photos by Museums Wellington
Wellington Venues for Hire - The Complete Guide
by Raashka Mannie | 01 Apr 2020
Wellington sits on the edge of the Cook Strait, famed for its sandy beaches and waterfront promenade. It’s filled with energy, vibrancy and more wind than most are used to, alongside several fantastic venues to entertain both intimate gatherings and seminars for hundreds of guests. This guide is filled with the best Wellington venues that the city has to offer, from polished hotel venues and quaint vineyards to inventive galleries and spacious stadiums to host your next Wellington event.
Sweet Axe Throwing Co.
Image by Sweet Axe Throwing Co.
There's nothing quirkier and cooler than Sweet Axe Throwing Co., a Wellington venue with spunk. You can host corporate and personal events at this exciting venue, with a maximum capacity of 50 guests and only 10km from the airport. This flexible and unusual venue is all about team building and having a good time, perfect for celebrations and events that will create a lasting bond between you and your guests. Sweet Axe Throwing Co. offers curated packages and options for private events - with or without the added bonus of chucking an axe around.
Image by Wellington NZ
2,186m2 of open space that can be arranged in almost any setup makes TSB Arena one of Wellington’s favoured venues for large-scale events. The vast space makes for easy flow in, out and around the venue. Dramatic black curtains can be draped as a backdrop in the venue to convert the arena from a daytime conference space to a themed gala dinner venue. The arena can host up to 6,000 people depending on the setup of your event, so there is more than enough space for your delighted guests. Its central location along the Wellington City harbour makes coming and going especially easy, surrounded by local attractions and hotspots in Wellington City.
Image Wellington NZ
Westpac Stadium rests comfortably on the edge of Wellington’s CBD and is one of the largest venue spaces in the city. A scenic walk from local attractions and the transport hub, this venue is also a 20-minute drive from the airport. Westpac Stadium has a generous 15 flexible spaces spread out over a total of 3 different floors, with a maximum capacity of 2000 guests. They offer amenities such as high-speed WiFi, on-site catering, and audiovisual equipment and assistance. All spaces within the venue can be tailored to your event, whether you require a lecture for up to 120 delegates or a banquet for 750 lucky diners.
Te Papa - Te Marae
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Te Marae is a powerful work of contemporary architecture and art. Like all marae, it tells a story of identity. Te Marae in Te Papa stands out because it acknowledges the many cultures that live in Aotearoa, and showcases the bi-cultural identity of the museum itself. Your guests can enjoy a seated gala dinner, or a standing cocktail night, surrounded by Maori inspired art. At the front of the room is the pièce de résistance, Te Marae. Seating 200 people in a gala-style dinner setup, the room boasts, stunning lighting design and spectacular views of Wellington.
Michael Fowler Centre
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Award-winning architecture and a prime location, Michael Fowler Centre is a sophisticated luxury venue for your next Wellington event. The centre has a three-story glass facade, and the interior is comprised of Italian marble and native timber. Michael Fowler Centre is also a cultural hub for many Wellingtonians as it functions as the home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Two of their unique event spaces are the Renouf Foyer and the Lion Harbourview Lounge. The Renouf Foyer boasts plenty of natural light, a sophisticated-looking hardwood floor, and space for up to 300 seated guests. The Lion Harbourview lounge boasts (as expected from its name) beautiful views over the Wellington harbour. It also has floor-to-ceiling windows to enhance that view and create a consistent flow of natural light.
The Opera House
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Host an event on stage in one of Wellington’s oldest and most extravagant buildings, The Opera House. The massive dome ceiling and the raked stage will have you feeling like you’ve travelled back in time. This setting is perfect for all events, lending an air of extravagance that will blow your guests away. The stage space is only suitable for about 130 seated guests, so some events might not fit, but if your guest list is anywhere up to 130, then this venue should be very high up on your priorities.
Shed 6 (TSB Auditorium)
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With its pillarless floor and soundproof walls, Shed 6 is entirely versatile. You can arrange tables in a multitude of ways because the vast open space has next to no obstructions. Shed 6 also boasts the latest in audio-visual technology. As the home of the annual WOW Arts Show (World of Wearable Arts Show), it needs to be continually ahead of the game in lighting and sound display. Shed 6 is a part of a trio of venues that include TSB Auditorium, TSB Arcade, and TSB Arena. The latter is Wellington’s largest indoor event space and can host over 1000 people in a seated banquet setting.
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A modern and minimalist contemporary art showroom, Academy Galleries is the perfect place to hold a classy, intimate evening. With art regularly on display, you don't need to worry about decoration. The central location is easy to get to for Wellingtonians and tourists alike. Depending on your event type, you can expect Academy Galleries to be suitable for groups up to 100. If you want an event with an ambience that promotes thought-provoking discussion, then Academy Galleries should be your top choice.
Te Raukura - Te Wharewaka o Poneke
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Te Raukura - Te Wharewaka o Poneke is an iconic landmark of the Wellington Waterfront. It boasts 5 function spaces available for groups ranging from 20 to 500. It is a dedicated function space, so you can rest assured that it has all the latest audiovisual technology, along with areas that have been purpose-built for hosting successful private events. Visitors will also be able to view 3 Maori waka, permanently on display – except for when they are out on the water, which can be arranged. Waka harbour tours are considered to be one of the most culturally inspiring things to do in the city. So, if you have international clients coming to your gala dinner, make use of the waka’s availability to leave your guests in awe.
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Space Place is situated within Wellington’s famed Botanical Gardens, sharing stories of the skies through multimedia exhibits, interactive galleries, the historic Thomas Cooke telescope, and a digital, full-dome planetarium. This venue is available for both partial and exclusive hire, hosting up to 60 seated or 180 standing guests, with the options of speakers and stargazing to delight and entertain everyone at your function. There are 4 separate spaces within Space Place: The Planetarium, Library, Gallery and Exploration Room, all with their own charm and purpose. This Wellington venue brings with it the undeniable beauty of the city, juxtaposed against the breathtaking views of our galaxy.
St James Theatre
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St James Theatre is the home of the Royal New Zealand Ballet. More than just a home for the delights of the performing arts, the theatre’s proscenium arch and historic decorative interior design make it a unique and memorable venue to host any event. This venue can play host for up to 650 guests, and, since it was refurbished in the late 1990s, it has access to plenty of modern-day technology. St James is currently being renovated and will be reopened in 2020 – at which point, high tech spaces that maintain their old-world style will be available for bookings.
The Basin Reserve
Image by NZ Herald
The Basin Reserve, otherwise known to be one of the globe’s most picturesque cricket grounds, is also one of the top 10 cricket venues in the world. Recently, a long-term development plan was put in place by the local government to improve some of the areas that make up The Basin Reserve. By 2025, it will be as technologically advanced and modern as ever, but it will still maintain its historic aesthetic. There are two primary function spaces in The Basin Reserve, the Longroom and the Norwood Room, both suitable for gala banquets of over 100 guests. The Longroom boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and built-in bar space, while the Norwood Room houses the grand honours board.
Harbourside Function Centre
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Once upon a time, Harbourside Function Centre was a wharf warehouse housing various trade wares. Now, they’re a modern architectural space comprised of 5 spaces at which to host your Wellington event. Harbourside Function Centre’s most spacious layout can host up to 600 standing or 300 seated guests. All their spaces have high-speed WiFi, access to the latest audiovisual technology, and soundproof divides. Harbourside Function Centre is a short walk from popular landmarks within Wellington City, such as Te Papa National Museum, and is a quick 20-minute drive from the airport.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club
Image by Ed O'Keeffe Photography
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club was established in 1883 and overlooks the glittering marina, making it an ideal event space on the water’s edge. There are 3 separate and versatile spaces for hire within the Club: The Noel Manthel Boardroom, The Wardroom, and The Alan Martin Room. Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club offers options such as on-site catering, audiovisual assistance and breakaway rooms for further discussion and networking. With the Wellington cityscape and Clyde Quay Marina serving as a backdrop, this is one of Wellington’s premier venue options.
Old St Paul’s
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A former cathedral, Old St Paul’s is a celebrated piece of Wellington’s history with stunning stained glass and a warmly wooden interior. Celebrated as one of the finest examples of timber gothic revival architecture, Old St Paul’s provides a perfect venue for your next event. It has a capacity of 400 guests and is located minutes from the centre of Wellington City, making it as convenient as it is beautiful. With a dedicated team to help you with planning and organising your event, as well as the options of on-site catering and audiovisual equipment, Old St Paul’s is a beloved venue choice for any Wellington function.
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Dating back to 1892, Wellington Museum was once a storehouse that now primarily stores artifacts and stories of old. With hundreds of items that are unique to Wellington, this venue offers itself up for both partial and exclusive hire. Choose between 5 unique spaces: The Attic, Flux, Telling Tales, Draughtsman's Room and Capital Room. Wellington Museum can accommodate up to 700 delegates. Their special package, A Night at the Museum, includes hiring out the entire venue for your event with private tours for a cocktail-style night in one of the most fascinating, history-rich spaces in Wellington.
City Gallery Wellington
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City Gallery Wellington focuses on displaying contemporary visual art and design from New Zealand and around the world. This public gallery is in the centre of Wellington City and has won awards for its architecture and design, ensuring that it’s a wonderful option for a venue. There are 4 private spaces within it to choose from: The Hancock Gallery and Foyer, The Adam Auditorium, Deane and Hirschfeld Foyer, and The Boardroom. You can host anywhere from 12 to 250 delegates, with the exciting option of private viewings/tours of the gallery to delight your guests with.
Lower Hutt Event Centre
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Lower Hutt Event Centre is owned and operated by Hutt City Council, bringing with them 20 years of operating experience and 40 years of hospitality experience. Their seasoned on-site conference manager will work with you to bring your event to life in their multi-purpose venue. Spacious rooms with plenty of natural light and a muted colour scheme makes their spaces an ideal environment for any event. Lower Hutt Event Centre has a range of rooms available that can each host anywhere from 10 to 900 people. Extended and refurbished in 2018, the Lower Hutt Event Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and modern air.
Grand Mercure Wellington
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With a plethora of rooms bathed in natural light and a dedicated events team that can accommodate any number of guests, from 2 to 200, the Grand Mercure in Wellington is a premium choice amongst Wellington hotel venues for their polished service and scenic setting, overlooking Cuba Quarter and a stone’s throw from the middle of the city. Grand Mercure Wellington offers 8 different spaces to choose from when planning your event, from a dedicated conference floor, with the latest in audiovisual technology, to The Residence, conveniently situated right next to their kitchen and suitable for catering lunches, dinners and the like.
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Wallaceville House is a stunning venue located around 25 minutes outside of the Wellington CBD. This enormous and charming space offers onsite accommodation for events that span multiple days, such as seminars and conferences, with gorgeous gardens surrounding it that are sure to spark creativity and wonder. Built in the 1900s by celebrated architect Charlesworth, Wallaceville House retains the structure and beauty of old, with accents of modern times to give your event everything it needs to succeed. There are multiple spaces to choose from, including the gardens, to host your Wellington event, alongside a team dedicated to helping you through the process of planning and organising your function.
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Cliftons is a dedicated conference venue that boasts some of the best views of Wellington. They are all about hosting corporate and educational events, so they supply a few things that your average venue space might not have thought about. These include acoustically-treated walls, whiteboards, 360-degree magnetic strips, and ergonomic furniture. Cliftons prepares your room before you arrive, and while you are busy working, the team can prepare the breakaway room with a fully catered in-house menu.
Terrace Conference Centre
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The Wellington Terrace Conference centre has 14 rooms spread out over 4 levels. Every one of these rooms is filled with natural light, has high-quality sound insulation, client-controlled air conditioning, and wireless, high-speed WiFi. Depending on the needs of your event, Terrace Conference Centre can host anywhere from 6 to 100 guests. Terrace Conference Centre firmly believes that a successful conference requires good food, good space, and reliable equipment. They stand by this mantra to make sure that every event they host is a successful one.
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Rydges is a mere minute from Wellington’s central train station, and an additional minute or two from landmarks such as Queens Wharf and Te Papa. The epitome of convenience and luxury, Rydges is a hotel venue that can host up to 230 of your guests and offers a dedicated events team to help plan and organise your function. There are a total of 7 spaces within Rydges to pick between, all of which are as flexible as they come, with natural light, integrated audiovisual equipment, complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, and a spacious pre-function option for your event.
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Right next to the waterfront, Intercontinental Wellington offers gorgeous views and a five-star experience in the middle of the city. There are a total of 6 spaces to choose from: Lambton Room, Thorndon Room, Aurora Room, Rosanna Room, Featherston Room, Wellington Room and Lambton 3. Host anywhere from 12 to 400 attendees, with 6 sales and meetings professionals on-site at any given time to help perfect your event. Intercontinental Wellington also offers award-winning cuisine and on-site dining options to cater to your event, ensuring that your function has the full package.
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Set on Cuba Street, CQ Hotels are as vibrant as they come in bustling Wellington City. These hotels are set side-by-side, sharing a common reception, restaurant, spa and other amenities. Their event spaces are much the same, accommodating up to 220 guests and with 2 spaces to pick between: The Cuba and The Wellington Boardroom. With state-of-the-art audiovisual technology, exposed brickwork for added charm, and the option of individual, soundproofed rooms, CQ Hotels pride themselves on being a perfect option for any Wellington event.
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Add a touch of French luxury to your event with Sofitel Wellington. There are 3 versatile venue spaces: Lady Norwood, Marsden Boardroom and Rosa Room. They’re all available all on the same level within the hotel, so, if your event requires multiple rooms, then you can rest assured that there will be easy travel between the various spaces. Sofitel’s event team works in tandem with an audiovisual team from Encore Event Technologies to ensure that your function runs as smoothly as possible. With the option of on-site accommodation and catering, Sofitel Wellington aims to create a truly memorable experience for you and your guests.
Front + Centre
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Front + Centre’s primary goal is to create spaces that change your perspective to help you achieve and succeed. They have 7 thoughtfully designed rooms, with oodles of natural light, access to audiovisual equipment, and high-speed wifi. Front + Centre know the cognitive benefit of a brief shift in space, so they have hot desks and breakaway areas that function as a new environment for anyone using the venue, helping you and your guests to spark your best and freshest ideas.
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One of Wellington's favourite restaurants, The Arborist, has a downstairs function space that can host up to 65 standing or 45 seated guests, making it an ideal space for more intimate gatherings such as meetings, smaller dinners and so much more. If you’re keen to expand your event, they offer an outside area for an indoor/outdoor floor that allows for a longer guest list. The Arborist can provide any equipment you need for your event, and also offer on-site catering courtesy of their amazing in-house chefs. Their experienced team of function experts can help you during the planning process of your event to make the whole experience a breeze.
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Right on the edge of Wellington Harbour, sporting spectacular views of the water and surrounding city life is Kumutoto. A function venue that can host up to 100 seated and 150 standing guests, this venue boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and high-speed WiFi. Kumutoto is a breezy 25 minutes from the airport and a stroll away from the centre of Wellington City. There are 4 spaces within it to choose from for your event: Runanga, Whataitai, Ngake and Dual Taniwha. Part of Black and Gold venues and events, they offer on-site catering and audiovisual packages catered to your event.
Image by The Boatshed
Built in 1874, the timeless Boatshed sits alongside the waterfront and offers a convenient and gorgeous spot for any event in Wellington. This building is historic in the sense that it’s one of the oldest surviving sports clubs in the North Island. It can host anywhere from 40 guests to 300, with a large, commercial kitchen, central heating and so much more. The Boatshed has a large and airy main function room featuring wooden floors an adjoining bar/lounge area that can be separated if needs be.
West Plaza Hotel
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West Plaza Hotel is centrally located and boasts specifically designed conference and meeting room facilities. They’re able to cater for up to 230 delegates, with the options of breakout rooms and a team committed to helping you plan and organise your event. West Plaza Hotel is dedicated to making your event run as smoothly as possible, with on-site catering and accommodation, as well as high-speed WiFi and audiovisual equipment hire if required for your event. They’re just over 6km from the airport and pride themselves on the convenience they will bring to your function.
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Bolton Hotel is Wellington’s only Qualmark 5-star rated luxury boutique hotel. It has 2 purpose-built event spaces, both modern and spacious, with the ability to accommodate up to 60 of your guests. Bolton Hotel features Bisque on Bolton, an award-winning dining establishment that is more than happy to offer on-site catering for your event. Bolton Hotel also offers the option of on-site accommodation in any one of their 142 guest rooms, all with lovely views of the Wellington cityscape. A stroll from the CBD, this venue is the epitome of luxury and ease when it comes to event hosting.
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A relaxing drive away from Wellington, Margrain Vineyard is located in Martinborough and offers serenity in a scenic wine region. Margrain Vineyard is fully equipped for your event, with audiovisual equipment and assistance available, as well as 2 separate spaces to choose from: The Boardroom, a meeting room with tranquil views of the Huangarua River Valley and the Tararua Ranges; and The Woolshed, a slightly larger space overlooking the vineyards. Margrain Vineyard is an ideal venue for intimate gatherings of colleagues or guests, as an easy escape away from the city, and can host up to 35 of your guests.
Image by Visa Wellington on a Plate
Perched upon a cliff above the Tasman Sea, Boomrock is 3,000 acres of paradisiacal farmland outside the confines of Wellington City. Choose between using acres of greenery to host your event, or visit The Lodge, featuring Jarrah wood floors, beamed ceilings and an open fire roaring away. Boomrock can accommodate anywhere from 120 seated guests to 160 cocktail-style, and offer delicious on-site catering options. They’re also happy to organise activities and events to entertain your delegates, such as archery and clay pigeon shooting. Boomrock is a venue away from the bustle and business of city life, awarding you and your guests the chance to rejuvenate.
For more great venue ideas, check out our venue guides for other major NZ cities: