With all the facilities and attractions the Bay of Islands has to offer, it’s the ideal location for a destination wedding. Many of our guests are here for that very reason, and we’ve taken on board their comments in compiling this list of wedding venues. It’s not exhaustive nor in any particular order; merely a selection to help you decide that the Bay of Islands is the place to celebrate the happy day with family and friends.
A stunning beachfront site that’s part of a 2000-acre Angus cattle stud and sheep farm, located just north of Waitangi and 10 minutes’ drive from North Base. For wedding couples the spot known as The Point is a popular ceremony location offering elevated views over the Bay. Close by is the Beachfront marquee area with lawn sloping to the private beach in front of the marquee seating up to 150. Or enjoy your wedding reception in the rustic Wool Shed, with its own character and charm fully fitted out for your celebration.
Take the ferry from Paihia or Russell to the Bay’s biggest island, or send your guests by boat and fly in by helicopter. Otehai Bay is a unique wedding destination, with its historic legacy, its proximity to nature and its romantic adventure setting. Imagine your photo memories captured beachside, among the native flora, and on high for that magic scenic shot. Meanwhile your guests can swim, walk the trails, play lawn games or just relax on the beach. Indoor and outdoor spaces make Otehai Bay an all-year-round wedding destination, with banquet seating for 120 or 200 cocktail style.
Popular with couples for its beautiful park-like setting, Liddington Gardens is located on Waipapa West Road just beyond Kerikeri 30 minutes’ drive from North Base. The purpose-built reception venue Shed109 is a magnificent space, fronted by 18 metres of sliding stacker doors that open onto a large deck, beyond which is the beer-garden and outside dance or ceremony platform. Altogether the perfect indoor/outdoor flow for conducting the formal and informal phases of the big day.
The lush and colourful flora of the winterless north is used to full advantage at Seranora, another wedding venue just west of Kerikeri that features an exquisite garden setting. At Seronera the mature gardens offer a huge variety of photo opportunities, with backgrounds ranging from the rose tunnel to the geometrical box-hedged herb garden, colour wheel perennial border to mature trees and river shots. Then there’s the reception pavilion itself, which lends itself perfectly for creative photography.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
While primarily a public space, the Waitangi Treaty Grounds nearby to North Base has the facilities and open ground to deliver a special wedding day in a place of great significance. The Whare Waka Café can be hired for family and close friends to gather for your nuptials, while Tahuaroa Function Centre, set among the native trees of the upper Treaty Grounds, can seat 160 people. Another option is a fully outdoor wedding, which can be sited in one of several suitable locations with lovely vistas for up to 180 guests.