Wondering what to do after a fun-filled day on the ski fields? You're not going to want to go to bed early, that's for sure. From après craft beer, to night skiing under the Milky Way, to dancing until dawn, or a soak in a hot tub, there's so many ways to spend a winter evening in Queenstown. 

1. Experience Queenstown's après scene

No ski town is a ski town without some serious après-ski action, and Queenstown has it in spades with over 100 licensed bars and restaurants in just one square kilometre. Whether it’s Kiwi craft beer, Central Otago wine, mixologists’ creations or mulled wine by an outdoor fire, there's something for all tastes here. 

For craft beers try Smiths Craft Beer House, Searchlight Brewery or Atlas Beer Cafe. If cocktails are your thing, visit Jervois Steakhouse or Bardeaux for a classic, or try something new at Nest Kitchen + Bar which boasts an extensive selection of New Zealand boutique gins.

Friends sitting together at a bar on a boat with still lake and mountains in the backgroundPerky's Floating Bar

2. Savour local food and wine

Queenstown has enough gourmet fare to keep even the most discerning foodie happy, home to a huge range of restaurants with everything from fine dining to takeaway burger joints.

During your stay, immerse yourself in Queenstown's vibrant food and wine scene by sampling local produce, learning the stories of growers, brewers and bakers and taking the time to really savour this place. Discover how to delight your palate with our Food and Wine Lover's Guide to Queenstown or join a progressive dinner tour that takes you to some of the top eateries around the district.

People enjoying at mulled wine by an outdoor fire at Smithy's Smoke House, Millbrook ResortSmithy's Smoke House, Millbrook Resort

3. Be entertained with evening thrills

Stretch your mind with some after-dark mystery in the town’s escape room, can you escape in time? Or give yourself goosebumps at Fear Factory, New Zealand's scariest haunted house.

For something less frightful, head to Kingpin, next door to indoor skydiving venue iFly. There's indoor bowling, karaoke and an entire floor of arcade games. Or, head up the road to the Skyline Gondola and experience the night luge where you can continue your gravity-fuelled riding long into the evening around an illuminated track. 

Skyline Queenstown Night Luge in WinterSkyline Night Luge 

4. Night ski under the Milky Way

If a full day at one of Queenstown’s four ski resorts isn’t enough for you, then make your way to Coronet Peak for night skiing to keep the runs going under lights.

Night Ski runs from 21 June on Wednesday and Friday nights, and select Saturdays during NZ school holidays until 1 September (subject to conditions). An exciting lineup of events brings the slopes to life with fun, fireworks and live music. Ski into the Ice Bar for après beers or dine out on the deck at the base lodge.

Night Skiing up Coronet PeakNight Skiing at Coronet Peak

5. Make your moves on the dancefloor 

Don your dancing shoes and boot-scoot, hip-hop, dad dance or mosh to live music and local DJs. Queenstown's winter evenings are full of killer tunes and late nights. Catch 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.

A group of friends at Barumda BarAprès at Barmuda 

6. Relax and unwind

Sooth those muscles after a day on the slopes with a hot pool or spa. Whether you’re after a romantic tub for two, a relaxing evening with friends, or somewhere for the family to splash about, Queenstown has plenty to offer for all water lovers.

Fun for the whole family, Alpine Aqualand boasts a heated 25m lap pool, a leisure pool and lazy river, and hot pools. If you’re after something a little more intimate, Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Day Spa offers both indoor and outdoor private hot pools so you can unwind and take in our clear night skies. Millbrook Resort, Driftaway Holiday Park and The Spa at Nugget Point also offer excellent hot pool facilities for booking.

Onsen Hot Pools by nightOnsen Hot Pools by night

Plan your Queenstown local experience

Our local profile stories are packed with more ideas to inspire you to experience Queenstown and the surrounding region like a local this winter. See Queenstown through the eyes of photographer, Krista May, or discover mountaineer, Hamish Fleming's favourite winter adventures.

As you explore Queenstown, share your experiences with us on Instagram by tagging #QueenstownLive.