photos by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Breathtaking Riverside Venues in Hamilton

by Raashka Mannie | 05 Mar 2020

One of the most defining aspects of Hamilton and the entire Waikato Region is the Waikato River. As the longest river in all of New Zealand, it comes as no surprise that Hamilton is as proud of it as they are, with its deep blue waters and serene nature. There are several venues in Hamilton that are lucky enough to overlook the Waikato River, which is definitely something to boast about. You can host your Hamilton event with views of the water drifting by, with your guests able to go for strolls along its banks or even dine in the sunshine nearby. If you’re looking for our comprehensive guide on Hamilton venues, you can find it here.


Image by Cindy Van Geems Photography

You can host your next Hamilton event at Palate, a Hamilton restaurant full of the city’s signature charm. Set along the Waikato River, Palate is a light-filled Hamilton restaurant with a focus on creating seasonally-inspired menus. Award-winning, Palate is run by Mat McLean, one of New Zealand's leading chefs. Their function space is a beautiful place to hold wedding receptions, cocktail parties, dinners and more - almost any event that requires a good meal and a good view. For private and corporate functions, they can cater for up to 100 guests, available 7 days a week and with the option of both set and bespoke menus. If you have a reservation in the restaurant for a party of over 12, you can order off a set menu - there are several to choose between, all catering for different budgets and occasions. Palate's main dining space opens onto a wooden deck that offers serene views of the river and city, enjoyed both in the sunshine and at night.



Image by Zomato

Gothenburg is proud to say they’re one of the handful of restaurants overlooking the Waikato River. This charming venue is centrally located and offers a modern, warm setting for your Hamilton event. It features high ceilings, plenty of natural light and bespoke menu options, available for both partial and exclusive hire. Whether you're after seated tapas dinners or a night of cocktails and canapés, Gothenburg can cater to your needs. You can hire out their main dining room or choose to head upstairs to a private dining space, with glass walls that allow for gorgeous views of the river and activity below. The upstairs dining option also has audiovisual options and is perfect for smaller meetings. Gothenburg has a series of set menus for you to choose from, but are also happy to listen to any menu requirements and restrictions. If you're really keen on it, you can request a bespoke menu for your event for an added touch of personality.

SkyCity Hamilton

Image by Stuff

SkyCity Hamilton is a flexible venue in the middle of the city, overlooking the Waikato River and serving as a convenient space for all riverside venue needs. There are 7 dining spaces at this Hamilton venue, including Sammies and Stuff, The Local Taphouse, Eat Burger, Marble Room, Vue Bar, Number 8 Bar and Zone Sports Bar, all with their own charms and uses. If that's not enough, SkyCity Hamilton offers private spaces away from their designated eateries accomodating up to 600 guests and featuring 3 breakout rooms. SkyCity Hamilton also comes with state-of-the-art in-house audiovisual equipment, with a dedicated and experienced team on hand to assist you. Your function will be planned and organised with the help of their seasoned team, with options of everything from tailored menus to sound systems for your specified use. With SkyCity Hamilton, you're guaranteed a venue that knows how to host a perfect riverside event.


The Verandah

Image by The Verandah

Within the Hamilton Lake Domain and offering a serene waterfront setting, The Verandah is a modern venue that resides within the heart of Hamilton. Just 13km from the airport, this restaurant venue has a capacity of 400 guests and is perfect for any event type, from product launches and exhibitions to cocktail parties and trade shows. They offer on-site catering from their experienced chef, as well as careful and seasoned event management from their committed team. The Verandah also features a deck area with a canopy that makes for a charming addition to your Hamilton event, whether you choose to have it as a breakaway space or an outdoor bar. They also allow events on their manicured lawn, allowing for a marquee or gazebo set-up should your riverside event require it.


Ferrybank Conference Centre

Image by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

One of Hamilton’s favourite riverside venues, Ferrybank Conference Centre is a flexible space on the banks of the Waikato River. They specialise in hosting gala dinners, fundraisers and conferences, with a team committed to delivering excellence. They have partnered with Kerr & Ladbrook Catering to offer you and your guests a truly divine experience. Ferrybank Conference Centre has a capacity of 250 guests, with 3 main spaces to choose from: the main venue, catering for up to 250; the canapé function venue, catering for up to 100; and, finally, the Casual Lounge, which caters for up to 25 and is often used as a breakaway room or a meeting space. Close to central Hamilton, and equipped with WiFi and a range of audiovisual tech, Ferrybank Conference Centre is an ideal Hamilton venue for hire.


Mystery Creek Events Centre

Image by BCD Group

Mystery Creek Events Centre is both an indoor and outdoor venue and is settled on the banks of the Waikato River, known far and wide for its endless versatility and great events team. The venue boasts 112 hectares of space, focused on creating bespoke events no matter the occasion. They are 10 minutes from Hamilton CBD and right next to the airport, offering convenience in spades. You will work with Mystery Creek Events Centre’s team of event professionals, experts in curating and creating tailored events, choosing between their multitude of spaces to host your function. The maximum capacity is 10,000 guests, and spaces include Mystery Creek Pavilion, Convention Centre, Convention Suites and more. The entire venue is also available for full hire. One of New Zealand’s most iconic events is held at Mystery Creek Events Centre: the New Zealand National Fieldays - the southern hemisphere’s largest agricultural business expo.



Image by Coopers

Coopers is a riverside venue that 10 minutes from the centre of Hamilton and the airport, and is a multi-purpose events centre boasting a contemporary vibe, distinctive kiwi countryside ambience and pretty views of Waikato River. Flooded with natural light and equipped with great audiovisual supplies, Coopers is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike for event hosting, accommodating up to 200 guests. They have a host of spaces for you to pick between, offering flexibility, WiFi, on-site parking, plenty of outdoor space, a built-in dancefloor and, best of all, a dedicated events team to help with the planning and managing of your function. To top it off, Coopers has a whole list of preferred suppliers for your consideration, helping you to take care of the finer details, be it event styling or catering.


Sir Don Rowlands Centre

Image by Kerr & Ladbrook Catering

On the cusp of Lake Karapiro, Sir Don Rowlands Centre offers unmatched views of Mount Maungatautari. This venue is multipurpose and flexible, with multiple spaces to choose from, including the Main Hall, Karapiro Room, Waipa Room and Te Manawa o Matariki Room. There is also a deck that overlooks the placid waters. Sir Don Rowlands Centre has a capacity of 1,000 guests, with 3 breakout rooms and facilities that include on-site accommodation, high-speed WiFi access, and a dedicated events management to help with organising and running of your Hamilton event. The venus is 25km from the Hamilton airport and just over 30km from the city centre, ensuring that it offers privacy and convenience in equal parts. Sir Don Rowlands Centre also features over 100 campsites, outdoor pursuits, a high and low ropes course, as well as 19 hectares of surrounding greenery.

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