If you’re petrified of the paranormal then perhaps visiting the Vulcan Hotel in St. Bathans should not be on your list of pubs to visit around Otago. But if however, you are into experiencing a little something different to the ordinary pub, then the Vulcan Hotel is an experience you need to pursue.
St Bathans is often referred to as ghost town, which is fairly accurate, considering it has fewer than 10 living inhabitants – the rest are ghosts.
Named by many notable travel websites as one of the top pubs in New Zealand, and the amongst some of the best in the world, Cardrona is definetly one of the more popular pubs in the district.
Many stop over on their way from Wanaka to Queenstown or vice versa to visit the gold-rush-era pub that dates back to 1863. The pub is fashioned from timber and Central Otago’s famous schist rock and lovingly restored. It’s a cosy spot to enjoy a meal in front of the glow from the open fire, or get outside and bask in the sunshine in the beer garden.
Oturehua Railway Hotel
Many a person stop off at this country pub whilst embarking on the Otago Rail Trail. The historic Oturehua Railway Hotel was built in the late 1800’s as a coaching inn and caters some of the most delicious home cooked meals around Otago. Many praise the hospitality from their hosts at the Oturehua Railway Hotel and over summer it is recommended that you book your spot and order early as the pub fills right up!
The Point Cafe & Bar
The gateway into the Catlins, Kaka Point, hosts a great beach-side pub that truly showcases coastal Otago. The bar is a small walk from any accommodation in Kaka Point and allows you to enjoy a beer, play some pool and admire the Pacific Ocean from the warmth of the pub. You can also grab a local Catlins Brewery beer, which is made in Kaka Point.
Moeraki Tavern calls itself a little slice of paradise, and rightly so. Moeraki Tavern is the only pub in Moeraki and it overlooks some of New Zealand’s most gorgeous water, dotted with boats in the bay. You can sit outside and enjoy the view or stay put indoors where you can still enjoy the panoramic view of the harbour while staying sheltered from the elements. The pub, like most good Otago pubs, features a cozy fire place and pool table and is the perfect place to potter around at and have a few brews.
For a real authentic feel country pub, the Luggate Hotel is the perfect stop over for a beverage and a feed. A good place to go for lunch as an outing from Wanaka and the bar area is always scattered with a few kind locals. The Luggate pub is filled with history and charm with an open fire and good selection of wines and beers, ample parking surrounds the pub and it is easy to find as it is on the main road.
The beer garden at the Luggate Hotel is nearly always full in summer.
The Royal Hotel in Naseby first opened its doors in 1863 and since then it has become known as the pub for all seasons. As stated on its website, ‘In summer, in the shade of a large sun umbrella, it is easy to enjoy a cold Kiwi beer, a local espresso and homemade biscuits and cakes, or a chilled, award-winning Central Otago wine… In winter enjoy a roaring open log fire in the bar, a glass of mulled wine or your favourite beer after a day’s curling, fishing, golfing or mountain biking.” Many praise the Royal Hotel for its great food and hosts who make everyone feel like they’re a local to the bar.
Chatto Creek Tavern
Experience genuine southern hospitality with great food, drink and ample accommodation while at Chatto Creek Tavern located between Alexandra and Omakau. Chatto Creek is an ideal place to stop for lunch while completing on the Rail Trail. The pub has beautiful gardens and hosts who have truly beautiful souls and are normally more than willing to chat with you while you visit their pub.
The bar has an extensive collection of Antique Guns and historic artefacts. The shaded beer garden extends to the Rail Trail and to the smallest operating Post Office in New Zealand.
Located on the main drag of Port Chalmers, The Portsider serves great ‘pub grub’ and is fitted out with Maritime History from throughout the years. It boasts a great selection of craft beers and is well known for the welcoming and relaxed vibe that its staff, hosts and genuine aura brings to guests. The hand-cut chips are a definite hit with regulars and visitors alike!
Check out other great pubs around the area in our business directory.
What great Otago pubs have you experienced?