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After about an hour of attacking the safe with an angle grinder, he left empty handed.
A witness noticed two males leaving the area.
Queenstown police intelligence analyst Constable Sean Drader said the man entered the tavern through the roof and ceiling of an adjoining building between 5am and 6am.
Initially wearing a balaclava, the man removed it part way through his efforts, after apparently getting too hot.
Eventually, after having no luck he had a good look around before packing up and leaving, Const Drader said.
As he did so he looked straight in to a hidden security camera.
Further photos and video footage of the man can be viewed on the Queenstown Police Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Queenstown-Police/36732244172.