photos by Regent Theatre
The Best Dunedin Conference Venues
by Georgia Burgess | 23 Jul 2021
Dunedin has a vast range of spaces to host your next conference. Dunedin’s coordinates place it between windswept cliffs and the alluring Pacific Ocean. The coastal region is filled with colonies of albatross, sea lions and yellow-eyed penguins. Much of the town's infrastructure still holds classical Victorian and Edwardian elements. Dunedin has a range of conference venues which combine traditional architecture and unique modern spaces. Whether its a small seminar or a conference with a guest list of 100, the colourful town of Dunedin can provide. We've put together a list of the best conference spaces found in and around Dunedin. If you’d like a guide to all the venues in Dunedin, you can view this post here.
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Dunedin Centre is a grand space with a multitude of options for event hosting. It's an ideal venue for hosting your next Dunedin conference. The town hall serves as a venue that is flexible and spacious, with 4 breakaway rooms, including 2 dressing rooms, a green room and a choral room backstage. The built-in stage can be extended upon request, with the venue featuring outstanding acoustics and historical touches, such as the barrel-vaulted, coffered ceiling on the ground floor or their symphonic organ built-in 1919 (affectionately dubbed ‘Norma’). You can pick between Glenroy Auditorium, Municipal Chambers to host your conference. There's a variety of other meeting rooms, lounges and bars to suit your conference depending on requirements. This all-encompassing Dunedin venue is located centrally and is 30 minutes away from Dunedin Airport. It can host over 2,00 guests and is considered to be one of the architectural masterpieces of the city.
Image by Knox College
Stately and serene, Knox College makes itself available to one and all during the summer break. You can hire out this Dunedin venue on an hourly, daily or live-in basis over a set period, making it a flexible and fantastic choice for your upcoming conference. Accommodating up to 150 guests, Knox College boasts manicured lawns and plenty of heritage buildings, bringing you a series of classic spaces for your Dunedin conference. In addition to their multitude of rooms for hire, they also offer their historic Ross Chapel, seating up to 120 guests, ideal for weddings and performances. This Dunedin venue is as comprehensive as it gets, with on-site catering, accommodation and parking options, as well as high-speed WiFi and audiovisual equipment of every kind. Just a quick stroll to all the most attractive parts of the city, you've got a real winner with Knox College.
Larnach Castle & Gardens
Image by Larnach Castle & Gardens
History celebrated, Larnach Castle & Gardens is a revered venue in Dunedin that has sat on Otago Peninsula since 1874. Carefully restored over the years, this Dunedin conference venue now plays host to a large number of fabulous conferences. With award-winning gardens, luxury accommodation and incredible cuisine, it's hard to miss. They have several spaces to choose from, from the main castle to the green gardens to Camp Estate, hosting up to 350 people. As New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle & Gardens offers an extraordinary and gorgeous experience as a venue option, filled with architecture of old, sparkling chandeliers and marbled floors. The team at Larnach Castle & Gardens is as refined as the venue, with a dedicated Events Manager on hand, as well as on-site catering options. They can accommodate audio and visual equipment for speeches, presentations, or awards. Make your conference the talk of the town at Larnach Castle & Gardens.
Toitū Otago Settlers Museum
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Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is a hop and a skip away from the Octagon. It features floor-to-ceiling windows that give expansive views of Dunedin’s Heritage District, Rimu floors, and so much more in their many function spaces. Choose between Josephine Foyer, Auditorium, NZR Foyer, Social Hall and NZR Lounge. Each space is full of personality, standing as sleek and modern function spaces that can accommodate up to 515 guests. Depending on the requirements of your conference, you can have access to state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. Surrounded by stunning art deco design, or taking in fascinating exhibitions from New Zealand’s past, the choice is yours. 29km from Dunedin Airport, Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is a malleable and fun venue choice for any event type. With unlimited access to fountains of information and avenues of learning, as well as tours, displays and more. This Dunedin venue makes for the ideal space for seminars, conferences, meetings and the like.
Image by Edgar Centre
Edgar Centre is proud to be one of the largest multi-use event centres in all of Australasia, able to host up to 4,000 guests. No matter how big or small your conference, this Dunedin venue is delighted to host your function. They have an incredible and highly-trained events team on-site to help with the planning and running of your conference. The Edgar Centre is an events hub that offers many catering options and high-speed WiFi. Their function spaces include the More Fm Arena, Main Hall, Harbour View Lounge, House of Travel Lounge, several Arena Lounges and Corporate Suites. It is equipped with seemingly endless amounts of space and flexibility. The Edgar Centre is an event space that outdoes itself in its malleable nature and sheer size. It has become known all across Dunedin and the greater Otago Region for its event-hosting prowess. 5 minutes from the city centre, Edgar Centre also boasts over 400 car parks for guests’ use.
Dunedin Public Library
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First opened in 1908, Dunedin Public Library is an essential cornerstone in the city’s history. It acts as a network of 6 libraries and 2 bookbuses. This learning hub offers itself as a venue for meetings, conferences and seminars in the comfort of the library. They have 4 different spaces to choose from across the locations. Available for partial or full hire, Dunningham Suite includes a breakout room for your convenience, as well as a kitchen for your caterer to set up in. Blueskin Bay Library Meeting Room and Rolfe Room charge by the hour and are both perfect for smaller gatherings. The Downes Room is an excellent pick for intimate conferences. Dunedin Public Library charitably does not charge individuals or groups who are unfunded or provide a community service. Dubbing themselves “A Literary City,” Dunedin Public Library is a wonderful example of a venue that carries the spirit of the city within it.
Image by The Longroom
The Longroom is one of Dunedin’s first choice venues, a great host for your next conference. Their multi-functional space can adapt to host just about any event, big or small. Centrally located, The Longroom can host up to 200 guests and offers serene views of their international cricket ground. They can provide on-site catering courtesy of their superb kitchen, but also have a host of catering options for you to choose from. After the conference, the drinks will be flowing at their fully licensed bar. With audiovisual equipment available, The Longroom is a reliable option for conferences. This elegant Dunedin conference venue welcomes you to drop by during the week for viewings.
University of Otago
Image by The University of Otago
What better space to host your next conference than at a University? The University of Otago is New Zealand's longest-standing university. It was founded in 1869 and still has many Victorian-style buildings on campus. The University of Otago has a variety of event spaces for rent, equipped with modern technology. With a range of lecture rooms and meeting spaces, you’ll be spoilt for choice. They have an events team who can help you decide which space is most appropriate and available at the time. It is a university so during working hours there will be students on the campus, so they have better availability in the evenings. This Dunedin conference venue has a range of historic buildings which can also be booked out for events.
Otago Golf Club
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The iconic Otago Golf Club offers elegant lounges and spaces to host your Dunedin conference. Founded in 1871, this 18 hole golf course is regarded as one of the best in the South Island. This Dunedin conference venue is only 10 minutes from the city centre. They are no strangers to formal conferences and are happy to provide expert assistance. The conference space looks out onto the serene golf course, which is well manicured and surrounded by native bush. They have a variety of lounges where you can host your event with a maximum capacity of 150. Their event expertise will ensure your day is effortless. Caterers, bar staff and event managers can all be sourced depending on your requirements. Hire can include tables, chairs, table linen, crockery, glassware and cutlery. Any extra equipment you may require is available on request.
New Athenaeum Theatre
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The New Athenaeum Theatre is an events venue found in the heart of Dunedin town centre. The theatre is a versatile space that fronts as a performance venue but can accommodate conferences and is also a co-working space. The venue has one intimate theatre for hire and aims to be a flexible space for performers. The quiet space truly encompasses the Dunedin community spirt. It was established in 2016 by The Dunedin Collaborative Theatre Trust, who saw the need for Dunedin space like this. The primary goal of the venue is to provide support for established and also new groups in the creative and performing industries.
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Make your event truly unforgettable at the Regent Theatre. If you’re after a unique Dunedin venue experience, look no further. The Regent Theatre is abundant with history. It opened on 1st June 1928 as a 2000 seat cinema - the interior is still elaborately decorated capturing the essence of the theatre scene at the time. The Dunedin events centre has detailed high ceilings, a grand staircase and dining area. The venue frequently hosts weddings, performances, prize-givings, shows, conferences and cocktail functions. With their ample theatre space, they have a variety of rooms to host more intimate gatherings. The events team at the Regent Theatre would be delighted to make your day as glamorous as possible.
Image by Sam Foley
The Savoy is a timeless Dunedin conference venue, located centrally in the town centre. The building has been a functions centre since 1910 so you can be assured you’re in capable hands. Classically romantic, The Savoy is filled with oak panels, open fires, chandeliers and ornate ceilings. A popular place for large conferences, they have options which can cater for up to 250 guests. The Tudor Hall is a popular spot for larger gatherings, with a dance floor and live band included in the events packages should you choose for your function to carry on into the night. They have an in-house kitchen team to cook up the dining feast or nibbles for your conference.
The Mornington Tavern
Image by The Mornington Tavern
The Mornington Tavern is an experienced conference centre located right in the heart of Dunedin. Their multipurpose site has a range of modern rooms to host your big day. The team is professional and will make the experience hassle-free and enjoyable. It is hard to find a large scale central Dunedin venue. The Mornington Tavern can host up to 250 so you won’t have to worry about cutting the list short. However, the capacity doesn’t mean attention to detail is lost either. They have all the necessary conference equipment for hire and are happy to help you out should it not suffice. If you’re after the perfect mix of quality and practicality, The Mornington Tavern could be the choice for you.
Dunedin Art Gallery
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Dunedin Art Gallery is one of New Zealand's 4 major metropolitan art galleries. Established in 1884, the Gallery was New Zealand’s first Art Gallery. Along with stellar exhibitions, they have unique spaces for hosting conferences. The Gallery is located in Dunedin town centre and is within walking distance of some great accommodation options. Their experienced staff will be able to scout the location that’ll work best for your function. They have a conference room, auditorium, foyer and specialised wedding space. The Dunedin Art Gallery is a unique venue that frequently sees cocktail functions, conferences, dinners and weddings in their spaces. The Gallery is fully licensed, and you have the option to use your choice of a caterer if you'd prefer.
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This Dunedin conference hotspot impresses the moment you step through their doors. Their impeccable service, excellent facilities and ideal function rooms make them a great contender for your next conference. You can select the Edinburgh Room, which is perfect for larger seminars and conferences, it has full blackout capabilities for presentations. The space can cater for 120 and opens out on to a balcony so attendees can enjoy their refreshment break-in daylight. Next to the Edinburgh Room, you can find the Dundee Room. It’s a much more intimate space, with capacity for 15, filled with natural light, with the ability to host presentations if needed. Kingsgate Hotel is a practical and professional option for your next conference.
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The beautiful Orokonui Ecosanctuary will guarantee your conference will be a standout. This serene Dunedin conference venue is only 20 minutes from the town centre, but you will still feel away from it all. The sanctuary is working hard to bring back locally extinct species into Dunedin. Orokonui is like no other, nestled on the crest of Blueskin Road with stunning views over the native forest, Blueskin Bay and the glorious Silver Peaks. Their award-winning building, with its soaring glass atrium, is perfect for corporate functions. Corporate planning sessions have benefited from incorporating team-building walks and experiences in the forest. For refreshments and nibbles, the sanctuary has an on-site catering team.