Queenstown & Central Otago VenuesQueenstown and Central Otago Venues

Over the years, DJ Richard has entertained at dozens of venues across the Queenstown and Central Otago regions, from Wanaka to Cromwell, and many of the wineries and vineyards in Queenstown and her surrounding areas. Here are some of the photos from a few of the celebrations that Richard has entertained at in the Queenstown and Central Otago district.

Queenstown and Central Otago Venues
Here are some of the places and venues where Richard has worked in the Queenstown and Central Otago regions, either as DJ, MC, or both in recent years. Please click on the links to view pictures or to go to the venue’s website.
Stoneridge wedding venue in Queenstown

DJ Richard entertains at stunning Stoneridge Estate wedding venue in Queenstown, Central Otago

Breathtaking views of Lake Hayes from Stoneridge, Queenstown

The view from Stoneridge wedding venue

I’ve become fortunate enough to call Stoneridge Estate one of my regular wedding venues, and I’m entertaining there so regularly that I’ve left an entire DJ rig complete with Bose speakers and lighting at the venue for use when I’m there. Wayne and Suzanne look after every little detail and weddings I’ve been there for have ranged in size from an incredibly fun group of 24 up to over 150.

Below are some photos from a few of the weddings DJ Richard entertained at Stoneridge Estate wedding venue, Queenstown, New Zealand. Unbelievably, in the photos with the mirror-calm lake, the rain had been absolutely pelting down all morning and only cleared an hour before the ceremony at the Stoneridge Chapel by the Lake, which is not unusual for this part of the country. Central Otago is just incredible.

Stoneridge Estate offers a 5-Star Boutique Luxury Hotel and a stunning venue for Weddings, Gala Dinners, Functions, and Corporate Events hosting up to 210 guests.

Stoneridge sits majestically amidst 12 acres of picturesque gardens and vineyards, with breath-taking views across Lake Hayes and beyond to Coronet Peak. The inspired marriage of reclaimed timber and stone, together with bespoke hand-forged iron work, makes Stoneridge a destination in its own right: a unique and compelling architectural experience that is unmatched in New Zealand.

A brief summary of the estate is provided below:

1.       Conferences, Gala Dinners, Incentives and Events

  • Conference facilities available onsite with The Hayes Room, The Cellar and The Boardroom
  • Unique rustic medieval inspired venue – just perfect for a special themed events, such as our ever popular Lord of the Rings dinner!
  • 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, lawns, pond and vineyard, just perfect for team building exercises.
  • Catering, theming and hire equipment all available (by prior arrangement)
  • Quaint Chapel on the estate

2.         Wine tasting/tours

  • Three wines produced from the Estates private vineyard
  • Extensive water gardens including historic stone ruins, Chapel and Art gallery tours
  • Morning and afternoon teas, lunches and dinners catered for (by prior arrangement

3.         Boutique Luxury Accommodation-Stoneridge Lodge

  • Stunning location with panoramic views from every room of Lake Hayes and nearby mountains.  Situated 7 minutes from Queenstown airport, 15 minutes from Queenstown and 5 minutes to historic Arrowtown and wineries of the Gibbston Valley.
  • Uniquely constructed with recycled Church and bridge beams, Welsh slate and timbers.
  • Three luxury suites in the lodge and a private cottage separate to the lodge
  • Private vineyard and art gallery on the estate
  • Lodge facilities include a lap pool and outdoor hot tub

Chris & Che’ booked me to entertain at their wedding a few years ago at Stoneridge, which is overlooking the lovely Lake Hayes near Queenstown. I provided music for their ceremony in the Stoneridge chapel, then music for the reception, alongside the band they also hired- The Feelers! I was also their Master of Ceremonies. The pictures with the helicopter and the white table linen is from this wedding.

To say that this venue is spectacular is a huge understatement. The setting amongst Central Otago’s mountains, hills, lakes and snow is unparalleled. The venue itself is purpose build and really is astonishing. The stonework, the aged timber and incredible architecture set the tone for a wedding not soon forgotten.

The chapel is beautiful, although a tight fit for the 85 (or so) guests at this wedding. Che’ and the girls arrived by Eurocopter, landing on the expansive lawn in front of the chapel, with snow capped mountains in the background. Straight after the service, the wedding party and Fredrik Larsson (photographer) got back into the helicopter and flew off to the snow at the Remarkables for some photos.

Back at the reception venue, Wayne from Stoneridge was attentive, incredibly detail-oriented and left nothing to chance, making my job much easier and allowing all of the guests to relax and enjoy the sumptuous food, the Moët & Chandon champagne and the exquisite local wines, especially the stunning Mt Difficulty Pinot Noir!

The food service was impressive, with the team delivering an entire table’s meals simultaneously, rather than person by person and the staff were all totally professional, polished, polite and courteous. A pleasure to work with in short.

After the cocktails, canapés, meal and cake cutting, it was time for dancing. Two tables (the rowdy ones LOL) were efficiently packed away, the lights were dimmed and the dance floor packed from the first dance onwards. The Feelers played their two sets and were fantastic as you’d expect. Just a truly iconic Kiwi band and I was amazed at how many of their tracks I knew, but hadn’t realised were them. Sensational.

All things considered, this is one of the most special venues I’ve entertained at since starting out as a mobile DJ in 1986. If you’re wanting a Queenstown venue and have the budget, it would be pretty hard to go past Stoneridge as a choice. Chris & Che’ you really know how to celebrate in style! Thank you once again for allowing me to help make your day so memorable.

Queenstown wedding DJs, Stoneridge wedding venue in Queenstown

Heritage Hotel in Queenstown

Sound for Wedding Ceremony, DJ for Wedding Reception at The Heritage Hotel in Queenstown

heritage-queenstownRecently I was booked to entertain as DJ at a wedding at the Heritage Hotel in Queenstown. As I had another wedding the previous day also in Queenstown, I was able to stay for a few days at the venue. Here are some of the pictures, as well as a few from another wedding I entertained there also.

Here’s what I wrote about the venue to a corporate client I was in talks with about an event they are looking at holding there.

I’ve attached some pictures from the wedding I entertained at Heritage on Saturday. Before I discuss my service, I’ll address the venue and the accommodation for you. Thanks to a decent southerly storm and 9 metre swells in the Cook Strait, my ferry crossing was delayed 11 hours and I didn’t get into Picton until 5:30pm. This meant an overnight drive and I arrived at the Heritage Queenstown at 3:30am. Check in at this time was no problem whatsoever and the room I had appeared to be upgraded to one of their Studio Suites rather than the Deluxe Room I’d booked, which was a very pleasant surprise.

The room was quiet, comfortable and extremely spacious, complete with a kitchenette, a clothes washing machine/dryer, a dishwasher and all the modern amenities you’d expect. Bedding was very comfortable and the deck was an ideal spot to enjoy a glass of local Pinot Gris while I put the finishing touches on my prep for the night. There’s a heated indoor and outdoor swimming pool that has a spa also, and although I didn’t dine in the hotel restaurant, it looked to be very much up to standard.

The rooftop (level 3) deck is open to the elements, so it is a space that would be great to have a contingency plan for, but it truly is a spectacular vantage point and would make for a pretty unforgettable breakout option. It is an odd shape, but it works well and power is easily accessible at various spots around the perimeter.

The Icon room was an unorthodox shape, but lent itself very well to either theatre or banquet style seating. There are no pillars in the room and with a minimal lighting rig I was able to change the feel of the space quite dramatically when the dining and formalities stopped and dancing began. I enjoyed my dealings with Katerina, the Conference & Events Executive, as well as others on the functions team. The catering was excellent and the buffet spread was as good as any I’ve seen in my 27 years of entertaining at weddings and corporate events. The general staff attitude was attentive, friendly and positive. Nothing seemed to be a problem and more than once I heard the comment “that’s the Heritage way” when staff received compliments from guests.

The Skyline, Queenstown

Queenstown-queenstown-2574054-1279-858Ed & Amanda’s Stunning Queenstown Wedding

In July 2012 I was fortunate enough to be asked by Ed and Amanda to be the Master of Ceremonies and the DJ at their wedding at the Skyline in Queenstown. I’m becoming a bit of a regular in Central Otago these days and I am always thrilled to have another opportunity to visit this spectacular location.

Ed and Amanda live in Australia, so to make their dream wedding a reality, they hired Wedding Planning superstar Laura Larsson from Mint Events. Under Laura’s loving touch, the most breathtaking wedding celebration took shape. From the gondola ride up to the venue, the incredible detail that went into this day became apparent. The white carpet and entire-room white draping were bespoke, tailored specifically for Ed & Amanda. Ed and the boys arrived by black helicopter before the ceremony. Luge rides had been organised for the under-14s while the wedding party had their pictures taken a helicopter ride away and guests were treated to hot mulled wine and hot chocolate.

The meal was simply stunning, the speeches were both heartfelt and hilarious and then it was time to move through to the reception dance. A special cocktail was handed out to guests as they were entertained by Skyline’s Maori troupe, with a haka, a karakea and pokarekareana, which was just beautiful. The first dance and family dances set the tone for a steady night of dancing and celebrating until midnight. Definitely a wedding to remember and what a delightfully relaxed, fun and enthusiastic couple Ed and Amanda are! Here’s an email I received just days later…

Hi Richard, We just had to send you a huge THANK YOU for being the absolute best MC and DJ we could of hoped for on our perfect wedding day! We really appreciated your natural charm and the way in which you managed everything and everyone so well from start to finish! You never missed a beat with the music and you were definitely the warm, caring and humorous MC we were expecting.

We were hoping we hadn’t given you too much to do but you did both with outstanding ease and a constant smile which we’ll be forever grateful for! We only have fantastic memories of our ‘big day’ and we know this is largely thanks to your management and expertise so again, THANKS!
Ed & Amanda, wedding at The Skyline in Queenstown

Rippon Hall in Wanaka

One of the most breathtaking locations in New Zealand is the Central Otago Southern Lakes district, and although a lot less busy than Queenstown, Wanaka is every bit as gorgeous. The scenery is unreal in every direction and the feeling of the town is less intense, less ‘touristy’. I first saw Rippon Hall in 2014, when I visited on a business trip. I was thrilled when Chris & Heidi booked me for their wedding there and I got to return in October 2015.

Rippon Hall is a stunner. The food, the wine, the venue and the views are all beyond describing. Instead of trying, I’ll attach some photos of Rippon Hall and the general Wanaka area for you to see for yourself.

Incidentally, here’s what Chris & Heidi wrote to me just a few weeks after their wedding;

Dear Richard,we hope you are well.  Chris & I would both like to thank you so much for being our amazing MC & DJ on our best day ever!!

Both of us, along with our guests had the most amazing wedding day & night, it was more perfect than we both could have dreamed of & we need to thank you for making the music, speeches & reception run extremely smoothly. Even when things weren’t running to our original timeline you worked with our amazing caterers & suggested ways to make everything continue to work & run smoothly.

With you running our reception, we didn’t have to worry or stress about a thing on our wedding night

You are very professional, fun & great at what you do. Thank you for sharing in our special day, we are so grateful that we had you there to keep our entire day/night on track because with you running our reception, we didn’t have to worry or stress about a thing on our wedding night, we could both just sit back, enjoy the night & take it all in.

We are so glad that we made the decision to fly you down from Wellington to share in our special day.  With thanks,
Heidi & Chris Hodge, Rippon Hall, Wanaka

Millbrook Resort in Queenstown

One of the more spectacular and auspicious venues I’ve entertained at is Millbrook Resort near Queenstown. It’s a fantastic location for weddings or corporate events and as you can see from the pictures below, the views are just stunning. This particular wedding in 2010 was a great celebration, with the ceremony beside one of the greens of the Millbrook golf course, cocktails & canapés on the deck of The Clubhouse, then the reception in the Millbrook Pavillion. Definitely one of the auspicious locations in Queenstown and Central Otago, and one to consider carefully.