photos by Larnach Castle & Gardens
Dunedin Venues for Hire - The Complete Guide
by Georgia Burgess | 08 Sep 2020
Dunedin has a vast range of spaces to host your next event. Whether it’s a meeting, dinner, prizegiving or wedding, the colourful town of Dunedin can provide. 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 events venues which combine traditional architecture and unique modern spaces. We've put together a list of the best venues found in and around Dunedin. If you’d like a guide to the best wedding venues in Dunedin, you can view the post here.
Image by Wikipedia
Dunedin Centre is a grand space with a multitude of options for event hosting. It's an ideal venue for showcases, conferences, exhibitions and so much more. 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 event. There's a variety of other conference rooms, meeting rooms, lounges and bars to suit your event. This all-encompassing Dunedin venue is located centrally and is 30 minutes away from Dunedin Airport. It can host over 200 guests and is considered to be one of the architectural masterpieces of the city.
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Located in the middle of Dunedin, Otago Museum is an icon of the city and a fantastic venue option for any function. 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. From the flourishing Tropical Forest and spacious Atrium to the Theomin Balcony and Hutton Theatre, Otago Museum is a favourite when it comes to Dunedin venues for hire. They are happy to host cocktail parties, galas, showcases and everything in between. The team at Otago Museum is available for complete event management. They can help you organise and plan as you go, also offering equipment hire, on-site audiovisual assistance and on-site catering. Otago Museum is a hub for education, learning and discovery. They will resultantly lend your Dunedin event an excitement that few others can.
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 events. 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. Whether you’re looking to host a themed ball or a luxurious meeting for 20, Larnach Castle & Gardens is the Dunedin venue for you.
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 the city of 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 event, including their immaculate lawn, Great Hall, Drawing Room and more. This Dunedin venue serves as an option for both personal and corporate events, from gorgeous weddings in its sprawling garden to intimate dinners in its timelessly fashionable interior.
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 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 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 event, 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 event. 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's 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.
Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden
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One of Dunedin’s most highly rated restaurants is Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden. 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, 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 event at this Dunedin venue. Host an unforgettable dinner, cocktail party, meeting or more with Glenfalloch Restaurant and Garden. You will blow your guests away with their tailored menu options and stunning surroundings.
Dunedin Public Library
Image by Dunedin Public Libraries
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, seminars or meetings. 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, happy to host cocktail parties, special occasions, private corporate functions, conferences, weddings or awards ceremonies. 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. The drinks will be flowing at their fully-licensed bar. With audiovisual equipment available, The Longroom is also a great option for conferences, meetings and related functions. This elegant Dunedin event venue welcomes you to drop by during the week for viewings.
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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 groups and events. The auditorium is a unique space that can seat 400 guests. The 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 event requirements. The Mayfair Theatre is currently run by the Mayfair Theatre Charitable Trust which aims to provide an affordable venue for local groups to showcase their talents. They hold the community close to their hearts and will happily play host to your next Dunedin event.
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Chisholm Links Golf Club is a prestigious Dunedin golf club located just 10 minutes from the city centre. The golf club is ranked number 1 in Dunedin and 23 in New Zealand. Along with their well-manicured grounds and stunning seaside views, they have a large clubhouse great for hosting events. The Chisholm Links clubhouse has seen it all; weddings, birthdays, quiz nights, meetings, conferences and corporate events. The Dunedin events venue has a full bar and catering service. Their in-house caterer will be happy to discuss any preferences and dietary requirements. The club can accommodate up to 150 people, and if you’re looking for a more intimate space, the Sunroom can host 30 people. Large windows look out onto the lush golf course, and the furniture can be arranged however you wish. They have a large on-site parking space making the journey easy for your guests.
University of Otago
Image by University of Otago
What better space to host your next meeting or conference than at 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 venue has a range of historic buildings which can also be booked out for events.
Otago Golf Club
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The historic Otago Golf Club offers elegant lounges and spaces to host your Dunedin event. Founded in 1871, this 18 hole golf course is regarded as one of the best in the South Island. This Dunedin events venue is only 10 minutes from the city centre. They are no strangers to weddings, conferences, seminars, trade shows and Christmas parties. The event 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 also accommodate meetings, 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.
Image by Regent Theatre
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.
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The Savoy is a timeless Dunedin events 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 to tie the knot, they have a range of ceremony and reception options which can cater for up to 250 guests. They are also a stylish space for conference dinners, corporate events, balls and cocktail functions. The Tudor Hall is a popular spot for larger gatherings, with a dance floor and live band included in the events packages. They have an in-house kitchen team to cook up the dining feast of your dreams.
The Mornington Tavern
Image by The Mornington Tavern
The Mornington Tavern is an experienced events centre located right in the heart of Dunedin. Their multipurpose site has a range of modern rooms to host your big day. They often host birthday celebrations, social functions, weddings, graduations, conferences, training seminars and trade shows. 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. There’s a large dance floor so festivities can continue after dark. 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 events. 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 event. 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.