One of the best things about exercise is stopping – especially when you can stop at a genuine old country hotel. Chatto Creek Tavern is a favourite stop on the Trail.
The original part of the old stone hotel was built in 1886 as a Cobb & Co. Coach stopover. Over the years it has been a popular watering hole for hundreds of miners, rabbiters, railway men, irrigation workers, and nowadays a small but close-knit community – as well as tourists, especially those on bikes. Its brand of southern hospitality recently earned an award for best New Zealand country hotel. You are welcome to get refreshments, or simply take a breather in the rest area near the trail.
Chatto Creek has several other unique claims to fame. New Zealand’s smallest Post Office (1892-1975) is in the front yard of the Tavern; you can still frank your own letters and post them here. One of the few remaining gold dredges has found its final resting place in the paddock beside the rest area. And for bridge enthusiasts (not cards) there are two bridges of interest that you can check out – the old road bridge beside the tavern is listed with the British Transport Museum, and there is a public access track to an historic wooden trestle flume built to carry irrigation water to Chinky Gully.