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.
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. Or if you can't choose, join a progressive dinner tour which takes you to some of the top eateries around the district.
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. Or new this winter, is Skyline Queenstown's night luge experience, meaning you can continue your gravity-fuelled riding long into the evening around an illuminated track.
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.
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.
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.
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.