Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#696 Cardrona (Pub), New Zealand

Perhaps you've already seen my Cardrona Bra Fence entry (#859) - but where is Cardrona itself? It's not really a town anymore, and most New Zealanders only know about the ski field or the pub, sitting lonely amongst the buildings left over from when it was a bustling mining town.
Established in 1863, it is one of New Zealand's oldest hotels (and is older than the township itself, which was founded in 1865), and among other cool elements (aside from the phone box, old petrol pump, historical general store, school house, multiple tractors and beautiful gardens, etc) there is a trapdoor inside to a cellar underneath the floor, and the decor includes antique fireplaces, creaky old wooden floors and the original bar. 16 hotel rooms stretch behind the original buildings, facing the beautiful gardens and old shed behind.
Once the town had 4 hotels, Chinese stores, and butcheries, 3 European stores, a blacksmith and a baker reaching its peak as a butchery hub and prosperous town in the 1880s and 1890s. Now, little more than the hotel remains. Memorable 1930s owner Jim Patterson refused to serve women, and wore his spectacles and braces behind the current bar and served warm beer from a corked bottle rationing his customers as needed, depending on which direction they were driving. 


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