photos by Fable Dunedin

The Best Dunedin Venues for Cocktail Parties

by Raashka Mannie | 21 Jan 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.

Mayfair Theatre


Image by Mayfair Theatre

Rich with history, the Mayfair Theatre opened in 1914 as an 800-seat King Edward picture theatre. It still retains its early 1900s feel but has been modernised to accommodate events - including your cocktail party. The auditorium is a unique space that can seat 400 guests. The Dunedin venue frequently hosts stage shows, school recitals, concerts and conferences. Along with the large auditorium, they have meeting rooms and an intermission room to accommodate any of your cocktail party requirements. The Mayfair Theatre is currently run by the Mayfair Theatre Charitable Trust, aiming to provide an affordable venue for local groups to showcase their talents.

 

Otago Museum


Image by Otago Museum

Located in the middle of Dunedin, Otago Museum is an icon of the city and a fantastic venue option for cocktail parties of every size. Versatile and unique, the museum boasts a total of 10 spaces to choose between. It can accommodate a total of 850 guests and features 8 breakout rooms. Otago Museum is a favourite when it comes to Dunedin cocktail venues for hire, from the flourishing Tropical Forest and spacious Atrium to the Theomin Balcony and Hutton Theatre. The team at Otago Museum is available for complete event management - they can help you organise and plan as you go, offering equipment hire, on-site audiovisual assistance and on-site catering. Otago Museum is a hub for education, learning and discovery. They will undoubtedly lend your Dunedin cocktail event an excitement that few others can.

 

Fable Dunedin


Image by Fable Dunedin

Since 1862, Fable Dunedin has been a beacon of elegance in Dunedin. This hotel venue is as plush as it is pragmatic, boasting scrumptious catering choices, plenty of audiovisual equipment and assistance, a total of 50 guest rooms, as well as 4 spaces for your upcoming Dunedin cocktail event. Fable Dunedin is renowned for its stylish and modern interior - a direct contrast to its traditional exterior - bringing a touch of glamour to each and every cocktail function they host. With a capacity of 250 guests, your cocktail party is sure to be a hit.

 

The Longhouse


Image by The Longhouse

With serene views of Karitane beach and the Otago coastline, The Longhouse is a private cocktail venue in Dunedin that has so much to offer. Secluded, spacious and stylish, this flexible venue is the ideal choice for cocktail parties of every size, boasting a capacity of up to 100 guests. Their catering options are locally-sourced and freshly-made, offering you the very best in wining and dining. The Longhouse also doubles as a convenient Dunedin venue due to its built-in accommodation, featuring a handful of cosy guest rooms for you or your guests' use.

 

Vault 21


Image by Vault 21

Vault 21 is here to bring you versatility through and through with their array of function spaces. This Dunedin venue rests 40km outside of the CBD and 35km from the airport, offering spaces for up to 180 guests. Branded as Dunedin's premier dining experience, their catering is an experience in itself, bespoke and beautifully-plated for your enjoyment. Vault 21 has played host to a number of elegant events in Dunedin, both personal and corporate, including several fabulous cocktail nights that'll knock your socks off. No matter how casual or straight-laced your cocktail night is, Vault 21 can deliver.

 

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.

 

Petridish


Image by Petridish

Chic, cosy and available for exclusive hire for your upcoming Dunedin cocktail event, Petridish is as cool as it gets when it comes to funky cocktail venues. Catering for up to 100 guests, this diverse space offers various options for your Dunedin cocktail function. Featuring fabulous catering, audiovisual equipment and assistance, as well as an events management team that loves making memories with you, you're guaranteed a cocktail party to remember with Petridish, whether it's a handful of your nearest and dearest or a hundred of your coworkers raising a glass in celebration.

 

Teschemakers Resort


Image by Teschemakers Resort

Located in rural Northern Otago, Teschemakers Resort is settled on 70 acres of rolling greenery and fresh air. A scenic drive from Dunedin, this cocktail venue hosts up to 200 guests in a historic space. Charming and warm, its atmosphere lends itself to cocktail parties with a certain finesse, ensuring that your function runs to perfection. As a rural Dunedin venue, Teschemakers Resort is the perfect getaway option for your upcoming cocktail event, offering on-site accommodation for your convenience. 

 

Wingatui Function Centre


Image by Wingatui Function Centre

Wingatui Function Centre has it all: on-site audiovisual supplies and assistance, tailored catering options, and a varied selection of spaces for your upcoming Dunedin cocktail night. These spaces include the Winning Post Lounge, Kumai Room, Baghdad Note Bar, Skipper Wilson Room and Noble Bijou Room - you'll be spoiled for choice when planning your cocktail party. One of Dunedin's go-to favourites for cocktail functions, Wingatui Function Centre is part of the busy Wingatui Racecourse and is a grandstand building that offers itself as a venue for tasteful cocktail parties for up to 250 guests.

 

Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden


Image by Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden

One of Dunedin's most highly-rated restaurants is Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden. Luckily for us, they are also a beautiful venue option set amid a historic woodland garden. Their cuisine is created with the help of local, fresh ingredients and artisan suppliers, and award-winning chef Hannes Bareiter. It's no surprise Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden maintains their number one spot as the best restaurant in Dunedin. Their garden space gives home to over 140 years of botanical heritage. The garden proves a popular spot one when choosing to host your cocktail event at this Dunedin venue. Host an unforgettable cocktail party with Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden. You will blow your guests away with their tailored menu options and stunning surroundings.

 

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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