Go NZ: Where is New Zealand’s oldest pub?

If you ask which pub is the oldest in New Zealand, be prepared for a hotly contested debate on the matter. There are several pubs that like to claim this title, depending on how you define “oldest pub”. Is it the date of the building? Or the date of its first liquor licence? Has it been a continuous pub throughout history or was there a break? Is it a pub, a tavern or a hotel?

We’re not here to judge what defines the oldest pub in New Zealand, but here are a few with some pretty good claims to fame anyway.

Moutere Inn, Upper Moutere

Set in the fertile Moutere Valley, the Moutere Inn is considered the heart of the village and proudly states it’s the oldest pub in New Zealand, dating back to 1850. These days, the establishment offers a variety of craft beers on tap and sources all its wines within 10 kilometres of the premises.

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The Duke, Russell

The Duke of Marlborough Hotel in Russell began in 1827, known then as “Johnny Johnston’s Grog Shop,” named after its owner who was an ex-convict. Originally frequented by whalers, traders and prostitutes, the establishment was renamed to the Duke of Marlborough and gained its first licence in 1840 after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. That makes it the first legal pub in New Zealand.

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