photos by Fable Dunedin

The Best Dunedin Venues for Cocktail Parties

by Raashka Mannie | 23 Jul 2021

Raising a toast in one of New Zealand's favourite coastal cities is a moment to be treasured. Famed for its higher education, the remnants of a volcano, and far-reaching history, this city has always been one of the country's main destinations with good reason. With its unique mixture of modern and traditional architecture, Dunedin brings fascinating venues to the plate - the kind perfect for cocktail parties of every size. Whether it's elegant and understated or funky and fresh, you can rest assured that there's a brilliant Dunedin venue waiting to host your cocktail function. To check out our complete guide to Dunedin, click here.

Knox College

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 cocktail party. 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 cocktail party. 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.


Olveston Historic Home

Image by Olveston Historic Home

Add some historical charm to your function with Olveston Historic Home, New Zealand's finest historic mansion and Garden of National Significance. Built as the family home of collector and philanthropist David Theomin (a connoisseur of the 'finer things in life'), the house was gifted to Dunedin in 1966, complete with all the original furnishings and contents. Hosting up to 180 guests, Olveston Historic Home has a variety of rooms and spaces to choose from when planning your Dunedin cocktail event, including their immaculate lawn, Great Hall, Drawing Room and more. This Dunedin venue serves as an option for personal and corporate events, with a knack for hosting incredible cocktail nights.


Toitū Otago Settlers Museum

Image by Visit Christchurch NZ

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 nature of your cocktail event, you 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 cocktail night.


Regent Theatre

Image by Regent Theatre

Make your cocktail party truly exceptional 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 cocktail party as glamorous as possible. 


Dunedin Art Gallery

Image by ODT

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 cocktail parties and functions. 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 cocktail night. They boast a conference room, auditorium, foyer and specialised wedding space. The Gallery is fully licensed, and you have the option to use your choice of a caterer if that's what you prefer for your Dunedin cocktail party.


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 venue now plays host to a large number of fun and fabulous cocktail parties. With award-winning gardens, luxury accommodation and incredible cuisine, it's hard to pass up. 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 and on-site catering options for your cocktail event.

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