photos by Hawkins

Top Auckland Gala Dinner Venues

by Luke Ellery | 13 Jul 2022

Gala dinners vary in their formality and are held for an array of reasons, from decadent and formal to relaxed and carefree. Whether your gala dinner is part of a fundraising event, an awards night, or a product launch, you’re going to need a premium venue that provides a beautiful atmosphere and delicious catering options. The following Auckland venues are among the finest gala dinner venues that the city has to offer. If you're looking for more venue options, take a look at our comprehensive guide to Auckland venues here.

Pilkingtons

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Image by Pilkingtons

Pilkingtons is an award-winning Auckland restaurant that doubles as a venue and can be hired entirely out for private events, making it as exclusive as it is elegant. Naturally, gala dinners are a speciality of theirs given their usual status as a fabulous and stylish restaurant. The layout of this Auckland gala dinner venue is perfect for seated meals, and their menu and beverage selection will be a hit with your guests. The boutique furniture and lush greenery that fill the interior of Pilkingtons help set the tone, boasting swathes of natural light and as much flexibility as you need for your upcoming gala dinner.

 

Little Creatures


Image by Little Creatures

Be bold with Little Creatures, an Auckland gala dinner venue that allows you to spread your wings. Once a military base and also the birthplace of the commercial aviation industry in New Zealand, this event space has blossomed into a hotspot for activity and events. There are a total of 7 spaces to choose from for your Auckland gala dinner, from the adorable Kittyhawk to the more extensive Seaside Garden Bar. If you want to go all out, hire out all of Little Creatures, with a capacity of 550 guests. They offer a host of sumptuous catering options, high-end audiovisual equipment, plenty of on-site parking, and attentive event coordination throughout. 

 

St. Matthew’s

Auckland Venue - St. Matthew’sImage by St Matthew's

Pairing classic architecture with timeless elegance, St Matthew's is an Auckland venue that lends itself to gala dinners of up to 250 guests. This Auckland venue has hosted several modern, flashy events that all went off seamlessly as a result of their committed in-house team and impeccable planning. In hiring this venue, you have full control over catering, beverages, entertainment and more. The seasoned team at St Matthew's can provide a list of preferred vendors should you need it. This iconic Auckland venue makes the ideal location for inner-city events, including gala dinners, cocktail nights and more. With a sophisticated, characterful charm to it, your gala dinner will be the talk of the town.

 

The Annex at 10 Madden Street


Image by The Annex at 10 Madden Street

Run by Generator, The Annex at 10 Madden Street is part of the bustling Wynyard Quarter. Sleek and stylish, it serves as the perfect canvas for your Auckland gala dinner. It boasts a single, flexible space that hosts up to 140 people. Go as large as you like, or whittle it down to suit the requirements of your function. The Annex at 10 Madden Street comes with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment and an on-site events coordinator, at your beck and call to ensure that your gala dinner runs to a T. This Auckland gala dinner venue is the ideal option for a polished event, filled with natural light and adapting to every style.

 

Gracehill Vineyard Estate


Image by Gracehill Vineyard Estate

Wow your guests at Gracehill Vineyard Estate, an Auckland gala dinner venue that radiates style and comfort. Ideal for all corporate events, it boasts everything you need and more to host an incredible gala dinner. This includes on-site catering options, audiovisual supplies and assistance, plenty of parking and more. Their facilities are polished to perfection, poised to help your event transcend boundaries. Gracehill Vineyard Estate has a total of 3 spaces for individual hire: the Lakeview Room, accommodating up to 100 guests; The Vineyard Room, accommodating up to 50; and the Terrace, an outdoor area for up to 100. On the fringe of Auckland, this gala dinner venue will make your night of fine dining an evening to remember.

 

Kauri Bay Boomrock

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Image by Kauri Bay Boomrock

Kauri Bay Boomrock’s head chef sources local produce every day to ensure the freshest ingredients in their delicious kiwi menu, meaning that your gala dinner is sure to be a hit. A few features that you and your 200 guests can enjoy are stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf, versatile space, transportation to and from the CBD, and adrenaline-inducing activities. Kauri Bay Boomrock regularly hosts lunches and dinners for the public – keep an eye out, and you can go and taste their incredible food for yourself. When you host your gala dinner at this Auckland venue, you're guaranteed an experienced team at your side from start to finish, helping you to plan an immaculate function.

 

Spectra Café


Image by Spectra Café

If a gala dinner filled with contemporary elegance is your goal, Spectra Café has got you covered. This eatery was designed to be a toast to the best modern architecture can give us, located on the seventh floor in the middle of the busy Auckland City. They have everything you need for your upcoming gala dinner, from the professional and attentive staff to stunning views over the city and harbour. When it comes to their menu, you'll be in for a treat with their seasonal and simple dishes that are sure to delight. Opened in 2020, Spectra Café seeks to be an Auckland venue for hire that offers both open spaces for collaborative thought alongside private dining. Accommodating anywhere from 50 to 350 guests, this is a perfect choice for your gala dinner.

 

The Riverhead


Image by The Riverhead

The Riverhead is a private and flexible venue that offers itself up for hire, only a 30-minute drive from Auckland and surrounded by greenery and tranquil waters. Outdoors, indoors or a nice mix, this Auckland venue is all about giving you options amidst cosy beauty and convenience. With your catering taken care of by on-site suppliers, plenty of natural light and multiple spaces to choose between, The Riverhead is one of the finest gala dinner venues on the fringes of Auckland. Their spaces include The Boat House and Deacon's Kitchen, as well as exclusive hire of the venue for your gala dinner.

 

Connemara Country Lodge


Image by Connemara Country Lodge

Spread out on plenty of rolling farmland and boasting views of Manukau Harbour, Connemara Country Lodge is an Auckland venue for all. Its centrepiece is a grand, comfy country house with spacious decking and light-filled rooms. You can have your function on the manicured lawns, beneath a string of fairy lights or tucked away in a marquee. Connemara Country Lodge hosts up to 100 guests, with accommodation for up to 8 so you and your guests can rest easy before or after the big bash. Facilities include multiple locations for your gala dinner; there are BYO options, plenty of on-site parking and more.

 

Bruce Pulman Park


Image by Bruce Pulman Park

Your Auckland gala dinner can take place at one of Auckland's most flexible venues, Bruce Pulman Park. Boasting 10 spaces to choose from, including the Pulman Lodge Tui Lounge, Pulman Arena Conference Centre, PNC Main Lounge and more, this Auckland venue is awash with choices for your upcoming gala dinner. Their facilities are seemingly endless, including cosy on-site accommodation, audiovisual supplies and assistance, bespoke catering options and plenty of parking for you and your guests. Bruce Pulman Park prides itself on being a spacious, comfortable option for everyone, local and otherwise, surrounded by 64 hectares of greenery and fresh air. Your gala dinner can take place in serenity, with all the fine details taken care of thanks to their incredible in-house team.

 

The Grounds at Whoa! Studios


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The Grounds at Whoa! Studios is a modern and purpose-built Auckland gala dinner venue that is as flexible as they come. Choose to host your upcoming gala dinner at this Auckland venue, located only 15 km from the CBD and 30 km from the airport. With plenty of natural light, expansive outdoor space and a restaurant, The Grounds at Whoa! Studios is a wonderful gala dinner venue option in Auckland that can host up to 500 guests. They offer on-site catering options and have a dedicated team available to help you make sure that your gala dinner goes off without a hitch.

 

Smiths & Stables


Image by Smiths & Stables

Located on 50 acres of rolling hills, paddocks and vineyards in Matakana, Smiths & Stables is a versatile gala dinner venue option outside of central Auckland. With the space to fit more than 500 guests inside and over 1000 using the courtyards and lawn, the potential for this unique rural venue is endless. Smiths & Stables also has 2 restaurants and 2 bars, expansive manicured lawns, and 2 sheltered courtyards to boot. It’s a delightful mixture of contemporary and rustic, with a wonderful outdoor/indoor flow that few venues can match.

 

East Street Hall


Image by East Street Hall

East Street Hall is bringing flavour to your gala dinner. Once a community hall part of a Samoan church, this Auckland gala dinner venue now functions as a mid-century modernist building that caters for up to 150 guests, sit-down. It is filled with natural light and has all the amenities you're after, including audiovisual supplies, on-site catering options and attentive service. East Street Hall features a total of 4 spaces for hire for your Auckland gala dinner, including the Courtyard, Canteen, Summer Deck and Bar; if you're keen for a more exclusive night, you can hire out the entirety of the venue and go to town. With a menu inspired by the food culture of Tel Aviv, you're in for a treat with this Auckland venue. Dine on pitas and plates, thoughtfully put together by their creative and talented chefs, alongside organic wines, fresh beer and herbaceous cocktails. Only the best awaits you at East Street Hall, one of Auckland's favourite gala dinner venues.

 

Markovina Vineyard Estate


Image by Markovina Vineyard Estate

Settled in the wine-making district of Kumeu, Markovina Vineyard Estate is an Auckland venue surrounded by nature. With a purpose-built venue to host any and every event, they are a family-owned and operated Auckland venue. Facilities include mouthwatering catering options, on-site parking, as well as both outdoor and indoor spaces to host your gala dinner. Their friendly service and attention to detail ensure that your gala dinner will be an experience like none other, ensconced in greenery and the beauty of the countryside.

 

Abbeville Estate


Image by Abbeville Estate

Moments away from Auckland Airport is the ever-convenient and versatile Abbeville Estate. Whether you're looking to host your gala dinner on their emerald lawns or stay cosy inside, this venue can accommodate up to 350 guests in any one of their space, including the Homestead, Barn, Dining Room and Garden Room. The hewn timber frames speak of over 150 years of history; below your feet, rustic flooring adds an earthiness to Abbeville Estate. They even boast a kitchen garden that provides herbs and more for the on-site catering for your upcoming gala dinner.

 

Tui Hills


Image by Tui Hills

A gala dinner that also doubles as a getaway venue, Tui Hills is found in the bush-covered Waitakere Ranges, surrounded by a native garden and making for an incredible gala dinner space just 30 minutes outside of Auckland. With a maximum capacity of 120 guests, Tui Hills is a light-filled and flexible gala dinner venue that can help with everything from audiovisual requirements to transport details to incredible on-site catering options. Pick between Nikau Pavilion, The Nectar Room and Kowhai Glade for your gala dinner.

 

The Officers Mess


Image by The Officers Mess

Historically charming and with oceanside views for miles and miles, The Officers Mess is an Auckland venue that offers space and versatility for you and your guests to enjoy. Drink in views of the sea, Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island whilst sipping on cocktails, with an expansive deck for your gala dinner to spill onto. The Officers Mess has 3 spaces to choose from, including the Main Room and Middle Room. They can accommodate anywhere from 40 to 200 guests, making this Auckland venue a great option for gala dinners.

 

Fantail & Turtle


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With an easygoing vibe and plenty of space, Fantail & Turtle is an eatery that has it all: two bars, a community brewery, an expansive all-weather outdoor area and plenty of local taps to choose from. This Auckland venue is ideal for gala dinners, hosting up to 200 guests and offering a seasonal sharing menu like none other. They also feature fantastic on-site catering and a drinks list that includes local craft beer, real ale, cider, over fifty wines, kombucha and more. Fantail & Turtle is a flexible and relaxed Auckland venue, ideal for your upcoming gala dinner.

 

Okahu


Image by Okahu

Have a gala dinner at the ocean's edge with Okahu. Perched on the edge of Okahu Bay, Okahu is a multifunctional venue that gazes out at the glittering water, Rangitoto and cityscape of Auckland. They have a dedicated events management team to help with the planning and running of your gala dinner, as well as delicious off-site catering options and an audiovisual supplier. When it comes to hosting an Auckland gala dinner with style, Okahu can be the perfect venue for you. They're only 5 km from the CBD and 25 km from the airport, available for exclusive hire throughout the week.

 

The Hunting Lodge


Image by The Hunting Lodge

Stretching across 80 acres, The Hunting Lodge boasts the historic and iconic Hunting Lodge Homestead - the ideal location for your upcoming gala dinner. This Auckland venue adapts to the atmosphere and tone of every event, whether you're hosting a cosy wedding or a cocktail party for hundreds. Choose from their emerald lawns, rustic barn and restaurant when planning your gala dinner. The Hunting Lodge offers bespoke packages for events, helping you to put together the necessities in one, neat bundle to make planning and executing your event a breeze. This Auckland venue is at the top of the list when it comes to superb service, featuring mouthwatering catering options, audiovisual supplies and assistance, event expertise and more.

 

Everybody’s

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Image by Charlotte Christian Photography

Everybody’s is, without a doubt, one of Auckland’s hotspots, boasting close proximity to the trendy nightclub, The Roxy. This restaurant-cum-bar and function space has customisable function menus that can turn any gala dinner into one that you and your guests won't soon forget; the stunning interior design will give your gala dinner the wow factor that every event planner dreams of. When it comes to hosting events, Everybody's is a favourite Auckland venue for its flexibility and endless styling options, guaranteeing a gala dinner that will make a lasting statement.

 

Ascension Wine Estate

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Image by Ascension Wine Estate

This award-winning estate and gala dinner venue is found in Matakana, just 45 minutes north of Auckland. Handcrafted wine and inspiring menus are Ascension’s passion, promising you expertly catered menus and beverages throughout your gala dinner. The restaurant within Ascension Wine Estate is a top-rated restaurant of the Matakana region with a focus on Italian and Mediterranean flavours. The short trip out of the hustle and bustle of the city is entirely worth it for the incredible food and atmosphere that Ascension Wine Estate has to offer when hosting your Auckland gala dinner.

 

Auckland Art Gallery

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Image by Hawkins

The perfect venue for a formal gala event that intends to invoke glamour and class. The Auckland Art Gallery building juxtaposes the old and the new - with its stunning modern glass and kauri structure connecting to the original Victorian-style building. Multiple function spaces are available, including the North Atrium, Lower Grey Gallery, Mackelvie Gallery, and the East Terrace, each with varying capacities and styles. You are bound to find the perfect space for your gala event. Exclusively catered by the reputable team at Urban Gourmet you can rest assured that your guests will love the food. Once you’ve booked the venue and selected your menu options, Urban Gourmet will privately host a tasting for you so you can be certain the food is up to your standards.

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