The six best apres ski experiences in Australia and New Zealand

​Ski towns traditionally rely on two things – skiing and partying. The former will determine the latter and vice versa. A good day skiing can lead to a good night partying which can then lead to a bad day skiing or at least a late day skiing.

Austria has always led the après ski scene with tales of folks going home with the wrong skis, wrong ski boots and wrong person after losing themselves in the schnapps and shot ski bubble that is the Krazy Kanguruh Bar. 

Jackson Hole has the Mangy Moose where feet regularly stick to the floor, Aspen has The Sky Bar with bar tabs that match, Vail gets après serious with it's own whiskey distillery at the 10th Mountain Whiskey Room and Verbier has The Farinet with a roof that opens to the sky when the room gets a little too hot from revellers dancing in ski boots on top of the bar.

Australia is yet to hit the heady international après heights of overseas – maybe it's the lack of altitude – but we still have our own après traditions both here and in New Zealand that are a must when hitting the snow slopes.

Cardrona Hotel, New Zealand

You won't be happy if you're the designated driver to transport your mates to and from the ski fields in New Zealand because you'll miss out on a dusk session of mulled wine in the fire pit garden of The Cardrona Hotel.  The heritage pub sits in the Cardrona Valley and fills with beanie-laden, goggle-tanned guests come 4pm each day in winter. 

Mt Olympus, New Zealand

The clubfields of Canterbury in New Zealand offer the only true ski-in, ski-out party villages across the ditch. Each have their own club bar that can get pretty wild but Mt Olympus has a reputation for being the wildest of the lot. If you're lucky you'll arrive on a night of sunset curling on the ice pond at the top of the hill. 

The locals raid the dress-up box, build a bar and serve all manner of spirits as teams hit the curling ice.  When things get crazy, and they will, they'll add kerosene to the ice and light it for an extreme version of the age old sport. Take a miner's lamp to ski back down to the base lodge where the party will continue and no doubt end in the highest hot tub in the southern hemisphere. 

The General aka 'The Genny' on a DJ Eddy night at Hotham

DJ Eddy is famous in the Victorian ski fields. The alter ego of Paul 'Buff' Farnell, his party nights behind the decks at The General at Hotham are legendary with fans even tattooing DJ Eddy's face on their bodies. The '70s, self-styled ladies man puts on quite a show with audience interaction in a fusion of comedy, music and mayhem. Strictly R rated, take it with the tongue in cheek it is intended because you'll never get out alive if you don't. 

The Denman at Thredbo

The Apres Bar at the Denman starts each night as a humble cocktail bar before morphing into one giant party depending on the group guest dynamic. Patrons have been known to take the mic from visiting artists to belt out a tune or two, dance on the tables and deliberately lose their way home.


Happy Harvey Hour at Falls Creek Hotel 

Don't expect to ski on Wednesdays or Fridays at Falls Creek as Tuesday and Thursday is Happy Harvey Hour at the Falls Creek Hotel with jugs of Harvey Wallbangers, yes jugs. Enough said.

The Kooroora Hotel at Mt Buller

In Thredbo it's The Keller, at Falls Creek it's The Man, at Mt Buller it's The Kooroora: the place you find yourself when no other places are open. The place of live music, loud DJs, Jager Bombs that seem like a good idea at the time. The place where new friends are found but lost the next day, where integrity takes a back seat and the world feels like a better place at 3am.

Where are your favourite places for a post-ski beverage? Post your comments below.

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The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

The Fairmont Chateau in Whistler.

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The Sony 4k Action Cam.

The Sony 4k Action Cam.

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See also: The best places to eat at the snow
See also: What to wear (and what not to wear) at the snow

Take a look at the latest entries in the Instagram competition below. The gallery at the top of the page features the top entries so far.