Itching for a winter holiday? Our neighbour New Zealand has some of the best ski resorts in the Southern Hemisphere. And where there’s ski, there’s après ski. Go from a day on the slopes to a night in pumping après ski bars, and find out why there’s nothing like winter in New Zealand.

There’s more to a ski holiday than snow. For many, it’s after skiing – or, as the French call it, après ski – that the holiday really starts.

Fortunately, New Zealand’s ski regions are packed with great bars, pubs and restaurants, perfect for unwinding – or kicking off your post piste party – in after a day on the slopes. From the South Island to the North, here are some essential après bars for your trip across the Tasman.

Where to après ski on the South Island

Southern Lakes (Queenstown and Wanaka)

Three friends enjoying a drink in a ski bar

Cardrona Hotel, Cardrona

This iconic tavern, located on Crown Range Road between Queenstown and Wanaka, regularly makes it onto the world’s best après ski bars list and for obvious reason. The gold-rush era building with its faded yellow exterior is packed with open fireplaces and comfortable armchairs to settle in to with a pint of Speight’s after a day on the slopes. It also makes a great, central accommodation option for the Southern Lakes ski region.

Lake Bar, Wanaka

For après ski with a view of the mountain ranges, head to Wanaka’s Lake Bar. After a day hitting the runs in the Cardrona, Treble Cone, Snow Farm or Soho Basin ski areas, watch the sun set over the Southern Alps with a glass of pinot noir – the Central Otago region’s specialty – before, if you’re up for it, a bar crawl down the lakefront strip.

Rhino’s Ski Shack, Queenstown

This vibey, alpine-themed basement bar in the heart of the pumping resort town has everything you need for an authentic après ski experience: hot rum, cold beer and decorations ranging from vintage ski gear to chopped logs. By day, patrons unwind over Jenga or bingo; by night, hip-hop DJs turn Rhino’s into one of Queenstown’s best nights out.

Mt Hutt

Three people in a mountain spa surrounded by snow