Slice of Central Otago’s history for sale

4:28 PM Tuesday February 16, 2016 Colin Taylor

The historic Bannockburn Hotel holds the first liquor licence granted in Central Otago.

The Bannockburn Hotel, an historic pub constructed in the 1930s and holding the first liquor licence granted in Central Otago, has been put on the market for sale as a freehold property and going concern business.

“This is much more than just a country pub,” says Barry Robertson, tourism broker for Colliers International Queenstown, who is marketing 420 Bannockburn Rd, RD2 Cromwell, for sale by expressions of interest closing on Friday March 11.

“The building’s history stretches back nearly a century and offers a rich back story as the focal point of a village which originated in the gold rush,” Robertson. “It is now on the Central Otago wine trail with Bannockburn a premium wine growing area and a popular destination for visitors touring the region’s vineyards.”

Robertson expects the building’s character status and its location on a busy stop for day-trippers to appeal to buyers looking for a lifestyle change.

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Outdoor tables at the Bannockburn Hotel. 

“There is a tremendous opportunity here for new owners to make the most of this historic pub and its site within Bannockburn village, which is within easy reach of the booming Queenstown and Wanaka tourism hubs. The area has increased in popularity as a visitor destination along with the rise of Bannockburn wines, which are now well-regarded on the world stage. We therefore expect to receive inquiries from buyers looking to add value to the business and property and make it a fixture on the Central Otago wine trail.”

Subject to planning consent, the new owners could construct visitor accommodation units on the large 5094 sq m site taking advantage of strong ongoing tourism growth in the Queenstown Lakes region, says Robertson.

The 260 sq m building is currently run as a country pub with well-maintained bar, beer garden and restaurant facilities. “It also hosts larger functions, another revenue-generating opportunity which the new owners could exploit given the property’s closeness to Queenstown and Wanaka.”

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An interior view of the bar area within the Bannockburn Hotel. 

Recent improvements to the building include structural upgrades, a new cool room, heat pump, repainting, new outdoor furniture, a re-designed restaurant menu and the introduction of a greater range of local wines and craft beers.

The surrounding land was mined extensively in the 1860s, with the Bannockburn settlement stretching out along what is now the Bannockburn-Nevis road as miners followed gold up the creeks. The gold rush left a significant visual impact on the landscape, with the alluvial flat washed away by sluicing.

“Today, several internationally renowned vineyards including Felton Road, Mt Difficulty, Terra Sancta and Carrick operate within a small radius of the property, making Bannockburn an ideal wine tasting day out from Wanaka or Queenstown,” Robertson says.