Queenstown's 9 Best Aprés Ski Spots For Families

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

You've just spent the day up the mountain, enjoying the snow and now you are wiped. Not only that, you have the family in tow! All the excitement that skiing in Queenstown has created is taking effect. Someone is hungry. Another, bored. You need a drink! It used to be so easy. Just head to the nearest bar that was selling cheap aprés drinks and shots and get the party started. Now though, there are a few more needs to consider. No worries, we've compiled a list of the best spots to take the family after a day up the ski fields. Round up the troops and head down the hill to enjoy Queenstown's best aprés ski spots for families.


1. Jack's Point Club House

Almost too perfectly located about 5 mins drive from the bottom of the Remarkables access road, Jack's Point Clubhouse is a awesome spot for the family to unwind after a big day on the ski slopes. More suitable for a bluebird afternoon, enjoy a coffee, cocktail, wine, beer, cider and/or some food in the amazing outdoor setting. Loads of room for kids to run around, play and entertain themselves whilst Mum and Dad soak up the relaxing vibes by the adjacent lake. Indoors there are a number of wood fires to warm yourself on those colder days whilst still being able to keep a close eye on the kids. It's worth heading down the mountain a little earlier to enjoy some sun rays during the shorter winter days and as Jack's Point Clubhouse closes at 4pm at this time of year. Also, this place has some of the best staff in the region, always so happy and helpful!

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

2. Cardrona Hotel

Similar to the JP clubhouse, there is almost no way you aren't going to swing into Cardies (Cardrona Pub) on your way down from Cardrona Ski Resort. Even if you are staying in Wanaka, it's worth the 5 min back track to pop in and visit New Zealand's oldest continually working pub. The historic building, warm atmosphere, smoldering fireplace, great food and drinks all make this a must do aprés ski spot for anyone visiting the ski hill. Outside there is arguably one of Queenstown's best beer gardens. The garden has its own outdoor fireplace to warm yourself by and a playground for the kids to entertain themselves on.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

3. The Fork and Tap

Situated in the heart of historic Arrowtown, The Fork and Tap is another old-style pub that deserves your visit, especially post ski or snowboard adventures. The old pub offers a cosy place to unwind and enjoy a drink and some delicious 'Kiwiana' pub grub. The inside seating sitch (situation) is relatively limited so arriving earlier to make sure you grab a table for the fam is recommended. They have a great outside area that on a sunny day is perfect for soaking up the last of the sunshine, however it may disappear quickly during the winter months so grabbing a table close to the fireplace is more likely where you will want to be after a day on the snow.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

4. Canyon Brewery

One of the newest additions to the Quenstown scene, Canyon Brewery is ideally located in Arthur's Point on the way back to town from Coronet Ski Field so you may just find your vehicle magically pulling in on the way back to town. Sitting directly above the Shotover River and Jet Boat Launch makes Canyon Brewery a great place to visit with the kids as there is loads of river action to keep them entertained whilst you relax with a well deserved drink and some great food. Being a relatively new venue, expect super trendy decor with a fresh and tasty food/drinks menu that will suit everyone's tastes. There is a large indoor dining area with a fireplace or on a nice day, grab a seat outside on one of the long lounge style tables and take in the awesome views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, historic bridge and Shotover River.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

5. The Hayes

The Hayes is a true locals spot. Unless you happen to be staying in a b'n'b nearby then chances are you aren't just going to stumble upon this place. Its location in one of Queenstown's residential areas offers a much more relaxed and chilled vibe than some of the more central spots on this list. With a great play-area for the kids to get stuck in to and a menu that's going to keep mums and dads happy, this is one spot you should definitely come find after a day skiing.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

6. The Cow

Tucked away down Cow Lane in the center of Queenstown, The Cow (lovingly named after Queen Victoria) is Queenstown's oldest continually operating restaurant, having first opened its doors in 1977. Back in the 80's and 90's it was infamous for the wild aprés ski parties it hosted. Although there is less of a focus on shot-skis and table top dancing and more on great food and family-friendly atmosphere, The Cow still remains a favourite among locals and visitors alike. The restaurant itself is located in a restored old-stone stable, with the fireplace smoldering away, it offers the perfect cosy post-ski retreat for the whole family. The menu is stacked with delicious pizza and pasta options and a great wee bar for mum and dad to enjoy.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

7. Cargo Brewery

Craft breweries and kids don't usually go hand in hand (we get that), however this spot deserves to make the list as it has arguably Queenstown's best beer-garden that is stacked with games and equipment to keep the kids well occupied while you relax with some great food and beers (wines available too), all of which are crafted, fresh onsite! If the setting and the yard games aren't enough to convince you then maybe aprés ski fondue is?! Every day through the winter season, you can get your melty, gooey, cheesy fix between 3pm and 5pm. Bookings are recommended which you can do through their website, here!

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

8. Britannia

Like 'The Cow', Britannia is another Queenstown institution and one of the longest operating fixtures on the local restaurant scene. As the name suggests, the restaurant is inspired by all things British. The food is a modern twist on classic British pub fare whilst the decor combines naval influences up the front of the restaurant with a medieval dining room in the back. This place is great to take kids as the interior will have their imaginations running wild as you enjoy great food in a warm, comfortable and friendly setting. Conveniently located in Downtown Queenstown means that if you are also staying close by you are only a short stroll back to your accommodation once the food coma hits.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

9. Farelli's Trattoria

Have you ever played the 'if you had to choose one food to eat for the rest of your life' game? I'm sure you have, and I'm sure 99% of the time the answer is pizza (if it isn't, you are just plain weird!). There is good reason for that as pizza (or Italian cuisine in general) is the perfect food. It's been scientifically proven! Farelli's serves awesome traditional Italian food in a fun atmosphere. The menu is stacked with delicious options that are sure to warm you from the inside out. As well as the regular menu, Farelli's was also one of the first places in Queenstown to offer a full vegan menu (with vegan wine available) so those going meat, egg and dairy-free are well looked after.

How to get here? Click here for location and directions in Google Maps.

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