photos by Meredith Lord

Hawke's Bay Venues for Hire - The Complete Guide

by Raashka Mannie | 18 Apr 2024

Set on the East Coast of the North Island, Hawke's Bay is known as the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Following a devastating earthquake in the 1930s, the city was rebuilt in this classic style and to this day, the streets exude vibrance and 1920s glamour. If there's one other niche for which Hawke's Bay is known, it's the wine. Boasting a plethora of award-winning wineries - Hawke's Bay produces some of the country's finest drops. Many of these wineries are beautiful venues for weddings, private functions and corporate affairs. 

The River House

Image by Alpine Image Company

Resting beside the tranquil Tukituki River, The River House is found between Havelock North and Ocean Beach - a superb location for your superb event. Designed by Andy Coltart, this Hawke’s Bay venue is an elegant and spacious villa, surrounded by Mediterranean-inspired grounds of poplar, citrus, olive and cypress trees, agapanthus, and a vineyard. When it comes to your Hawke’s Bay event, this versatile venue has so much to offer, from its emerald lawns to a sizeable courtyard. The River House can host anywhere north of 40 guests, with flexible numbers depending on the function you’re looking to host. They specialise in outdoor events and have a preferred supplier for classy marquee hire. On top of functions, they also bring you luxurious on-site accommodation for up to 10 guests in their main villa, alongside a large kitchen and pool area for recreational use when hiring the property. Boasting a host of local activities, from trout fishing to paddleboarding, The River House is an events venue for the ages.

Napier Conferences & Events

Image by Napier Conferences & Events

Napier Conferences & Events is a purpose-built venue in Hawke’s Bay dedicated solely to conferences and other corporate events. This Hawke’s Bay venue ticks all the boxes when it comes to a modern and extensive space, boasting contemporary design and a multitude of amenities. With 8 diverse and malleable event spaces spanning 2 floors, they cater for business meetings, launch parties, gala dinners, seminars, lectures and everything in between. Equipped with the latest technology, on-site catering and stunning waterfront views, Napier Conferences & Events is conveniently located on Napier’s Marine Parade, a 10-minute drive from the airport and a stone’s throw away from the CBD. Chat with the helpful team at this Hawke’s Bay venue to start planning your upcoming event and experience their attentive service first-hand.

National Aquarium of NZ

Image by National Aquarium of NZ

Let your Hawke's Bay event be as unique as possible courtesy of the National Aquarium of NZ. With a duo of flexible spaces - an exhibition hall for larger parties, as well as a function room for more intimate affairs - this Hawke's Bay venue has everything you need and more. In the bustling city, they offer plenty of parking, external catering options, a helpful and knowledgable team and more. They cater to cocktail parties, conferences, seminars and more in their extraordinary space, boasting views that few others can: thriving ocean life, from penguins to octopi. The National Aquarium of NZ accommodates anywhere from 50 to 120 guests, making it one of Hawke's Bay's favourite venues. Factor in their Qualmark gold status, and you've found yourself a winner with this function space.

Te Mata House

Image by Te Mata House

Bespoke experiences await you at Te Mata House, a Hawke's Bay venue that exudes elegance and individuality. A stunningly restored homestead that doubles as a space for functions, this Hawke's Bay venue is dedicated to hosting celebrations and corporate affairs alike. Facilities include luxury accommodation, workshop spaces, audiovisual equipment, a refreshing pool, immaculate grounds and more. When you host your event at Te Mata House, you're awarded the full package. More suited to intimate gatherings, this Hawke's Bay venue is an ideal choice for a function filled with moments you'll never forget.

St. George's Restaurant

Image by St. George's Restaurant

St. George’s is an award-winning restaurant and venue with a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for your upcoming Hawke’s Bay event. A scenic 5-minute drive from Havelock North and Hastings, this Hawke’s Bay venue is able to host anywhere from 30 to 300 guests, boasting a wide variety of spaces, from their intimate piano room to their vine-covered courtyard. They offer on-site catering, as well as bespoke services for their guests, with staff dedicated to event organisation and planning. They also welcome events on their large, manicured lawn, ideal for a celebration or event in a marquee, and are available all year long. St. George's Restaurant is one of Hawke’s Bay’s finest options when it comes to hosting cocktail parties, gala dinners, product launches, corporate celebrations, and so much more.

Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Image by Art Deco Masonic Hotel

Art Deco Masonic Hotel is a breathtaking and award-winning hotel that boasts a genuine art deco flair to all those that visit. First opened in 1861 and recently renovated with the utmost care, this Hawke’s Bay venue sits on Marine Parade in Napier’s city centre, a short drive from the airport and with the ocean lapping at its doors. The committed team at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel is available to help with catering, event planning, accommodation, activity scheduling, and so much more. Art Deco Masonic Hote can host up to 220 guests, with packages tailored for functions and group set menus to make planning your corporate event a breeze. They often host cocktail parties, gala dinners, weddings and more, beloved for their flexibility and keen eye for detail, resulting in Hawke’s Bay functions that are resounding successes.


The Old Church

Image by Patina Photography

The Old Church is a testament to the beauty and architecture of old, featuring high ceilings and a dazzling chandelier, available for hire for your next Hawke’s Bay event. This Hawke’s Bay venue boasts 3 separate spaces - The Old Church itself, The Conservatory, and The Courtyard Garden and Bar - that can meld into a single, free-flowing area or be used individually for a variety of events, capable of holding up to 175 guests. A 10-minute drive from central Napier, The Old Church has been lovingly restored and converted into an event venue with an elegant atmosphere. They offer the choices of on-site accommodation and catering if required, alongside a chipper and attentive team to assist with any queries you might have. Dedicated to celebrations, The Old Church is a wonderful Hawke’s Bay venue for corporate events of every kind.

Cape Estate

Image by Tim and Nadine

Cape Estate welcomes you to start the story of your magical event at its expansive venue. This is a 1000-acre family farm located on the elevated Te Awanga Downs with awe-inspiring views of the spectacular Hawke's Bay coastline, from Mahia Peninsula across to Napier Hill through to the landmark Black Reef at Cape Kidnappers. Cape Estate’s venue is situated on the homestead’s manicured grounds, sporting tennis courts, a rustic barn and a swimming pool. This Hawke’s Bay venue regularly hosts weddings, retreats, product launches, cocktail parties and more, with the option for you and some lucky guests to stay at their airy Bed & Breakfast in the Court House Studio. When it comes to planning your Hawke’s Bay event, Cape Estate has everything down pat with a complete list of suppliers ranging from experienced caterers to creative stylists. Your function will be in the very best of hands, with their stunning venue at the crux of it all.


Image by Ambient Light

Hawke’s Bay’s official arts and events centre, Toitoi is a venue that believes in freedom of expression, creativity and having a good time. When it comes to hosting events, Toitoi has a host of venues: the Opera House, iconic and stately since 1915, catering for up to  979 guests and featuring an opulent Art Nouveau interior; Functions on Hastings, a multi-purpose and modern venue for up to 600 guests; Cushing Foyer, the elegant space between the two former venues, boasting two mezzanine floors and a capacity of 200 guests; and The Municipal Building, in the process of being turned into another facet of Toitoi’s many offerings. It’s not just about Hawke’s Bay venues with this comprehensive centre, but also about facilities such as styling, planning, audiovisual supplies, contemporary dining options and more. This Hawke’s Bay events centre runs the gamut when it comes to functions, ensuring that yours is like none other.


Oruawharo Homestead

Image by NZ Herald

150 years in the making, Oruawharo Homestead embraces its past and brings you a Hawke’s Bay venue for every event. Framed by emerald gardens and dreamy woodlands, this space is available for exclusive hire, a favourite when it comes to weddings, cocktail parties, luncheons, celebrations and more. Filled with a private collection of art and antiques, this Hawke’s Bay venue also has a church for hire on its grounds, St Vincent’s Church. Stroll around the lush gardens or join them for high tea - the choices at Oruawharo Homestead are endless. From the wood-panelled ballroom within the house to the daffodil lawn swaying beneath old trees, you’ll be spoiled for choice when planning your Hawke’s Bay function. In addition to their never-ending elegance, they also offer on-site catering options, personal tours of the homestead and more.


Meadowood House

Image by Meadowood House

A little slice of heaven in Hawke’s Bay, Meadowood House is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. Offering boutique accommodation for you and some lucky guests, this Hawke’s Bay venue was designed in 1934 and built over a decade, mirroring a modern Art Deco style that lends plenty of character to the venue. 15 minutes from Hawke’s Bay airport, this flexible space is surrounded by 3 acres of serene gardens and a further 6 acres of young orchard. They specialise in celebrations, including weddings, cocktail soirées, product launches and more, with packages and amenities dedicated to functions. From marquees extending across their lawn to thrilling glamping accommodation options, Meadowood House is one of Hawke’s Bay’s hidden gems, serving as a venue that does it all and does it with style.


Gwavas Garden and Homestead

Image by Kirsten Simcox

Family-owned and -operated, Gwavas Garden and Homestead is found amongst 20 acres of rolling woodlands and is Hawke’s Bay’s favourite rustic venue for hire. Offering plush on-site accommodation, sprawling gardens, audiovisual equipment, commercial kitchen, extensive beverage list and tons of natural light, this Hawke’s Bay venue is a beloved choice for weddings, cocktail functions, garden parties and other celebrations. Gwavas Garden and Homestead also have spaces for meetings and other intimate gatherings, making it all the more flexible and coveted. Behind this venue is Puahanui Bush: a 132-hectare lowland podocarp forest that is a significant biodiversity landmark in Hawke’s Bay. You’ll be surrounded by lush, natural beauty on all sides when you host your upcoming event at Gwavas Garden and Homestead.



Image by Hawke’s Bay

Rolling hills and tranquil gardens serve as the backdrop to Wallingford, a Hawke’s Bay venue that combines the beauty of tradition with that of nature. Hosting celebrations and events since 1853, Wallingford has a long-standing love for weddings, cocktail parties, product launches, seminars, luncheons and more. This delightful Hawke’s Bay venue is all about fantastic food and company, with owners Chris and Jeanette at the centre of these beliefs. Award-winning chefs and restaurant owners, they championed their way to the helm of Wallingford, nurturing and growing it into one of Hawke’s Bay’s most beloved venues for hire. This space is not just for functions but for dining, unwinding and relaxing, featuring on-site catering and accommodation. They have a series of packages to choose from when planning your Hawke’s Bay event, so don’t hesitate to inquire.


Cottages on St Andrews and Lodge on St Georges

Image by Cottages on St Andrews

Boutique retreats in Hawke’s Bay, both Cottages on St Andrews and Lodge on St Georges are family-owned and -operated venues ideal for cosy events packed with character. Sitting on 10 acres of greenery, these Hawke’s Bay venues are award-winning and detail-orientated, serving as spaces for smaller functions such as meetings, seminars, retreats and more. Cottages on St Andrews features 6 private cottages, framed by open paddocks, orchards and animals, just a few minutes from Havelock North Village with its diverse shopping, cafés, restaurants and wineries. On the other hand, Lodge on St Georges has 8 bedrooms and sleeps up to 18 guests, sitting right beside the working orchard. Cottages on St Andrews and Lodge on St Georges include facilities such as complimentary WiFi, kitchen facilities, air conditioning, dedicated grilling space and more. It’s all about the most relaxing experience you can put together for you and your guests, escaping to one of Hawke’s Bay’s most restful and fun-filled venues.


The Crown Napier

Image by The Crown Napier

There’s something ineffably elegant about hosting your event at a swanky hotel, which is precisely what The Crown Napier loves to capitalise on. With 3 separate rooms to choose from, as well as the Heritage House Bar and Courtyard for an outdoor option, this Hawke’s Bay venue offers a variety of flexible and gorgeous spaces for your upcoming event. Built in 1932 and carefully refurbished over the years, this is a contemporary and luxury event venue with high-speed, complimentary WiFi, the latest audiovisual equipment, the option of full, on-site catering, and a dedicated Conference Manager to ensure that your Hawke’s Bay event is planned to perfection. The Crown Napier can host anywhere from 10 to 90 guests, with rooms bathed in natural light, and is a mere 10-minute drive from the airport.


Backpaddock Lakes

Image by Backpaddock Lakes

Watery goodness is as refreshing as it gets at Backpaddock Lake, a venue that makes magic with their location. Enjoy this purpose-built Hawke’s Bay venue for all sorts of events, from personal to corporate, with a rustic barn and plenty of space to spread out. Having your function at Backpaddock Lakes includes full use of their facilities and venue, the options of Kubb, pétanque, cable wakeboarding, kayaking, paddleboarding and croquet, as well as their dedicated BBQ area. Backpaddock Lakes loves catering to fun-loving events such as team-building, weddings, celebrations and more. Their dedicated event space, The Barn, is a rustic and wholesome design with large doors and a high ceiling, including a full-sized commercial kitchen for your caterer’s use. One of their most unique points is the inclusion of water-based activities as New Zealand’s go-to water sports park.


The Soundshell

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Looking for a Hawke’s Bay venue for a performance? The Soundshell is the answer. Designed by J. T. Watson and built in 1935, this venue is a testament to the extraordinary appeal of Hawke’s Bay with an Art Deco look, rising arches and outdoor space for dancing and mingling. When it comes to hiring this daring Hawke’s Bay venue, you’re in luck: the stage area is totally free for all non-profit organisations, while backstage access and power come at a small charge. The Soundshell came after the earthquake and sought to represent ‘rising from the rubble’ in the city with something thrilling and adventurous. It was the people of Napier themselves that paid for the outdoor area, purchasing individual slabs to piece it together. 10 minutes from Hawke’s Bay airport and a stroll away from the Marine Parade, The Soundshell has quickly become a favourite community venue, playing host to productions of every kind.


Black Barn

Image by Meredith Lord Photography

Six locations and infinite options - Black Barn is one of Hawke’s Bay’s most prestigious venues for a reason. The Olive Shed is a character space, a mid-century siding shed rescued from Hasting's Railway and accomodating up to 150 guests in its rustic walls. Black Barn Bistro is an all-inclusive venue residing at the end of a fig tree-lined walkway, sunlight dappling through a canopy of grapevines onto the courtyard and leading you to the bistro, catering for 150 guests. Their Underground Cellar provides you with something a little more intimate, cosy and charming for up to 60 guests. The Market Place, otherwise known as The Growers’ Market, is circled by 25-year-old Plane trees and is an outdoor option for up to 250 guests. Finally, you can venture Offsite, a rural, earthy option for you to use as your blank canvas and build your Hawke’s Bay event from the ground up, allowing for up to 500 guests. You won’t be disappointed with Black Barn, bringing you every stylish choice under Hawke’s Bay’s sun.


Mangapapa Hotel

Image by Mangapapa Hotel

Mangapapa Hotel is a central Hawke’s Bay venue that offers peace and privacy in a neat package, located right outside Havelock North Village and a 20-minute drive from Napier. Their professional and helpful staff can cater to any corporate event needs, from catering to private rooms for conferences and more intimate meetings. They also provide corporate accommodation costs, complimentary WiFi, as well as any audiovisual equipment that should be required during the event. Mangapapa Hotel can host anywhere from 15 to 40 guests, with tailored menu options particular to corporate functions and a streamlined appeal to enhance productivity and timeliness. When it comes to Hawke’s Bay venues that offer the full package, Mangapapa Hotel has certainly got it all.


River Park Event Centre

Image by Colliers International

River Park Event Centre is a breezy handful of minutes from Hawke’s Bay central and is a purpose-built venue for all occasions. With green, fenced grounds, the Tuki Tuki River, a marine reserve and several beaches nearby, this Hawke’s Bay venue serves as a scenic spot for every corporate event, including conferences, seminars, meetings and more. The team at River Park Event Centre is attentive and detail-orientated, adding personal touches to the venue to enhance your function and help you to plan and run it as necessary. They offer on-site catering and cater for up to 70 guests - even more if you choose to have a marquee on their verdant lawn. 


The Dome

Image by NZ Pocket Guide

If your dream is to embrace Hawke’s Bay’s brilliant Art Deco design, The Dome is the ticket. Luxurious, lavish and ideally-located, this Hawke’s Bay venue has self-contained apartments with brilliant details, ranging from Philippe Starke furnishings to artwork courtesy of New Zealand’s budding artists. The Dome also has an in-house chef ready to prepare sumptuous meals for you and your guests, catering to your requirements, or you’re more than welcome to explore the wide selection of restaurants and eateries around every corner. Events can be held at their Grand Dining Room, accommodating up to 120 guests, or Deco Decant’s indoor and outdoor areas that host more intimate functions for up to 80 delegates. If you’re looking for a breakaway space or a cosy meeting option, their Round Table is ideal for no more than 10 guests. The Dome endeavours to make each event it hosts, from cocktail nights to conferences, a sublime experience, kitted out with the latest technology and an unparalleled ambience.


Moana Park

Image by Hawke’s Bay

Choose a boutique winery in the western hills of Hawke’s Bay for your upcoming Hawke’s Bay event. Moana Park is at the top of this list, priding themselves on being a rustic, outdoor events centre for all manner of events, be it a stunning wedding or a stylish cocktail party. With flexible and attentive staff, they tailor packages to their guests’ needs and have a team dedicated to event management and planning. Resting on the rolling Puketapu hills, they are a 5-minute drive from Taradale and are fully-equipped to handle both outdoor and indoor events. Moana Park is a stunning venue settled in a valley, offering a vast, open space for your next corporate event. The predominantly outdoor venue boasts a massive fire pit and lawn space for a marquee, making it a versatile Hawke’s Bay venue in every sense of the word.


CHB Municipal Theatre

Image by Caroline Williams Photographer

The CHB Municipal Theatre is smack dab in the middle of Hawke’s Bay Central, boasting New Zealand’s signature hospitality and a heap of charming tradition. Fashionable in that old-world way that every event just adores for the sake of character, this Hawke’s Bay venue can cater for up to 220 guests. Their spaces for hire are two-fold: the Stephenson Transport Auditorium, perfect for performances, gala dinners, product launches, cocktail parties and more, with a mezzanine floor and tiered theatre seating; and Gwen Malden Concert Chambers, purpose-built for functions on the ground floor of the venue and opening onto an outdoor patio. The CHB Municipal Theatre features amenities such as high-speed WiFi, audiovisual equipment, a bar, on-site parking options and catering. In addition to this, their highly-skilled and helpful team will be around to assist with all your Hawke’s Bay event needs, helping you to plan and organise a flawless function through and through.