IMPRESSIVE EVENT VENUES FOR LARGE GROUPS
From Perth’s Optus Stadium to the iconic Luna Park overlooking Sydney Harbour, Australia has an array of unique large-scale event venues for groups of more than 500 guests.
Capacity: up to 15,000 (cocktail or banquet)
Western Australia's coastal city of Perth is home to the magnificent Optus Stadium, which was officially crowned the ‘World’s Most Beautiful Stadium’ in 2019 by the Prix Versailles architecture awards. The stadium boasts 20 different event spaces, the largest of which is the Field of Play. Undoubtedly the venue’s most unique and versatile space, planners can activate any or all of the main arena for an unforgettable large-scale function. With a capacity for up to 15,000 guests for a cocktail style event or a seated banquet, the Field of Play has been used for red-carpet gala dinners, corporate yoga sessions and even a spectacular annual ‘Le Dîner en Blanc’, where 2,400 guests adhere to an all-white dress code. Events on the Field of Play are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the Stadium's expert events team can handle everything in-house – including arranging special surprises like lighting up the stadium in a company’s colours – along with catering, entertainment, and styling.
Capacity: 8,000 (entire park)
Planners will be spoiled for choice when it comes to large-scale venues in Sydney, and one that’s sure to surprise and delight guests is Luna Park. Located at Milsons Point adjacent to the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, this iconic amusement park is available to be hired out exclusively for groups of up to 8,000 guests. The entire ‘Park Experience’ offers 10,000 sqm (107,639 sq. ft) of space with multiple venues, marquees, rides, games, pop-up food stalls and entertainment. Alternatively, groups of up to 2,950 can enjoy a cocktail-style event in the Big Top, which can also seat 1,020 guests for a banquet and features 14-metre (46 ft) high ceilings, seven trusses for rigging and a state-of-the-art heavy-duty sound system. Other noteworthy spaces include the Grand Ballroom, Crystal Palace and Lavender Green, all of which can accommodate groups of more than 900 guests for a standing event.
Cocktail capacity: 3,000
Banquet capacity: 1,400
Opened in September 2021, CENTREPIECE at Melbourne Park is a brand-new events and conference venue in Australia’s sporting capital of Melbourne. Building on the experience offered for major events like the Australian Open, the innovative venue is capable of hosting large-scale events including conferences, awards nights and gala dinners. CENTREPIECE spans over 4,500 sqm (48, 438 sq. ft) across three levels and is nestled among leading sporting and concert venues including the iconic Rod Laver Arena and Melbourne Cricket Ground. Its Grand Hall is a 200 sqm pillarless space with floor-to-ceiling windows projecting natural light across the 8.5m (28 ft)-high ceilings. The Grand Hall opens out to an 800 sqm (8611 sq. ft) pre-function space and expansive outdoor terrace, boasting sensational views of the Melbourne city skyline.
Cocktail capacity: 1,000
Banquet capacity: 600
Just a one-hour flight from Sydney or Melbourne, Australia's capital city of Canberra is home to an impressive collection of national attractions which make for an inspirational incentive program. Graced with grand artwork and striking architecture, Australian Parliament House is one of few parliamentary buildings in the world that permits the use of its function spaces for private events. Groups can start with an exclusive guided tour to gain a glimpse into the workings of Australia’s Government, then move into the Great Hall which features a soaring ceiling and polished native timber floors. The focal point of this spectacular space is the famous Arthur Boyd tapestry which depicts the beauty of the Australian bush, and at 20 metres (66 ft) wide and nine metres (30 ft) high is one of the largest tapestries in the world
Capacity: 1,000 (cocktail or banquet)
The city of Darwin’s balmy climate lends itself to al fresco events, and the George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens are the perfect place for a large outdoor soirée. Just a short drive from the city centre, the Gardens cover 42 hectares (104 acres) and are noted for their collections of tropical orchids, among other exotic species of plants. Groups can take a private guided walking tour then enjoy cocktails surrounded by towering coconut palms on the grassy expanse of Coconut Grove, which accommodates up to 1,000 guests for a banquet or cocktail-style event. Alternatively, the Heritage Lawn suits groups of up to 800 guests (cocktail or banquet) and is fringed by spectacular umbrella-shaped rain trees and Kimberley boab trees. For an undercover, air-conditioned option, the new Visitor and Event Centre was built in 2019 and accommodates up to 500 guests for either standing or seated events. Catering is by the Botanic Gardens Catering Co., and Northern Territory Business Events can assist with sourcing a local event planner for your hiring and styling needs.
Cocktail capacity: 3,500
Banquet capacity: 1,300
Large groups visiting Tasmania can gather for a function at Princes Wharf No1 (PW1) on the Hobart waterfront. Located in the historic heart of Salamanca, which is famed for its markets and maritime heritage, Princes Wharf – originally known as ‘New Wharf’ – was built in the 1830s, and still retains its original façade. It was renamed Princes Wharf in 1902, in honour of Prince George the Duke of York who arrived in Hobart when visiting Australia to open the country’s first parliament at Federation. The venue was transformed into a multi-purpose function and events space in 2010 and can now host up to 3,500 guests for a cocktail-style event and 1,300 for a banquet. Fully heated and equipped with a large commercial kitchen, PW1 is used for many major Hobart events including the annual Dark Mofo Winter Feast, and can be used at full capacity or divided into smaller spaces as required.
Cocktail capacity: 600
Banquet capacity: 350
In South Australia’s capital of Adelaide, the National Wine Centre of Australia doubles as an excellent events space for sizeable groups. Opened in 2001, the Centre was established as the national showcase for the Australian wine industry. Groups can learn the intricacies of winemaking from vine to bottle with the interactive Wine Discovery Journey followed by a guided tasting of some of Australia’s best wines, preserved in state-of-the-art Enomatic wine storage systems. Functions can be held in one of the Centre’s six event spaces – the largest of which is the beautiful Hickinbotham Hall, which can accommodate 600 guests for a cocktail-style event and 350 for a seated dinner. Featuring lifted, cathedral-like ceilings, 150-year-old jarrah floors and a wealth of natural light, the Hall has been architecturally designed to convey the feeling of being in a winery. Its curves and arches evoke the staves of the wood barrels used to age wine, and the rammed earth is a nod to the soils of Australia’s vineyards.
Cocktail capacity: 600 (laneway) or 1,200 (whole venue)
Banquet capacity: 350 (laneway)
If you’re in the market for a trendy, large-scale event venue in Queensland’s Gold Coast, Miami Marketta ticks all the boxes. Open to the public several nights per week as an international street food market with a sensational live music scene, the venue’s undercover laneway is available for exclusive hire and can seat up to 350 guests for a banquet or 600 for a cocktail-style event. Just a short drive from the famous Surfers Paradise, this venue offers a delicious selection of street-style eats alongside locally brewed craft beers, boutique wines and creative cocktails. Guests cruise the pop-up stalls with a diverse range of dishes on offer - from Greek-style mezze plates to Spanish paella and Korean fried chicken - and dine on any food and drinks they fancy. For groups of more than 600 guests, the entire venue can also be booked out for up to 1,200 guests for a cocktail-style function, plus there are intimate spaces available for smaller groups.
Published: 26 November 2021