The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising and suddenly you’re in the mood to spend more time out in the garden. Garden bar that is!
Dust off your jandals, grab a couple of mates and head to the nearest garden bar pronto; it's the season for drinking and dining in the sun. You just can’t fail with these brilliant garden bars – weather permitting, of course.
One swallow doesn’t make a summer – so remember to eat and drink heaps. You can always consult our guide to the best low-fat dining options in the autumn…
You’d be lucky to call Creole’s Bar & Brasseries your local, with a large garden bar complete with an out-door pool table. It’s a sweet spot for a couple of beers or a feed after a swim at the beach across the road.
It’s not strictly a garden bar but De Post’s sunny upstairs balcony is just as good – plus this Belgium beer café just so happens to boast the most-extensive beer menu in all of New Zealand!
No list of the best garden bars would be complete without including (allegedly) the largest courtyard bar in all of New Zealand. There’s real grass at the Britomart Country Club, a putting green and a pentanque court.
Hudson’s Restaurant & Bar in Hamilton has a wicked outdoor garden bar where you can dine alfresco or even play petanque over the summer months. It’s open every day – including Christmas! – with no holiday surcharges.
More for a coffee and a piece of cake rather than a booze-filled afternoon in the sun, Pacific Garden Centre & Café has a lovely out-door area amongst the flowers and plants. Sit and relax or take a stroll through the garden centre.
The Southern Cross is arguably Wellington’s most popular beer garden – and there’s always something happening whether it’s live music or giant jenga.
Bellevue Gardens Restaurant and Hotel has a stunning garden bar, which is perfect as a wedding venue or just a chilled-out place to have a meal or a couple of drinks with your mates.
A Canterbury classic, The Old Vicarage is nestled in a beautiful nature garden in the heart of Halswell. Dine alfresco in its sheltered garden or out on its sunny deck – either spot will be perfect when the sun is shining.
Otago’s Forest Lodge Hotel boasts a central beer garden that’s sure to be a lively place to be when the weather is good. The bar has a pool table and dart boards, Sky TV and a courtesy coach available locally.
Irish pub Pog Mahones’ sunny beer garden and balcony is the place to hang this summer in Queenstown. Sit back with a beer, wine or cider and just soak up the sun and the stunning alpine scenery.
You mightn’t know it to look at it but Southland’s Pioneer Tavern has a sweet new garden bar that’s sure to be popular with the locals. It, too, has a courtesy coach available locally – so please don’t drink and drive!