Like it or Luggate

The Luggate Hotel: Beer and venison. Mmmmm.

 

It’s the “accent aigu” most people notice first. Poised above the final “e”, the French acute accent has been added to the Luggate highway sign, changing its pronunciation to “Luggat-eh”. Occasionally someone, presumably a New Zealand Transport Agency employee, scrapes it off. But someone, presumably a local, stubbornly puts it back. Bienvenue a Luggaté!

Located on State Highway 8 on the road to Cromwell, Luggate is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-sort of place. But, as with many such places, should you not blink, you’ll find a charming wee hamlet with a lot to offer. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of must dos for the next time you’re passing through.

1. The Luggate Hotel – This historic high country pub is one of the oldest in the area, and one of the most amiable. Cosy fires warm the stone walls in winter, and the garden bar is great for families in summer. There is live music most Sunday afternoons and while you’re there, try the venison for dinner. It’s ridiculously good.

2. The Red Bridge– Situated just down the road on the way to Christchurch, the ‘Grandview Bridge’ is a steel truss road bridge notable enough to be listed in the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Historic Register.

Bienvenue a Luggate!

3. The Upper Clutha River Track – This combined walking and cycling track links Albert Town to Luggate. It’s 18.5kms long, and every inch of it is stunning as it climbs and dips along the banks of the mighty Clutha River. Combine it with the Wanka Outlet Track and the Luggate Creek Track, and you can travel off-road from the Wanaka town centre to the Luggate Pub. Talk about earning your pint.

4. The Flying Fox Park – Whether you are young or just young at heart, this cool playground is worth a visit for a few turns on the flying fox, some noisy fun in the tunnel slide, or to chuck your bike off the end of the mini version of the Red Bridge.

5. The Luggate Domain – Catch a game of cricket and check out the cool house buses.

LAURA WILLIAMSON

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