Bars New Zealand Oceania Queenstown Travel

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand

Stumble down through the maze of Queenstown’s mall and you’ll find yourself down a dark and dingy alley that leads to the Naughty Penguin.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand
The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown 

These are not the secret directions to the town’s red light district. Continue along the lane, past Debajo Nightclub and you’ll find the speakeasy bar, one of the highlights of the visit to Queenstown.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand
Pine Wood Interior

A humble exterior with a shack-like roof leads the way to a warm, cosy and inviting space with pine wood, a chalkboard with “Before I die I want to……” for you to leave your wisdom and the odd board games. You could almost be in a chalet at winter time with locals and strangers becoming instant friends over a cleansing ale or two.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand
“Before I die I want to……”

The focus is to offer the best of New Zealand’s craft beer and regional wines with Moa Beer on tap and other local favourites.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand
Moa Beer on Tap

But the lure of the back bar with the array of spirits is difficult to resist. Here, the cocktails are well-crafted, the bartenders are some of the best around and the vibe is not too different to some of Sydney’s best bars.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand
Chase Bickerton, Bar Manager

The cocktail action takes place at the copper top bar and the friendly bar chat tempts you to try any of the Champagne Libations, Tiki cocktails, Sours and Fizzes, and House Imaginations or a range of Absinth cocktails. Or, you could tell the bartender your preference and he will craft some of the best cocktails you’ve ever had.

The Naughty Penguin, Queenstown, New Zealand

The Naughty Penguin has a 42 person capacity but caters for 28 people comfortably. The venue is open until 4am and offers pizza and late night bites.

Walk in a stranger and within minutes, the patrons have welcomed you as a regular and someone is offering to buy you a drink. And that is much like the welcome you receive in Queenstown.

The Naughty Penguin is featured in our article Top 10 Things to Do in Queenstown.

Gourmantic travelled to Queenstown courtesy of Air New Zealand.

The Naughty Penguin
Cow Lane
Queenstown 9300, New Zealand
Phone: +64 (0) 3 442 8454


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.