Top 10 Gala Dinner Venues in Christchurch
by Raashka Mannie | 24 Sep 2020
Christchurch is known for its picturesque beauty, vibrant atmosphere, and particular English feel. In keeping with this duality, its spaces for gala dinners are elegant and warm, boasting venues that thrive amidst breathtaking views of the city or sit on the cusp of lush greenery. The diversity presents a challenge for choosing the perfect dinner venue, but we have found the 10 best that Christchurch has to offer, whether you’re planning an intimate night to celebrate a launch or hosting a fundraiser for hundreds. You can find even more venue options in our complete guide to Christchurch venues.
Image by Riverside Mezzanine
In 2011, Riverside Mezzanine was introduced into Christchurch's CBD as a temporary space for local vendors to share their wares. Years later, it has transformed into a permanent hotspot of activity and celebration, located right above Riverside Market and with sprawling room for up to 1,000 guests. Perfect for gala dinners both large and small, this Christchurch venue has four unique restaurants nearby, working together to provide exceptional local catering for your upcoming Christchurch gala dinner. Available for both partial and exclusive hire, Riverside Mezzanine is a Christchurch venue that awaits your gala dinner.
Image by Larcomb Vineyard
Unique, personalised and stylish, Larcomb Vineyard is one of Christchurch's favourite gala dinner venues - and with good reason. You can host your Christchurch gala dinner at this flexible venue, with a duo of spaces to choose from, including the Big Barn and Small Barn. Your gala dinner can be a handful of people or up to 200, with the options of incredible on-site catering and plenty of parking for you and your guests. Filled with natural light and an authentic feel, Larcomb Vineyard is the perfect venue for gala dinners, featuring attentive staff and gorgeous surroundings.
Image by Ōnuku Marae
Hold your Christchurch gala dinner moments away from the colourful township of Akaroa and just over an hour's drive away from Christchurch. One of the largest event, conference and noho marae-style accommodation facilities on Banks Peninsula, Ōnuku Marae is here to infuse a unique and fascinating cultural experience into your gala dinner, celebrating in style with the warm hospitality of Christchurch. There are multiple spaces to choose from, including the Ancestral House, Dining Room and Ōnuku Church, accommodating anywhere from 10 to 350 guests. Ōnuku Marae is the ideal Christchurch venue for your upcoming gala dinner, flexible and atmospheric, with top-notch service and facilities, as well as a team ready to help you plan and manage the details of your event from start to end.
Wigram Base Hotel
Image by Wigram Base Hotel
One of Christchurch’s most historic venues, the Wigram Base Hotel was built in 1938 and has served as a home for official events ever since. Once the base of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, its atmosphere retains the refined nature it has nurtured for the last century, framed by sprawling emerald laws and art deco. It has a series of venues for you to choose from depending on the scale of your event, seating anywhere from a comfortable knitting of 15 to a flourishing party of 150.
Links Function & Events
Image by Links Functions & Events
Recently constructed at the acclaimed Christchurch Golf Club, this venue is a modern accomplishment of polished beauty. With floor to ceiling glass offering panoramic views of the Shirley Links golf course and facilities for catering up to 230 guests, this venue is an ideal space for a sparkling affair. French doors unfold to allow an easy flow of open space, with the Charles Gallery just upstairs for more intimate gatherings. The menu specialises in locally-sourced produce.
Image by Magda Blaha
Set alongside a vineyard, Hinton’s is a family-owned venue that excels in creating a quaint atmosphere. It has two venues to choose from: the Tasting Room, for smaller gatherings, with a more rustic, cosy feel; and the Villa, able to host up to a 100 guests and offering a unique and charming setting for a gala with its rolling gardens. The Villa was built in early 1920 and has since been restored, with grapevine views and acres of green grass. Additionally, Hinton’s specialises in their choice of wines and have an award-winning selection to recommend.
Tai Tapu Hotel
Image by Tai Tapu Hotel
Established in 1856, Tai Tapu Hotel brings with it a rich history and a richer atmosphere. With its down-to-earth colouring and country charm, this venue provides the allure of fresh air and the quintessence of Christchurch life. The venue is built on the stables, with cedar doors opening into a wide, light space, and folding doors at the back leading into a private patio that overlooks the Tai Tapu Golf Club and the serene Halswell River. Its nostalgic vibe coupled with its organic setting makes for a welcoming air necessary for every event.
Image by The George
A luxury boutique hotel, The George is located in the heart of Christchurch, offering views of Hagley Park and River Avon. It has won a multitude of awards and is proudly the best of the best when it comes to venues and event planning. The venue can cater up to 160 guests and has 6 different function rooms to choose between. Modern and sleek, it has a contemporary finish to it that blends seamlessly into the heart of any event, from cocktail to product launch.
Image by Trends Ideas
If exoticism is what you’re looking for to add flair to your gala, Spice Paragon is the answer. Catering up to 150 guests, this colourful venue delights in creating the perfect menu and atmosphere for your event. Combining traditional Thai spices and modern needs, this space rests between a passionate expression of the Far East and the traditionality of Christchurch. Their menus are tailor-made to suit your tastes.
Peppers Clearwater Resort
Image by My Venue Finder
Often referred to as a classic New Zealand landscape, Peppers Clearwater Resort is surrounded by the tranquillity of nature. Overlooking the glassy waters of Lake Kaikainui, with mountain views painting the skyline, the venue offers contemporary spaces for events, dinners and meetings. There are 4 rooms in total to choose from, and the space can host up to 240 guests.
Image by Christchurch Attractions
In the midst of Botanic Gardens, the Curator’s House rests with its wealth of beauty and Spanish influence. The house is Tudor-styled, with enclosed gardens and courtyards resting near the Avon River. The venue allows for intimate parties, but also easily accommodates up to 150 guests depending on which one of the 12 locations you choose. With the menu prepared by their award-winning chef from Barcelona, the Curator’s House prides itself on its Spaniard touch.
Image by Riccarton House
Built in 1856, Riccarton House is a Victorian-styled masterpiece with an exquisite atmosphere matched by its illustrious background. Flanked by lush parks and gardens, and resting alongside the Ōtākaro River, this venue is a testament to the classic history of Christchurch. Choose from 4 event spaces, one of which is set on 12 acres of parkland in an elegant marquee. Riccarton House can host up to 300 of your guests.
Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery
Image by Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery
The Sugarhorse Bar & Eatery pays homage to the ethos of Christchurch. Aiming to create a stylish, inner-city bar with an easygoing vibe, this modern venue offers a space for fundraising, galas, product launches and the like. They cater up to 130 guests and offer several menus to suit your taste. With their laidback aura and gorgeous, open-air patio, they’ve crafted a truly Kiwi experience.