Cardrona Hotel

Monday9:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Tuesday9:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Wednesday9:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Thursday9:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Friday9:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Saturday8:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Sunday8:00 am – 10:00 pm.

Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

03-443 8153

Rumoured to be the most photographed building in the country, Cardrona Hotel pops up on all sorts of social media – but there’s no real replacement to actually going there in person. Nestled between Queenstown and Wanaka on the highway leading to the Crown Range, it’s likely both towns would like to call the place their own, but Cardrona Hotel is very much happy to be its own place with its own history.
 
Established in 1863 when gold was the reason people stuck around Central Otago country, Cardrona Hotel was first and foremost a place to stay for tired miners. After the gold diminished and the town numbers dwindled, the hotel spent some years as a pub, before falling into a state of disrepair. Luckily local hero John Lee was able to see the value in restoring what is now a hugely important part of New Zealand history, and even after a handful of owners have been and gone, this place retains the iconic feel that it is so famous for.
 
Rustic and rich in history, Cardrona Hotel has a total of 48 beds available to guests passing through (which are often full up with skiers in winter and family weddings in summer). A popular venue to tie the knot too thanks to its huge sweeping lawns, kids play area and flexibility of booking, the hotel, bar and restaurant has seen many a happy couple leave through its doors. For a place steeped with history, Cardrona Hotel has a fresh take on food, with a hearty menu changing seasonally throughout the year. Coming for dinner or lunch? Try the beef Wellington with field mushrooms, prosciutto and pickled walnuts for a variation on the classic, or the lamb salad with baba ganoush, lentils and broad beans. Like any well-worn pub, there’s all the usuals on tap, as well as a good mix of wine and spirits.

Words by Rosie Morrison & Photography by Anna Briggs

Cardrona Valley Road, Cardrona

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