Ho, ho, holy snowball…. December is on the horizon and it's time to get our Christmas party on. Is it just us, or did this year really sneak up on us? Christmas is the time of the year when it's acceptable to eat to full excess, and instead of heading to the gym, you simply head to bed for a nap. Bring on the mince pies and a summer BBQ, please.
One of the best parts about ending the year is the annual work Christmas party. You work hard… you play hard, right? But just because you haven’t planned anything yet, doesn’t mean it's too late. Here we have pulled together a list of kick-ass Christmas venues that will take your festivities from 0 to 100 Christmas style.
Take A Whale And Dolphin Safari
If you're after something a little different to impress your work pals, how about a spot of whale and dolphin watching. Explore the natural beauty of the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park on a 65-foot marine vessel and become one with the wildlife during an epic 4.5-hour safari. They even have a sustainable cruise option. An incredible eco safari direct from downtown Auckland—all this beauty at your doorstep—how could you say no to that.
Throw Yourself Over The Edge
Parakai, West Auckland
Take your Christmas party to new heights with Skydive Auckland. Take the plunge and chase your next adrenaline fix with a 20,000ft skydive—it's certainly a good way to impress your workmates. Book a group of 10 people and one lucky person will jump for free. Who knew Nigel from accounts was such a daredevil?
Get To The Chopper
Leave the usual office drinks behind and wow the team with impressive spots to wine and dine, experiencing some incredible views along the way. Heletranz offers some unique helicopter tours around the north island, that are sure to beat that office soiree. Enjoy Art by Air with a Scenic Flight over Gibbs Farm and Sculptureum or experience Heli-Fishing with a scenic flight to New Zealand’s best fishing spots of the North-East Coastline and Great Barrier, or Heli-Golf over Auckland’s Gulf Harbour. There's plenty of fun to be had—so be sure to vamp up your office antics this Christmas.
Take To The Water
Looking to change up the same old Christmas shindig? Why not think outside the box and impress your workmates with your skills on the water with an epic jet ski tour? Offering a range of guides including Sea Auckland's popular 'Harbour' tour, which gives you and the crew the chance to explore and enjoy the spectacular views of Chelsea Sugar Works and more throughout the upper harbour region. This tour is perfect for first-time riders with a limited time of 1.5 hours to get around. Who knew Darren from accounts was such a daredevil.
Good From Scratch
After something a little further from the office? Day to day, Muriwai's Good From Scratch is a farm-based cookery school, so all the food is guaranteed to be top-notch. The elegant, indoor-outdoor dining space is perfect for gathering around the table, gazing out at the West Coast valley views, and celebrating a hard year's work. For an extra special Xmas affair, you can even spoil the team with a half or full day of relaxing cooking class experience guided by the school's farm-to-fork philosophy.
Perhaps you’d like to check out K'road’s Madame George for your Christmas Party? It’s perfectly located in the centre of town for you to soak up those good vibes while enjoying some of the best Peruvian food in Auckland. With a great outdoor area to bask in the sun, a range of dining options and a sophisticated cocktail menu, Madame George has everything you need to get your Christmas Party on.
Tantalus Estate Vineyard
Popping over to Waiheke for the day is always a great idea… and Tantalus Estate truly is Instagram #goals when it comes to getting your festive pic. This is the perfect spot to sip away your end-of-year work worries. It's time to sign off. After a mind-blowing meal amongst stunning surroundings, why not wander the vines and then finish by parking up in the sunshine with your colleagues to play some lawn games. The perfect way to end your year at the (home) office.
The first thing we should mention about Saint Alice, are the espresso martinis. These are a MUST DO, and because it's Christmas, you must have at least four. Promise? Okay cool. So Saint Alice can do the drinks… but what else can it do? Well… this sun-soaked eatery and bar is the perfect spot for all things festive, offering live music and a mouthwatering seasonal menu.
The relocated and revamped Café Hanoi has a brand new private dining space. For those unaware, Café Hanoi converted the venue of the old nightclub, 1885, to create the perfect environment for group dining where there’ll be something for everyone. With everything from chargrilled pork belly to dry-aged kingfish, they also offer lip-smacking options for our vegan and vegetarian friends. If private dining is not your vibe you can also dine in the main restaurant with large communal tables for up to 14 people.
If you like a classy yet casual vibe for your end-of-year festivities (or any time of year really), then Dr Rudi’s is definitely the place for you. For small groups of 25-30 people, the bespoke Brewers Corner is conveniently located right next to the bar. An essential component of any good Christmas party right? And additionally, if you are looking for a spot to host a few more peeps, then the bowling alleys are a must. Hit the margaritas, devour some canapés… and hey, Santa’s ya uncle.
It's not a Kiwi Christmas without some finger-licking seafood and a cold, crisp beer in hand. So grab a table at the Crab Shack and get ready to tuck in with your colleagues for the end-of-year round-up. Ahh yes, sir, we'll have the fish and chips. And the beautiful seafood marinara, please. Oh, and while we have the company card—let's hit it hard with 200 grams of king crab legs. YUM. The perfect spot for any size or group… this classic Kiwi Christmas is what dreams are made of.
Beautiful Viaduct hotspot Soul is the perfect spot for your Christmas get-togethers, given its fantastic location in the sun, endless cocktail menu, and various options for private hire space. Located right in the heart of the city, private bookings for 14 or more include a perfectly planned set menu, and if you are after a larger group, then canapés and cocktails will be provided alongside a portable and customisable bar.
The team at Burger Burger most certainly know how to whip up a beautiful burger and some killer sides… but they also have you covered when it comes to your end-of-year celebrations. From a long lunch with beers and burgers in the sunshine, to a more intimate cocktail-style gathering in the evening, Burger Burger Newmarket is now available for private dining and events. Plan the perfect Christmas shindig now.
White And Wong's
With an exotic array of noodles, curries, dumplings and more… the food at White and Wong's is not the only reason you should book your Christmas function here. With up to six function rooms to choose from, why not get extra fancy and hire out the fabulous Waterview room—with a stunning outlook of the Waitemata harbour. Arrange catering in advance and set up your tab… and you’re good to go.
The Garden Shed
The Garden Shed, located in Mount Eden village, is arguably one of Auckland’s best-kept secrets when it comes to planning a Christmas do. Not only is this gorgeous spot sporting large rooftop pot plants and beautiful garden-inspired fauna, but they also have a delightful menu filled with seasonal goods and Christmas flare.
Eat My Lunch
Another fantastic Christmas party idea is booking a table with Eat My Lunch. The well-known food manufacturer has previously opened its venue in Auckland to host private Christmas parties. With a capacity of 100, Eat My Lunch has everything you need to cater for your Christmas party needs. Hiring the venue will also help subsidise the rent, allowing Eat My Lunch to continue to provide lunches to Kiwi kids who would otherwise go without a lunch at school. A party with a conscience? Count us in.
Matakana Wine Growers Trail
How about getting out of Auckland for this year's Xmas party? Only 40 minutes out of Auckland is the Matakana Wine Growers Trail. Arrange a group tour of some of New Zealand’s most famous wine spots for your Christmas party. The vineyards in Matakana are family owned so not only will you be able to try some of the best wines in New Zealand, but you will also likely meet the winegrowers themselves. The Matakana climate is perfect for vineyards and creates the place for the perfect summer spot.
New Zealand Sailing Trust Charters
If you’re keen to do something that will expose you to fresh air and great fun, then perhaps consider booking an NZ Sailboat for your Christmas party function. The New Zealand sailing trust offers corporate events for up to 30 people. The whole team can sail in the inner Hauraki Gulf to an outer-lying island with lunch either on board or on a beach. Book a charter now.
For stocking-filler ideas, check out this epic list of 30 Christmas gifts under $50.
Image credit: Whale & Dolphin Safari