We need to talk about Queenstown. The little city on the edge of the water, hemmed in by mountain chains and adrenaline attractions, generating the kind of international buzz usually reserved for big-name places like New York, London and Buenos Aires. We know snow-hoppers love our hearty little adventure hamlet, but did you know it’s also a foodie, party, let’s-have-a-great-time destination? No? Yes? Maybe? While you make up your mind and ask around, here are four places to party in Queenstown – tried, graded and guaranteed to make you dance with holiday happiness. Just don’t go too hard every night, you still need to make the most of the snow-covered slopes.
Address: 12 Church St, Queenstown
Near: The World Bar (it’s hidden in the basement).
Vibe: Something for everyone, including pool tables, friendly staff and live music.
Expect to Spend: As little or as much as you want – renowned for its reasonable drink deals, you’ll find something on the menu to fit your budget.
Food: Fuel up before hitting Vinyl Underground.
Recommended Drink: $5 Jaeger Bombs
Happy Hour: 10pm – 11pm
Cool Facts: Vinyl Underground stays open until the wee hours; expect to get kicked out around 4am on Friday and Saturday.
Rhino’s Ski Shack
Address: Cow Lane, The Mall, Queenstown
Near: The Bunker Restaurant and Bar
Vibe: Relaxed in the corners but fire on the dance-floor; known for friendly staff and awesome service.
Expect to Spend: Start with all-day $5 beers and work your way up.
Food: Cheap empanadas before 6pm and $16 pizza from 7pm.
Recommended Drink: Rhino’s Classic Caesars – you say cocktail, we’ll say yes please. Have one, and you’ll soon be back at the bar, trying another.
Cool Facts: This is the party paradise of the Apres Ski set, pumping out tune after tune to get everybody on the dance floor. Lauded as a Kiwi twist on a European tradition, it’s not hard to see why Rhino’s continues to be popular with the nightlife crowd.
Address: 7 Searle Lane, Queenstown
Near: Cookie Time
Vibe: A little bit folksy, a little bit funky and surprisingly family friendly (but don’t let that stop you from checking out the mechanical bull and huge drinks).
Expect to Spend: Prepare to open your wallet – although the bevvies are affordable, the 22 tequilas, 18 bourbons, and 15 whiskeys make it hard to stop at one or three.
Food: Delicious, Texan-inspired meals. And as they say, everything is bigger in Texas!
Recommended Drink: Ask the bartender to make your favourite cocktail or choose from their appetising house list.
Cool Facts: Cowboy’s open at 3pm and closes its doors at 4am, capturing a multitude of crowds. Don’t be surprised by the stupendously tacky décor – it’s part of the charm.
Address: Top Floor 4, The Mall, Queenstown
Vibe: Swanky and sophisticated, perfect for a night of delicious wines and fine food by a roaring outdoor fire and fantastic view.
Expect to Spend: $10 Stella Artois (Tap); $10 Cloudy Mac’s Apple Cider; $9.50 Corona; $13 Prestige Curvee (bubbles); $10 House Sangria; $20 Espresso Martini
Food: Sweet and savoury tapas between $12 to $24 per plate; vegetarian, antipasto or seafood food platters $39 to $45
Recommended Drink: You can’t go past I Am Kiwi – a cocktail designed to tease the tastebuds with sour tingles and sweet notes.
Cool Facts: Don’t be fooled by its “polished” exterior; people will pile in to share stories, meet new friends and dance the night away. One of the best spots to dine, dance and make the most out of a Queenstown ski holiday.
Ready for the snow season? Lock in your Queenstown holiday plans now with Ski Express and spend your nights on the dance floor with your best friends and mates you haven’t met yet.