Apres Ski in Cardrona

Cardrona Village

Cardrona Village, at the bottom of the mountain road in the Cardrona Valley is a tiny hamlet of barely more than a few houses, a small church and the Cardrona Hotel, these days better known as a celebrated pub than a hotel, although it does have 16 rooms.

Cardrona draws many of its visitors from the idyllic lakeside town of Wanaka (small town, big lake) where the atmosphere is in almost total contrast to the bustling tourist town of Queenstown. a 57km drive from Cardrona if you take the closest route along New Zealand’s highest main road.

Cardrona Bars & Restaurants

There’s very little après ski on the mountain or in Cardrona’s resort village, and although nearby Wanaka is usually fairly quiet compared with the raucous bustle of Queenstown, Wanaka is big enough to have quite a wide range of apres ski bars and restaurants.

Apres Ski Bars in Wanaka

Shooters’ is Wanaka’s only Lakefront Bar with a karaoke night on Wednesdays and live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. There are Happy-hour prices from 5-6pm and 9-10pm, and a deck with mountain and lake views as you watch the sun go down after a day on the slopes.

There’s live music at Paddy’s. Red Rock has good bar-food and pool tables, but gets crowded. Muzza’s Bar & Cafe offers family dining and an open fire. The Cardrona Hotel is a relic of the gold rush days. One of New Zealand’s oldest hotels (built in 1863), it’s well worth a visit even just for a drink at the bar. It’s a 20 minutes drive from Wanaka. The stylish Barluga, with its extensive wine list and long bar, is the ‘in’ bar at Wanaka.

Barluga Tel: +64 3 443 8579

Shooters Tel: +64 3 443 4345

Cardrona Hotel Tel: +64 3 443 8153

Muzza’s Bar Tel: +64 3 443 7296

Restaurants in Wanaka

Wanaka may be a quiet backwater compared with Queenstown but there is still plenty of action and numerous bars and restaurants, many claiming magnificent views.

Missy’s Kitchen has a truly eclectic menu, tapas, and delectable desserts. The award-winning Capriccio is right on the lake-shore, and specialises in excellent fish dishes and fine wines. Kaiwhakapai (Maori for House of Great Food).

“The Kai” produces everything they sell on the premises, including Rye Bread and Banana Cream Pie. The Pa Runga (Maori for “upstairs”) Bar is an intimate claims “best view in town”. Carnivores will doubtless enjoy The Hub’s signature dishes of the Table BBQ and Oak Steak.

Sargood’s, at the Edgewater Resort, is named after Sir Percy Sargood who purchased Wanaka Station – then one of the area’s largest sheep farms – in 1912. The lakefront setting was once part of the station. Don’t miss one of the restaurant’s signature desserts: Satan’s Kiss (strawberry panna cotta, house-made cayenne ice cream and flourless chocolate cake).

Missy’s Kitchen Tel: +64 3 443 5099

Cappricio Tel: +64 3 443 8579

Kaiwhakapai Tel: +64 3 443 9220

Oakridge Resort Grand Mercure Tel: +64 3 443 7707

Sargoods Tel: +64 3 443 8311

Other Activities 

As it hardly ever snows in Wanaka, the nearest town, there’s almost no limit to the all-year-round outdoor activities, including wine tasting, sky-diving, mountain biking museum visits and swimming, golf, trout fishing and rock climbing.

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