photos by Landezine
13 Stunning Wellington Waterfront Venues
by Raashka Mannie | 26 Mar 2020
There's nothing like gazing out at glittering waters in Wellington. Famed worldwide for its waterfront promenade and myriad of cosy beaches, this city also showcases a number of waterfront venues for hire. Host cocktail parties, seminars, conferences and so much more with glorious views of Fitzroy Bay and the Cook Strait, picking between plenty of venues that are chock full of Wellingtonian charm. Wellington also features a working harbour, yet another draw for tourists and locals alike, with several venues adjacent to this unique attraction. We've compiled a list of the best waterfront venues in Wellington, but if you're looking for our complete guide to the city, you can find it here.
TSB Arena & Auditorium (Shed 6)
Image by Venues Wellington
TSB Arena & Auditorium (Shed 6) is a trio of flexible and modern venues dotted around Wellington that offers spaces for exhibitions, conferences, lectures and so much more. TSB Arena & Auditorium (Shed 6) are located on the waterfront, moments away from incredible dining options and exciting shopping experiences for all. TSB Arena is Wellington's biggest indoor venue and is home to many significant events, including the annual World of Wearable Arts Show (WOW®). With space for up to 6,000 guests, it's the mother of all venues in Wellington and adapts to suit any function, featuring floor-to-ceiling black drapes, a custom sports floor and breakaway rooms. TSB Auditorium (Shed 6) is slightly smaller but still accommodates up to 1,400 guests. It has a retractable seating system, moveable soundproof walls and the versatility to transform into 4 individual and more intimate spaces upon request.
Michael Fowler Centre
Image by Wellington NZ
A hop and a stroll away from the waters, Michael Fowler Centre gifts with lovely views of Wellington's charming harbour. Michael Fowler Centre has award-winning architecture and is a sophisticated luxury venue for your next Wellington waterfront 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 throughout your function.
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Another gorgeous waterfront venue on the edge of Wellington Harbour, Kumutoto sports spectacular views of the water and surrounding city life. This Wellington venue can host up to 120 seated and 140 standing guests, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows and high-speed WiFi. It comes complete with a boardroom for 22 guests, seminar rooms and a spacious foyer to boot. Kumutoto is a breezy 25 minutes from the airport and a stroll away from the centre of Wellington City, including the famed Beehive. 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. With an NBS rating of 180%, Kumutoto is one of Wellington's safest venues as well as their most reliable waterfront venue.
Foxglove Bar & Kitchen
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This waterfront venue opened in June 2010 and is located in the centre of Wellington's Queens Wharf. In the last decade, Foxglove Bar & Kitchen has established itself as a popular and relaxed venue near the water. As a heritage building that was once the Union Steam Ship Company's Wellington store at Greta Point, Foxglove Bar & Kitchen is full of charm and history. There are 3 bars within the venue, all exuding that sense of 1940s glamour and with lovely views of the ocean. Their main event spaces include Queen Wharfs Ballroom, with a private deck, private entrance and audiovisual equipment, accomodating up to 350 guests; Foxtail Whisky Den, for exclusive parties of no more than 100 guests; and The Games Room, the most casual space and with access to the main bar, perfect for up to 70 guests.
Te Raukura - Te Wharewaka o Poneke
Image by Wellington NZ
An iconic landmark of the Wellington waterfront, Te Raukura - Te Wharewaka o Poneke is a gorgeous space to host conferences, meetings, cocktail parties and more. It boasts 5 function spaces available for groups ranging from 20 to 500. It's 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.
Image by Wellington NZ
Sky Stadium, previously known as Westpac Stadium, rests grandly on the edge of Wellington's CBD, a moment or two away from the waterfront, 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. Sky Stadium has a generous 15 flexible spaces spread out over a total of 3 different floors, with a maximum capacity of 2,000 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. Sky Stadium is one of the more famous venues in the city, with a bowl site size of 48,000 m² and a saunter away from local attractions.
St John's Bar & Eatery
Image by First Table
St John's Bar & Eatery is situated on the waterfront and boasts gorgeous views of the sea, serving as a Wellington venue inside a lovely art deco building. Their newly refurbished interior gives a modern, plush feeling to every event they host, with a dedicated functions team for your convenience. Their spaces include The Lounge, hosting up to 30 guests and perfect for smaller meetings and dinners; The Conservatory, a private dining space for up to 16 guests; 1/2 Eatery, which acts as a semi-private function area for up to 50 guests; and, finally, The Eatery, a totally private space with an indoor/outdoor flow, audiovisual equipment and capable of hosting up to 150 guests. Exclusive use of St John's Bar & Eatery is also an option, with this Wellington waterfront venue able to accommodate 250 guests.
Harbourside Function Centre
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Harbourside Function Centre was, once upon a time, a wharf warehouse housing various trade wares. In modern times, they're a contemporary and chic architectural venue on the waterfront, 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. This waterfront venue knows how to combine stylish and classic, hosting conferences, corporate events, cocktail events and much more.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club
Image by Ed O'Keeffe Photography
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club is a waterfront venue that was established in 1883, overlooking the glittering marina and making 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. This waterfront venue can host 100 seated and 200 standing guests. Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club also 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. You can find this waterfront venue tucked between Wellington's beloved boatsheds, filled with natural light and with many outdoor and indoor spots for your function.
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You can get classic with Rydges, a hotel venue that 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 waterfront 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.
Image by The Boatshed
The Boatshed was built in 1874 and is now a timeless space that sits alongside the waterfront, offering 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. There's nothing more charming than taking in this carefully restored and preserved shard of history. It can host anywhere from 40 guests to 300 guests, with a large, commercial kitchen for your caterer's use, central heating, plenty of natural light, and so much more. The Boatshed has a vast and airy main function room featuring wooden floors and an adjoining bar/lounge area that can be separated if required. Its back steps lead down to lapping waters, and it has an expansive deck that overlooks the city and waterfront.
Poquito Café & Bar
Image by Poquito Café & Bar
Poquito Café & Bar is a waterfront venue available for your Wellington event. They regularly hold meetings, birthday parties, cocktail evenings, live music and gatherings of all kinds. Near the gorgeous waterfront and Te Papa National Museum, Poquito Café & Bar rests in all its charm and personality with an inspired menu and incredible drinks to boot. They pride themselves on their genuine staff, warm atmosphere and ensuring you and your guests have a good time. As a family-owned business, they are experts with tailor-made events and evenings. During the day, a café with delicious eats; at night, a tapas and cocktail bar to unwind at as you listen to live music. Talk to their helpful team about on-site catering options, putting together a drinks menu and choosing live entertainment for your Wellington event.
Image by Intercontinental Wellington
You can treat you and your guests to a venue right next to the waterfront: Intercontinental Wellington offers gorgeous views and a five-star experience in the midst of a bustling and busy Wellington. There are a total of 6 spaces to choose from, including the 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 as you gaze out at the water.