Established in 1863, the Cardrona Hotel is one of New Zealand’s oldest hotels, and is one of only two remaining buildings from the Cardrona Valley gold rush era. In it's hey-day Cardrona was a prosperous settlement and significant commercial hub for the area. During this period the hotel - one of four in the township - offered accommodation, livery services and an accommodation stop for itinerant travellers. The historic hotel facade is representative of this now vanished town and is an important part of New Zealand’s history.
The hotel is currently owned by friends-turned-business-partners Cade Thornton and James Jenneson. The pair visited the pub on a road trip to Queenstown in the winter of 2012. They were so taken by the historic pub that by February 2013 they were the proud new owners of a slice of Kiwi history. Since taking the helm, Cade and James have focused on improving the bar and restaurant offering, maintaining the buildings & grounds and giving this iconic landmark the love and care it deserves.
I've been waiting for 30 years for a trophy like this... what an amazing week hunting! We flew in to Queenstown and the scenery was to die for! To be greeted at the airport with open arms by Simon and his team David and Richard from Cardrona Outfitters was an amazing start. We then climbed in the truck and headed off, heading over the Crown Range to the Cardrona Valley was like flying in the mountains all over again! After settling in at the lodge it felt like a home away from home. That evening we started to hunt fallow deer in the hills of the Cardrona Valley, this included a lot of glassing but it was all worth it to harvest this beautiful buck just before dark. It was then back to Simon's lodge to be fed like a king!
Day two... I hunted my number one trophy - a bull elk! We found an amazing bull just on dark but it was too risky to take the shot.
Day three… Our plan came together and I took this amazing bull elk! 410 inches of antler - it was worth waiting for! Not only do I have some amazing trophies but I had the hunt and holiday of a life time! I also have some new friends - I'll be returning next season to hunt with Simon and Richard and the team at Cardrona Outfitters!