Sunday, January 21, 2018

Esplanade Hotel, Devonport

The Esplanade Hotel, right opposite the Devonport wharf must be one of the best locations we have stayed in. Built in 1903, and set among period shops and houses, it has a gracious old world air.
We spent a very comfortable night, after enjoying a meal in their restaurant. The township with waterfront, navy base, ferry ride to Auckland and the historic gun batteries at nearby North Head is a very pleasant place to spend a day or two.
Visit date: 21 January 2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Mansion House, Kawau Island

Mansion House is the ultimate in Historic Houses in New Zealand. Originally the mine manager's house on Kawau Island, Governor Grey purchased it in 1862. It later became a hotel and became quite run-down. Today it has been restored by DOC, and is a stunning place to visit. We had a great lunch at the cafe, and although this is not actually in the house, I had to include this magnificent historic house, especially as it had once been a hotel.
Visit date: 20 January 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Sterling Hotel, Waihi

The Sterling Hotel in Waihi, is one of the remaining reminders into Waihi's prosperous past. It was moved to Waihi from  Hikutaia in 1895, as at that time there was only one hotel in Waihi. Today it serves pub food, totally in keeping with it's past life.  
11 January 2018

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hampden Hotel, Murchison

This 19th century hotel also dates from the gold mining era. Today it has been thrust back into more prosperous times by the closure of the coastal highway through Kaikoura. Murchison has been changed from a quiet rural backwater, into one of the larger towns on the new inland route to Christchurch. We decided the old hotel would be a good lunch stop and enjoyed an excellent pub-style lunch on their sunny patio.
Visit date: 22 April 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Walter Peak Station, Queenstown

Although the present homestead at Walter Peak was rebuilt in 1977 following an extensive fire, it was rebuilt with a very similar exterior to the original homestead built in 1902. We took the historic steamship TSS Earnslaw across the lake for a superb buffet lunch. Everything about the excursion was extremely well done - from the viewing platform inside the Earnslaw to observe the steam engine at work, to the farm tour and amazing lunch which is a real showcase of New Zealand produce.
Visit date: 19 April 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017

Theatre Royal Hotel, Kumara

As a total contrast to Blackball, we stopped in Kumara for lunch at the totally refurbished Theatre Royal Hotel. The hotel was built in 1876 during the Kumara gold rush, and a thirty metre theatre was added for travelling shows.
When the current owners purchased the hotel in 2010, it was totally derelict. But two years later they had completed a complete refit and the hotel looks as good as new. It was definitely a great choice for an excellent lunch and a feel of stepping back to the days when this hotel was sparkling new.
Visit date: 10 April 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Formerly the Blackball Hilton Hotel, Blackball

This historic hotel built in 1897, is more than the usual old NZ hotel. The name reflects their run in with the Hilton brand in 1992. The accommodation is typical - lots of bedrooms and two bathrooms. But as we had the adjacent bathroom to ourselves, it was no problem.
Apart from the architecture, the real drawcard of the hotel is their excellent chef. The meals were fantastic - totally unexpected in such a small, out of the way town. The advice we received for little known local places to visit, was another bonus.
Visit date: 9 April 2017