Frequently Asked Questions

What days and times can I hire spaces in the Museum?

McIntyre Theatrette: available seven days per week at any time.
Link Gallery and Earth Ball: available to hire all day Mondays or Tuesday - Sunday from 5:00pm after the Museum closes (please note these spaces are not available for hire from 1 July 2019).
Events at the Museum must cease by 10pm on Sunday - Thursday and 11pm Friday and Saturday. Outdoor events must cease by 9pm.

Can I get free entry to the Museum if I am hiring the space?

The areas available to you for your event are only those that have been hired and are included in your hiring agreement. If you wish to have access to other exhibition spaces within the Museum please contact us to discuss this as we are happy to make these arrangements. For large groups staffing charges may apply. Please note, food and drinks are not allowed in the Newcastle Story or the Supernova exhibition spaces.

Is the Museum accessible?

Yes the Museum is fully accessible in all spaces.

Is there any parking available at the Museum?

There are no car parks for casual hirers available at the Museum however there are many public parking options at Honeysuckle. Care Park manages the Lee Wharf, Wright Lane and Throsby car parks.

The Museum has two accessible car spaces available to guests that are shared with visitors to the Museum.

Where can I unload my equipment at the Museum?

The loading dock for the Museum is accessed from Wright Lane. Please ensure to inform your event coordinator of any deliveries that require access to load into this area.

Can I have live music at the Museum?

Yes, it is limited to 90DBs due to DA restrictions. Events including music must finish by 10pm Sunday - Thursday and 11pm Friday and Saturday.

Is it possible to make use of the Earth Ball room for dancing and a band?

Yes as long as you have hired the space.

Where can I find the cost to hire a space?

Venue hire prices vary depending on the date, event times and style of event. Please contact us for a tailored quote.

What happens if I need to change my event or access times?

If your event or access times change from the times included in your hiring agreement you may be required to pay additional venue hire and/or staffing fees. If this occurs please notify your event coordinator as soon as possible. 

How far in advance can bookings be made?

Bookings can be made as far in advance as you wish. Please be aware that the Museum could schedule an exhibition that may include items or objects displayed exhibition spaces such as the Earth Ball or Link Gallery. If this occurs, the Newcastle Venues team will take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of the exhibition on the booked function.

Please note: from 1 July 2019 the Newcastle Museum is taking bookings in the McIntyre Theatrette only.

How much notice do you need to accommodate a booking?

If your booking request is within 14 days please phone the office on 4974 2166(*1) and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please note all venue hire payments must be paid prior to the event.

How long will you hold a booking for without a deposit?

A tentative booking may be held for up to seven business days. In the event that someone else challenges for the date within this period you will have until the end of the seven days to confirm the booking and after this time the hold will be released.

What is included with the venue hire?

Venue hire includes room setup (including tables and chairs) as requested. One wired microphone and lectern are included in the venue hire price. Additional audio visual equipment will attract extra charges. Black linen will be provided for non-catered events, and white linen, crockery and glassware is included for catered events. Venue hire also includes complimentary wifi, flipchart, whiteboard, notepads and pens upon request. Venue staff are also included in your venue hire and will be on call for the duration of your event.

What isn't included with the venue hire?

  • Decorations
  • AV equipment in excess of one wired microphone and lectern (included in venue hire)
  • Audiovisual technicians

What do I have to do to confirm a booking?

To confirm your venue hire booking you will need to pay the full venue hire amount and sign a venue hire agreement. If you have received a quote and would like to confirm your booking please contact us.

Which days can I come and view a space?

Site visits can be scheduled during the hours of 9am - 4:30pm. If you would like to schedule a visit outside of these hours we can sometimes accommodate this so please contact us with your request.

Are all the spaces air-conditioned?

All spaces are air-conditioned except for the Link Gallery.

Is there hearing loop available?

The McIntyre Theatrette has a hearing loop available. If you require the use of this feature for your event please ensure to let your event coordinator know.

What sort of entertainment am I allowed for my event?

Most bands, DJ and entertainers are allowed within Newcastle Venues. If you are engaging more 'out of the box' entertainers such as performers or live acts it is best to check this with your event coordinator. All third party suppliers must provide a copy of the public liability insurance to Newcastle Venues and depending on the nature of the activity may be required to submit a risk assessment.

How much notice do I have to give to postpone a booking?

A minimum of 14 days notice (10 business days) is required to postpone an event. This is applicable for one postponement only and the event must be rebooked within 12 months. Any request to postpone an event received within 14 days of the hire date will be treated as a cancellation and the venue hire amount paid will be forfeited.

How much notice do I have to give to cancel a confirmed booking?

Newcastle Venues all have the following cancellation terms (which are included in the hiring agreement):

  • 0 - 90 days of event   Forfeiture of full room hire
  • 91 - 270 days of event  Refund 50% of full room hire
  •  >270 days from event  Refund 100% of full room hire

Staffing costs will be refunded if the Hirer provides Council more than 72 hours notice prior to The Function. All refunds are subject to an administration charge of $50 GST inclusive. The notice period under this clause is taken to be from the Hire date or the first date of Hire where Hire is for consecutive days.

Cancellations must be given in writing to:

City of Newcastle
Attention Civic Services 
PO Box 489
Newcastle NSW 2300
Fax: 02 4974 2172

Does Newcastle Venues have an exclusive decorator?

No, Newcastle Venues does not have an exclusive decorator, however Cupid's Corner are the preferred decorator of Newcastle Venues and are able to access the venues at any time to set up décor for events. Cupid's Corner can be contacted on: or 0403 284 232.

Can I use my own decorator?

Yes you are welcome to use an external decorator. They will need to provide a copy of their public liability insurance to Newcastle Venues and you will need to ensure that they are able to complete the set up and pack down of all décor within the venue access times booked for your event.

Can I do my own decorating?

Yes you are welcome to provide your own décor. Please see the restrictions on décor below. Any decorating done above head height needs to be completed by an insured decorator.

What time can I access the venue to set up my decorations?

Decorations need to be set up within the access time as written in your hiring agreement. This also applies to third party suppliers such as decorators, AV suppliers or entertainment.

Are there any restrictions around what types of decorations I can have in the venue?

  • Decorations hung above head height need to be installed by a professional decorator
  • Candles and tea lights must be contained in holders (glass votive)
  • Adhesives such as sticky tape should not be used on painted venue surfaces
  • You must receive written permission to include the following items: confetti, rice, rose petals, bubbles, floor standing candelabras, unweighted helium balloons (as they interfere with fire alarms), special effects, open flame
  • All electrical items such as fairy lights must be tagged and tested
  • The use of smoke/haze machines is not permitted
  • All decorations must be set up and removed within the access period of your venue hire. Newcastle Venues does not have space to store decorations on the premises
  • Newcastle Venues staff cannot be responsible for the set up or pack down of decorations.

Museum special requirements

  • Flowers and potted plants are permitted provided that the hirer ensures that they are free from pests, and that they are installed and removed on the day of the hire. Such items must be kept out of the Museum exhibition and exhibit storage areas
  • Flowers or potted plants are permitted in the Museum Foyer, Museum Link Gallery and under the Earthball providing they are kept at a distance of 2 metres from any collection objects.

Am I permitted to bring my own caterer?

Self-catering is not permitted within Newcastle Venues. There are four licensed caterers at Newcastle Museum - Harvest & Soul, Civic Digest, Blue Star Catering and Hot Rock Catering. No other caterer is permitted to cater at the Museum.

Am I allowed to bring in my own alcohol?

BYO alcohol is not permitted at Newcastle Venues.

Can I have a menu tasting?

Contact your event coordinator for details on how to book menu tastings.

Newcastle Venues Team
Phone: 02 4974 2166