photos by The University of Waikato

Hamilton Venues for Hire - The Complete Guide

by Raashka Mannie | 02 Jan 2020

On the banks of the glorious Waikato River, Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s busiest inland hubs. Their varied history and welcoming spirit makes for an ideal place to hold events, no matter the size or nature. They offer views of sprawling parks, gardens, city centres and the river, and is known nationwide for The National Agricultural Fieldays (the largest agricultural trade show in the Southern Hemisphere). Our guide to Hamilton and the greater Waikato Region features some of the best venues they have to offer.

 

Waitomo Glowworm Caves


Image by CaveWorld

Iconic and incredible, wow your guests at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, one of Hamilton’s favourite venues. They’re happy to host team meetings and corporate events, with plenty of exciting activities to boot. This Hamilton venue was awarded The New Zealand Architecture Medal and has a capacity of 700 guests, with 3 breakout rooms for conversation and mingling. They are 70km outside of the city centre, and offer complete event management, the option of on-site catering and high-speed internet access. Waitomo Glowworm Caves is a gorgeous space, offering unparalleled beauty and the chance to visit one of New Zealand’s greatest tourist attractions.

 

Hobbiton Movie Set


Image by RTW Backpackers

Transport yourself to The Shire with the Hobbiton Movie Set, another one of Hamilton’s beloved and famous venues. The space is an exact replica of The Green Dragon Inn, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, featuring their exclusive Southfarthing ale, stout, cider and ginger beer. The venue can hold up to 250 guests and is fully themed, with fully-licensed bars and on-site catering. The Hobbiton Movie Set is happy to hold a banquet or themed buffet dinner for you and 90 guests, all set up inside The Inn itself. Adjacent to it, The Party Marquee has a painted canvas exterior, vibrant bunting and colourful lanterns, making it as festive as it is fun.

 

SKYCITY Hamilton


Image by Harrows

SKYCITY Hamilton is a conference centre in the middle of the city, overlooking the Waikato River and serving as a convenient space for all conference and corporate needs. This Hamiltion venue can accommodate up to 600 guests, with 3 breakout rooms and personalised service for every event. There are 6 spaces in total to choose from, from a banquet room seating 300, to a theatre for 500. SKYCITY Hamilton also comes with state-of-the-art in-house audiovisual equipment, with a dedicated and experienced team on hand to assist you. The space also features 8 restaurants, a casino, multiple bars and live entertainment for your guests. It’s one of Hamilton’s go-to conference venues with good reason.

 

Avantidrome


Image by Chibnall Buckell Team Architects

Avantidrome is a unique space, with glorious views over the velodrome and endless possibilities. This venue can host up to 500 guests, with multiple spaces to choose from for your event, including The Avanti Lounges, APL Room and the Avantidrome Infield. Each of them is as flexible as the last, tailoring themselves to your requirements for your event, be it a meeting or a cocktail party. Avantidrome also offers on-site catering and WiFi access. They are 18km from the airport and just under 20km from the CBD. Truly a one-of-a-kind space, Avantidrome is a venue that stands out from the crowd.

 

Hamilton Gardens


Image by The University of Waikato

Nestled within the gorgeous and flourishing Hamilton Gardens, the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion is a prime, multipurpose venue that can accommodate any and every event. There are 4 spaces to pick between: Central Court, with a maximum capacity of 540 guests; Exhibition Hall, with a maximum capacity of 280 guests; Chartwell Room, with a maximum capacity of 150 guests; and Huddleston Room, with a maximum capacity of 18 guests. If desired, the Central Court and Exhibition Hall can be combined to host up to 800 guests. Each of their available spaces was designed with a particular use in mind, from intimate meetings to expansive workshops and elegant cocktail parties. Hamilton Gardens also allows for garden events in their themed gardens. They have a host of catering options to choose from and are happy to make your event unforgettable.

 

The Greenspace


Image by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

The Greenspace is as eco-friendly and modern as its name suggests. Mere minutes from the city centre, this Hamilton venue can host up to 40 guests and makes for the perfect space for an intimate event, be it a meeting, luncheon or seminar. The Greenspace is focused on sustainable practices and giving back to the environment. For their innovation and dedication to the cause, The Greenspace won the Innovation Design: Building Design Award at the Waikato Sustainable Business Awards. They have a duo of spaces to choose from: the Kauri Room, hosting up to 30 guests, and the Totara Room, hosting up to 15. They also offer their kitchen for self-catering options, along with high-speed WiFi, secretarial support and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.

 

Wintec Venues


Image by Wintec

Wintec Venues has award-winning facilities, centrally located in Hamilton CBD, offering uniqueness and stylishness in spades with their sleek, industrial design that makes it a perfect modern backdrop for any and every event. There are 2 Long Rooms and 2 Event Rooms to mix and match, along with the main Atrium for larger functions. There is also the Training Space, to be found at their Rotokauri Campus, favoured for meetings and smaller events. Wintec Venues has a capacity of 500 guests, and their venues come equipped with laptops, projectors, staging, microphones and lighting, as well as an audiovisual technician on-site to assist you if needs be. All of their spaces are located at their City Campus, and they have a list of preferred suppliers for you to work with, covering everything from catering to styling.

 

The Verandah


Image by Eventfinda

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 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 thorough 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 marquee and gazebo set-up should your event require it.

 

KiwiRail Scenic Journeys


Image by The Great Journeys of New Zealand

Treat your guests to a truly unique experience with KiwiRail Scenic Journeys. The Northern Explorer is a scenic train that runs between Auckland and Wellington, offering inspired views of the country and an extraordinary event space. You can hire a KiwiRail or even the whole train for your event. Their purpose-built carriages are spacious and comfortable, and KiwiRail features catering by Wishbone, WiFi access, seasoned staff and even themed carriage options for your event. You can have a conference on the move with KiwiRail Scenic Journeys, creating a truly memorable and unusual experience for you and your guests to enjoy. The train departs from Hamilton when scheduled, but when privately booked in its entirety, the train can travel whenever and wherever you so choose.

 

Classics Museum


Image by Classics Museum

The Classics Museum is an interesting space, with 60 vintage vehicles on display at any given time, rotated on a regular basis so there’s always something new to have a look at. The Classics Museum is not just about cars, but also about petrol memorabilia and a sense of the time passed. Their venue space, the Bel Air Lounge, is a conference room that can accommodate up to 100 guests. The room looks out over the display floor of the museum, awarding you with an interesting backdrop for your event. The Jukebox Diner, a 1950s-themed diner with all the classics, is available for on-site catering, as well as for hosting banquets that can seat up to 130 guests. The Classics Museum is just outside the centre of Hamilton and is a fun space for your next Hamilton event.

 

Henley Hotel


Image by Takapoto Estate

A boutique, luxury hotel, Henley Hotel is a luxe venue that resides within a Georgian-style manor. The entire hotel is available for exclusive hire, and has numerous gardens, lawns and outdoor spaces at your disposal for your event. This venue can host up to 250 guests and has a total of 5 breakout rooms, all filled with natural light. Henley Hotel is located on 29 acres of private land and is a breezy half hour drive from the centre of Hamilton. They have hosted a myriad of events, be it a fashion show or a Great Gatsby ball, and have a team that is dedicated to making your function stand out from the crowd. They offer on-site catering, a miniature cinema, historic chapel, and even a helicopter pad for guests that want to arrive in style. Henley Hotel does luxurious like none other in Hamilton.

 

Ferrybank Conference Centre


Image by Stuff

Ferrybank Conference Centre, otherwise known as Hamilton’s favourite riverside venue, 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.

 

The University of Waikato


Image by StudyCo

The University of Waikato is nestled on 68 acres of manicured grounds and is a refreshing venue choice. It offers a multitude of spaces to choose from, each with varying capacities, from their character-filled chapel to their designated conference and function rooms. The University of Waikato features over 100 lecture and seminar rooms, seating up to 394 maximum and 20 minimum, making it as flexible as it is beautifully designed. All spaces come equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, with breakaway rooms for socialising and conversation, as well as kitchenettes for your caterers to make use of. The University of Waikato also offers on-site accommodation in the Halls of Residence, but, if your guests prefer to stay elsewhere, the venue is only 4km from the CBD and 14km from the airport.

 

Zealong Tea Estate


Image by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Purpose-built in the 2010s, Zealong Tea Estate has a dedicated function space that offers gorgeous views of New Zealand’s only commercial tea plantation. There are 3 options to choose from: the Pavillion, which features plenty of natural light, an al fresco terrace and a capacity of up to 70 guests; the Vista, completed in 2016, with an indoor/outdoor flow and a capacity of 300 guests; and the Executive Suite, a smaller space for up to 25 guests, elegant and ideal for intimate dinners, tea tastings, meetings and so much more. Zealong Tea Estate also offers an educational experience regarding tea, which is as delicious as it is unique. Their teas are organic and award-winning, and they have come to specialise in hosting any number of events, from dinner parties to seminars. Zealong Tea Estate is a 20-minute drive from the centre of Hamilton and offer incredible in-house catering for any function.

 

Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre


Image by MediaPA

Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre is a multi-zone venue in the middle of Hamilton city centre, with a staggering capacity of 6,000 guests and a total of 11 breakout rooms. In 2014, this Hamilton venue was designated 'Supreme Venue of the Year' at the 2014 EVANZ Awards. They are the third largest venue in New Zealand, offering world-class facilities and 34 hectares of green land. Claudelands Conference & Exhibition Centre offers top of the line audiovisual technology, ultra-fast fibre optics, on-site technical support for your event, optional on-site catering, and an experienced events team on hand to help you with the smooth running of your event. The spaces are flexible, able to be sized down or up depending on the nature of your event, and act as a blank space, adapting to the ambience of your cocktail party, exhibition, gala dinner or more.

 

Mystery Creek Events Centre


Image by BCD Group

An indoor and outdoor venue, Mystery Creek Events Centre is settled on the banks of the Waikato River and is known far and wide for its versatility. 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.

 

The Lawrenson Group


Image by The Bank Bar and Brasserie

The largest hospitality provider in Hamilton, The Lawrenson Group is a group of 13 quality venues across the region. These include New Zealand’s Top Regional Restaurant (Cuisine 2013) and a number of Hamilton’s most popular bars. The venues included in the group are: Furnace (capacity: 90), Keystone (capacity: 200), Victoria St. Bistro (capacity: 50), VSB Functions (capacity: 80), Easy Tiger (capacity: 100), Bluestone Steakhouse (capacity: 100), Bar 101 (capacity: 100), The Helm (capacity: 400), Shenanigans (capacity: 250), The Outback (capacity: 1,350), The Hood (capacity: 300), The Bank (capacity: 400), Upstairs at The Bank (capacity: 100), and Hoot St. Studio (capacity 250). Each of these venues offers excellent service and the option of on-site catering. Each of these venues also has different attributes that make them unique, such as The Bank’s terraced rooftop garden and Victoria St. Bistro’s award-winning staff. No matter the event type, The Lawrenson Group has a venue that will be the perfect fit for your Hamilton event.

 

Vilagrad Winery


Image by The Great NZ Food Show

Established in 1922, Vilagrad Winery is a venue that specialises in fine wine, food and entertainment. It is Waikato's most beloved winery destination, with a series of multi-award-winning wines, all hand-crafted and hand-harvested at the winery itself. They offer superb Mediterranean cuisine for your on-site catering options, as well as on-site accommodation for any guests. Their venue space is large and flexible, accommodating anywhere from 300 to 500 guests, making it an ideal choice for conferences, gala dinners, cocktail parties and so much more. You can dine in the original cellar, tucked away amongst the barrels and golden light, or in the reception area as you overlook the picturesque vineyards. Vilagrad Winery also offers private tours and tastings of the winery, making for a unique and fun experience for all your guests.

 

Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre


Image by Lastminute

Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre is a trusted favourite amongst the corporate world, known for their impeccable service and top tier conference facilities. This Hamilton venue can host up to 600 delegates, offering 3 seminar rooms and 4 conference rooms, all with their own reception lounges and presentation facilities. They also offer on-site catering and accommodation options, creating bespoke menus for your events. Their hotel features a restaurant, bar, private dining room, gymnasium, 3 spa pools and indoor heated swimming pool, and free unlimited WiFi for your guests. Your event will be in good hands with Distinction Hamilton Hotel & Conference Centre’s dedicated event management team, experts that will ensure your Hamilton event runs to perfection.

 

FMG Stadium Waikato


Image by Stuff

Known for hosting Hamilton’s rugby events, FMG Stadium Waikato has since grown into a wonderful venue choice for corporate and private events. In the middle of Hamilton’s growing city centre, FMG Stadium Waikato offers plenty of space with a capacity of 350 guests and a total of 6 breakout rooms. It has a total of 8 spaces to choose from within the venue, with 5 levels, all equipped to host conferences, meetings, gala dinners, awards evenings, seminars and more. FMG Stadium Waikato is a few minutes from Hamilton CBD and only 17km from the airport, making it a perfect choice for an inner-city venue. They also provide on-site catering options and video-conferencing facilities for your convenience.

 

Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park


Image by Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park has top of the range conference facilities, making it one of Hamilton’s favourite venue choices. Located on the Northern boundary of the Waikato Region, it has recently undergone a complete renovation to modernise and refresh it for upcoming events, the venue now estimated to cost NZ$50 million. It has a total of 11 suites and a pavillion for functions, able to host up to 500 guests. They offer unique and exciting team building activities, such as go karting and 4WD experiences, which is sure to make your event stand out from the crowd. Hampton Downs International Motorsport Park also offers on-site accommodation for your guests, as well as on-site catering options to make planning your Hamilton event all the easier.

 

Waikato Tainui College


Image by Urban Print

In the rural peace of Waikato, Waikato Tainui College is less than an hour’s drive from Hamilton Airport and is set on a hill with glorious views of the Waikato River and Haakarimata Ranges. This venue offers 6 different spaces for your event, including the Main Room, Taamaki, Mangatoatoa, Pare Waikato, Te Koowhao and Atrium. The capacities vary anywhere from 12 to 150, making this venue a perfect choice no matter your function type. Waikato Tainui College also has on-site accommodation, on-site catering, WiFi throughout the rooms and extra meeting/breakout rooms if needs be. This venue is rich with cultural heritage, awarding your delegates the chance to connect with the roots of New Zealand in a truly serene setting.

 

Waikato Museum and ArtsPost


Image by The Big Idea

In the middle of Hamilton’s cultural precinct, adjacent to the CBD, Waikato Museum and ArtsPost is a modern venue full of knowledge and charm. Artworks, artefacts and taonga are on display, with stunning architecture all around and a capacity of up to 180 guests. Waikato Museum and ArtsPost specialises in small team meetings or training, corporate evenings, concerts, cocktail evenings, film screenings, lectures and product launches. With a dedicated events team, they bring personalised service and events expertise, ensuring that your function will be exactly as you planned it. They also offer a number of catering options. Waikato Museum and ArtsPost has 13 galleries that feature more than 25 new exhibitions and 100 public events annually, making this Hamilton venue one of the most fascinating and sought-after options in the region.

 

The Good George Hospitality Group


Image by Hawkins

The Good George Hospitality Group is a locally-owned group that includes 7 exciting venues in the Waikato Region, all of which make wonderful venue choices for your next event. Their venues include Cook Street Social, Good Union, Smith & McKenzie Chophouse - McKenzie Room, Smith & McKenzie Chophouse -Downstairs Area, Good George Brewing, Good Neighbour Brew Bar and Little George. Each venue offers on-site catering and has varying capacities (anywhere from 20 guests to over 300). They bring with them their own personalities and accolades, including Good Union as the Winner for Best Bar 2018, Cook Street Social as the Best Redeveloped Food and Beverage 2018 (both awarded by Hospitality New Zealand), and Good George Brewery as Hamilton’s multi-Gold award-winning brewery.

 

The Grandstand


Image by The Hamilton Racing Club

Settled in Claudelands Park, The Grandstand is one of Hamilton’s historic venues, carefully resorted over the years and sure to lend your event a touch of charm. They offer specialist event and catering services, as well as a lovely indoor/outdoor flow. They can host up to 120 guests in their main space. Surrounded by green, manicured lands, The Grandstand is part of an authentically historic experience and is deal for corporate functions such as gala dinners, cocktail parties and conferences. The venue has on-site parking and high-speed WiFi, with plenty of natural light and a flexible layout.

 

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.

For more great venue ideas, check out our venue guides for other major NZ cities:

Auckland Venues  |  Tauranga Venues  |  Hawkes Bay Venues

Wellington Venues  |  Christchurch Venues  |  Queenstown Venues

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