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Friends at Barmuda

Getting cosy with a pinot at Barmuda

How to make the most of a winter evening in Queenstown

In Queenstown, the fun doesn’t stop when the chairlifts do. Here are seven of the best after-dark experiences.

Wondering what to do after an action-packed day on the ski fields? Fear not, Queenstown is the premier Southern Hemisphere ski-resort town for a reason. Actually, there are more than 100 reasons – with that many licensed bars and restaurants in just one square kilometre. But it’s not all cocktails at sunset and dancing till dawn (unless you want it to be) … the options are endless.

Urban wine food Bardeaux

Bardeaux

Bardeaux

Embrace après

No ski town is a ski town without some serious après-ski action, and Queenstown has it in spades. From house-made gin cocktails with a lake view to champagne from a sky-high lookout across the mountain silhouettes. Whether it’s Kiwi craft beer, Otago wine, mixologists’ libations or mulled wine by an outdoor fire, you will find something here with your name on it and an Instagram backdrop created by Mother Nature. For craft beers try Smiths Craft Beer House or Atlas Beer Cafe. If classic cocktails are your thing, visit the bar at Jervois Steakhouse, Bardeaux or for a cocktail with a twist visit one of our favourites, Yonder.

Beef Wellington at Rata

Beef Wellington at Rata

Beef Wellington at Rata

Fuel up

Queenstown may be famous for Ferg’s celebrity burgers, Patagonia’s South American chocolate, and back-lane pizza bars like The Cow, but the cobbled laneways of this dining destination have enough gourmet fare to keep even the most discerning foodie happy. Expect South Pacific fusion at Blue Kanu, organic local produce, Kiwi venison, Asian dumplings and even Michelin-starred chefs such as Rata’s Josh Emett.

AJ Hackett Ledge Bungy

Jump after dark at the Ledge Bungy

Jump after dark at the Ledge Bungy

Fight your fears

Adrenaline isn’t just confined to the slopes and those tied to a bungy. Stretch your mind with some after-dark mystery in the town’s escape rooms, or give yourself goosebumps in a haunted house.

 

Leap in the dark

Throw yourself off a ledge into the pitch dark of night with nothing but the lights of downtown Queenstown 400m below to show you the way? Yes this really is a thing. AJ Hackett’s Ledge Bungy operates as an after-dark bungy over winter.

Night Skiing at Coronet Peak

Night Skiing at Coronet Peak

Night Skiing at Coronet Peak

Ski under lights

If a full day at one of Queenstown’s four ski resorts isn’t enough for you, then make your way to Coronet Peak on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday night and keep skiing under lights. Ski into the Ice Bar for après beers or dine out on the deck at the base lodge.

Sundeck at Attiqua

Sundeck at Attiqua

Sundeck at Attiqua

Make your moves

Don those dancing shoes and boot-scoot, hip hop, dad dance or mosh to live music and international DJs. The best descend on Queenstown for a winter season of killer tunes and late nights. Catch the DJs spinning decks at Barmuda, Attiqa or Upstairs at The Bunker. If live music is what you’re after, check out Yonder, the Ballarat Trading Company or Little Blackwood.

Fireworks above the Earnslaw during Winter Festival

Winter Festival fireworks above the TSS Earnslaw

Winter Festival fireworks above the TSS Earnslaw

Get festive

The madness that is the Queenstown Winter Festival has been infiltrating the streets since 1975 and is held in late June every year. Expect dogs in dress-ups, live music, comedy, gala balls, fireworks and mountain mayhem.

But wait, there’s more: come September, Winter Pride Festival paints Queenstown a rainbow of colour with a week-long event full of cabaret nights, dance parties and night skiing, encouraging locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate their diversity.

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