event. The final space is the Atrium, which stands alone and accommodates up to 250 of your delegates, and boasts dual-entry and a natural flow into beautifully landscaped outdoor courtyards.
Image by Property Council New Zealand
Set in Hagley Park and at the very cusp of Christchurch CBD, The Atrium provides a host of facilities for your event, including on-site catering, audiovisual equipment, and an events team dedicated to planning and managing your function. There are 3 separate and flexible rooms available for hire: Fern Room, with a maximum capacity of 150; Oak Room, with a maximum capacity of 150; and Acorn Room, with a maximum capacity of 30. All floors feature their own terrace overlooking tranquil views of the park and courts, as well as high-speed WiFi. Pick between their set menus for your event, or choose a hand-designed menu to meet your exacting standards. The Atrium is committed to making your event unforgettable.
Image by Ilam Homestead
Historic elegance at its finest, Ilam Homestead is a venue that specialises in all manner of events, with famed and protected azalea and rhododendron plantings providing a vibrant backdrop for your function. Centrally located, but still entirely private on the grounds of Canterbury University, Ilam Homestead can cater for up to 120 delegates. With a roaring, open fireplace and fully licensed bar, they’re a popular spot for a sophisticated get-together. Ilam Homestead has several catering options for your event, with menu options for you to choose between. They also have the option of outdoor events, with marquees available for set up, as well as high-speed WiFi.
Rydges Latimer Christchurch
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Rydges Latimer Christchurch is proud to say they have the largest in-hotel conference venues with an entire floor dedicated to successful meetings and events. There are a total of 11 amazing rooms to pick between at this Christchurch venue, from the enormous Savoy Ballroom to the cosy Windsor. Each of the 11 venue spaces is bathed in natural light, a booster for both moods and productivity, featuring built-in audiovisual technology and complimentary WiFi throughout. Rydges Latimer Christchurch is dedicated to making your event perfect, with a team of event planners committed to organising and managing everything at your side. Choose between Rydges host of tailored packages for your next Christchurch event.
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Horncastle Arena is located in the business district of Addington. This venue is perfect for large-scale events, such as seminars, trade shows and exhibitions, as it has an astonishing maximum capacity of 8800 guests. However, it does have 18 corporate suites, two of which, the Double Corporate Suite and Single Corporate Suite, accommodate 20 and 10 guests respectively, making for comfortable spaces for meetings and breakout rooms. Horncastle Arena’s generous floor space, extensive back of the house and large concourse areas mean that there is more than enough room to play with. Its simplicity comes hand in hand with its flexibility. Horncastle Arena also boasts a parking area that can house up to 2000 vehicles, ensuring this venue is one of the most accessible in all of Christchurch.
Image by Booking
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 venue option in Christchurch.
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Recently renovated, Crowne Plaza Hotel in Christchurch is the epitome of convenience and luxury. With stunning, modern spaces and a wealth of experience in event planning and management, Crowne Plaza is an ideal Christchurch venue. There are 4 rooms in total to pick between: Golden Fleece, Oram, Gartner and Ellis. Oram, Gartner and Ellis can all be combined in a variety of ways to become the perfect space for your function, highlighting the flexibility of Crowne Plaza. With a maximum capacity of 140 delegates, on-site accommodation and catering available, and complimentary WiFi for all guests, this hotel venue outdoes itself.
Heritage Hanmer Springs
Image by Christchurch Convention Bureau
A historic building that has been lovingly restored, Heritage Hanmer Springs rests near the famous thermal pools and is surrounded by alpine grounds. A scenic drive from Christchurch, this venue is worth the trip as a result of its picturesque settings and tourist attractions. Additionally, Heritage Hanmer Springs make a wonderful choice for a function venue, with 3 spaces to choose from able to cater to up to 200 of your guests. With high-speed WiFi and a full range of audiovisual equipment to complement your function, Heritage Hanmer Springs specialises in creating and executing memorable events no matter their nature, offering a range of activities, on-site catering and so much more.
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Designed by innovative Japanese architect Shigeru Ban in the wake of Christchurch’s earthquakes, the Transitional Cathedral is a symbol of the fortitude of the city and the effort put into its rebuild. The only sustainable cathedral in the world, it is now a landmark that can cater for up to 700 delegates. It has 2 spaces to choose from, the main hall and the foyer, both of which can be combined for your function. The Transitional Cathedral is constructed from cardboard tubes, steel shipping containers and the Cathedral’s original stained glass Rose windows. This venue is unique and full of the ethos of Christchurch and stands proudly within the heart of the city.
Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel
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Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel is, as expected, a 5-minute walk from the international airport, ensuring that it is the height of convenience for all travellers. Having recently undergone an entire upgrade, this re-developed hotel offers a host of facilities and options as a classy venue choice. It’s now home to one of the city’s largest in-house conference venues, with a capacity of 340 guests. There are 7 spaces to choose from, each as flexible and modern as the last. With an events management team on deck to help with planning and organising your function, as well as a top-notch audiovisual provider, Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel makes its mark as one of the best Christchurch venues.
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Showcasing stunning views of Mount Hutt and a variety of ski fields, Terrace Downs is settled on the edge of the sparkling waters of Rakaia River and is a luxe resort that serves as a fantastic venue choice in Christchurch. With award-winning catering, a host of adventurous activities and a total of 6 different spaces (maximum capacity: 180) within the venue to pick from, Terrace Down as secured itself a spot as an all-round destination and function space. 550 acres of New Zealand country provides the perfect seclusion for peaceful but exciting events, with the added benefits of facilities like a pristine golf course, natural walkways and team building activities designed by their experienced on-site events management team.
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu
Image by Eaton Drink Co.
Stand apart from the crowd by hosting your event at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu. Able to cater for up to 500 delegates, this Christchurch venue is beloved by all in the city. It has 2 main options to choose from: NZI Foyer, grand and accommodating, with undulating glass walls and views into the forecourt, along with a stunning marble staircase leading into the balcony; and Philip Carter Family Auditorium, a tiered auditorium that hosts up to 178 guests with natural acoustics that make it an ideal choice for seminars, conferences and the like. Christchurch Art Gallery also offers a third option with a little more thrill: a private art gallery viewing, during which you and your guests tour exclusive exhibitions after hours.
International Antarctic Centre
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20-minutes from the centre of Christchurch and directly opposite the international airport, International Antarctic Centre (IAC) is a fully licensed venue and is part of the award-winning International Antarctic Centre visitor attraction. It has New Zealand’s only indoor/outdoor penguin encounter, which is sure to make your guests especially happy. There are 3 spaces at IAC: Atrium, Sir Edmund Hilary Room and Tim Hobson Room. IAC can host up to 250 of your guests and offers a series of unique and thrilling options to make your event especially extraordinary, such as husky dogs to welcome your guests, Hägglund all-terrain, amphibian vehicle rides, a snowstorm experience and so much more. This venue is as educational as it is professional, which makes it a premier choice in Christchurch.
Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square
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Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square offers modern luxury at its finest, with state-of-the-art technology and a seasoned team at your side to help plan your event. In the very heart of Christchurch CBD, it features 7 spaces to host your function at: Rakaia 1, Rakaia 2, Waimakariri 1, Waimakariri 2, Ashley Room, Hurunui, and The Crossings Foyer & Bar. Several of the rooms can be combined for flexible, open flows from one room to another, allowing for more guests if needed. Novotel Christchurch can host up to 130 delegates, with on-site catering and accommodation offers, as well as high-speed WiFi and audiovisual assistance. The team at Novotel Christchurch is happy to help with planning, theming and activity organisation for your event.
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The Tannery offers 4 spaces in total to utilise for your next event: The Atrium, Metropolitan Lounge, Blue Smoke and AGA Kitchen. They’re happy to cater for up to 300 of your guests. The Atrium is the largest space at this Christchurch venue, styled in an elegant and rich Victorian style, with French tiled floors, mahogany shop fronts, stained glass, bespoke iron arches and a translucent roof. The Tannery exudes opulence and tradition and is a 10-minute drive from Christchurch CBD and the recreational grounds of Port Hills. They offer on-site catering from the seasoned Cassels & Sons, with a variety of menu options and layouts. This reborn industrial precinct presents a gorgeous option for a venue in Christchurch no matter the function.
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Available for public and private events, The Piano is an ultra-modern venue with a commercial kitchen on-site and space to comfortably cater for up to 327 guests. There are 4 main rooms to choose from, all with their own, unique atmosphere and layouts. Philip Carter Family Concert Hall (the stage of which can also be used) is a raised-stage auditorium with stunning acoustics, fully soundproofed and with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment on hand. A double-height foyer, The Atrium serves as an entrance to the Concert Hall and features a grand piano in a recessed acoustic shell, making it a lovely option for a jazz bar or separate event space. The Chamber and The Box are part of several rooms that are available for exclusive hire, or to be used as breakout rooms for larger functions.
The Lake House
Image by NZ Herald
The Lake House overlooks Lake Hood Estate and the Southern Alps, resting comfortably in Marina Bay and showcasing some of New Zealand’s best local wine and produce. A 5-minute drive from Ashburton, The Lake House is a venue just outside of Christchurch that is unparalleled in its beauty. With multiple rooms to choose from − the main restaurant, Galley Boardroom, Small Boardroom 1 and 2 − they can cater for up to 150 of your guests and provide delicious on-site catering. The Lake House offers itself up for exclusive hire, but special, designated spaces can be provided for more intimate numbers beginning around 14 delegates. The Lake House brings together the comfort of good food and good company alongside the natural beauty surrounding it.
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A boutique winery, Melton Estate is 12 acres of lush greenery of a venue, 30 minutes from the centre of Christchurch and 10 minutes from the international airport. Twice in a row, they were named the Best Wine Tourism Restaurant in the South Island as part of the Great Wine Capitals of the World Awards. Melton Estate proudly offers an all-weather outdoor winery dining area, event space and wedding chapel − The Pavilion. They can host up to 150 of your guests, and offer amazing on-site catering for your event. Guests are welcome to walk amongst the vines and join in on wine tastings with the venue owners themselves. Choose between the Banquet Room, Conference Room, Courtyard Room and Pavillion for your Christchurch event.
The Hermitage Hotel
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The Hermitage Hotel is set against the backdrop of New Zealand's highest peak, Aoraki Mount Cook and the Southern Alps, and is a world-renowned hotel with an experienced Conference and Events team to help plan and organise your function. They can cater for up to 400 of your guests, with 6 different spaces to choose between: Panorama Room, Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Theatre, Sir Edmund Hillary Café, Sefton Meeting Room, Alpine Restaurant, and Chamois Bar & Grill. Enjoy their on-site catering, as well as being surrounded by some of the most stunning sceneries in all the world. The Hermitage Hotel also offers several fun activities for your delegates, including stargazing, Glacier Explorers and Tasman Valley 4WD tour.
The Arts Centre
Image by The Arts Centre of Christchurch
A historic and remarkable venue within the heart of Christchurch, The Arts Centre is a famed venue that has been restored over the years and offers the very best when it comes to technology whilst preserving its charmingly traditional atmosphere. Accommodating a maximum of 250 guests, The Arts Centre currently has 4 available spaces at which to host an event: Great Hall, Backstage Social Club, Classics Boardroom and Rutherford's Den Lecture Theatre (which is only available after 5 PM). The Arts Centre has an expert team that can help with all planning of your function no matter the type, whether it’s a gala dinner for hundreds or a seminar for 50, with recommended caterers on hand and an eye for theming this beautiful Christchurch venue.
Lincoln Event Centre
Image by Sensational Selwyn
Lincoln Event Centre is 20 minutes from the centre of Christchurch, surrounded by sprawling grounds and courts that host any manner of sporting events, from rugby to outdoor bowling. This state-of-the-art venue is as flexible as they come, being home to community meetings and large-scale events alike. They’re comfortable hosting 1000 of your guests, with any of their 8 available spaces open for hire, including purpose-built rooms like Nicholas Hall and lounges equipped with commercial kitchens. Lincoln Event Centre aims to be an open and flexible venue within Christchurch, with a contemporary appeal and architectural design that highlights this in every room, whether it’s the careful, clear acoustics of Liffey Stadium or the business centre available for any corporate event.
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A luxury boutique hotel, The George is located in the heart of Christchurch, offering views of Hagley Park and River Avon. It has won a multitude of awards and is proudly the best of the best when it comes to venues and event planning. The venue can cater up to 160 guests and has 6 different function rooms to choose between. Modern and sleek, it has a contemporary finish to it that blends seamlessly into the heart of any event, from cocktail to product launch.
Omarino Wine Park
Image by Omarino Wine Park
Located in Harwood, Omarino Wine Park is an award-winning vineyard that specialises in all events. With twenty acres of lush greenery surrounding the venue, it boasts a beautiful, serene option for your next Christchurch event. Situated within the Christchurch city limits, they make travel easy and accessible, with a function room that can hold up to 200 of your guests. Take in the views of the vineyard atop their hardwood deck overlooking the hills, pick between sumptuous bespoke catering options, and enjoy their purpose-built events centre for your gala dinner, cocktail party or conference. Omarino Wine Park is family-owned and believes in making your event as unique and convenient as possible.
Image by Thomas Pickard
Trent’s Vineyard is situated 15km from the centre of Christchurch and 5km from Hornby. Able to cater for up to 155 guests, it is available for exclusive or partial hire depending on the nature of your event. With top of the line sound systems and audiovisual equipment, Trent’s Vineyard aims to make planning and hosting your event as seamless as possible. They offer on-site catering with both tailored and set menus to choose from. There’s also the option of using their Victorian Gazebo, located beneath a lovely Sycamore tree. Trent’s Vineyard is a charming, locally-run venue option for your Christchurch event.
Riccarton Park Function Centre
Image by Christchurch Convention Bureau
Riccarton Park Function Centre offers an expansive and stunning parkland setting for your next Christchurch event, with both outdoor and indoor options catering for anywhere from 40 to 600 delegates. They have a total of 8 spaces to choose from: Nightmarch, Balmerino Room, Phar Lap, Gloaming Room, Beaumaris Room, Corporate Suite, Show Gate and The Tea House. Each of these separate spaces holds their own charm, be it modern or a quaint nod to the old-world. For much larger conferences, Riccarton Park Function Centre has the option of the contemporary Club Stand with 17 rooms over 3 floors alongside WiFi.
Image by Magda Blaha
Set alongside a vineyard, Hinton’s is a family-owned venue that excels in creating a quaint atmosphere. 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.
The Vines Club
Image by The Vines Club
A short drive from Christchurch and an even shorter one from the airport, The Vines Club is a secluded 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.
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Right in the middle of Christchurch, Sixty6 on Peterborough is an events venue that prides itself on being as malleable as possible. With a capacity of up to 420 guests, this venue has a dedicated events management team that can help you with just about anything, including catering, beverages, theming, entertainment, transport and audiovisual equipment. Part of the Christchurch Casino Complex, it has no R20 restrictions and a separate venue entrance. Sixty6 hosts all manner of events, from banquets and dinners to product launches and galas. They are situated in the buzzing Victoria Street precinct, which makes for a convenient and exciting location.
For more great venue ideas, check out our venue guides for other major NZ cities: