Hawkes Bay

Puketapu Resurrection


Just when our readers may have given up on us we were out and about again at Easter. This time we chose somewhere a little closer to home for some of our group: The Puketapu. Once this hotel may well have been described as off the beaten track. Not any more! Less than ten kilometres from Taradale it has a become a popular destination, especially since the establishment of the new cycle way. And, as their website proudly announces, in 2011 they were Traditional Pub of the Year.

Our meals

The food for the most part was very good. Those who ordered the chicken salad did grumble a bit but I’m not allowed to quote them. (Apparently it was a tad dry.) Those who ordered the fish were happy, very happy! It was John Dory and delicious! And the-back-from-uni-for-Easter member of our group was very impressed with her chips. Followers of this blog will know she’s a connoisseur. She said they were the best ever. You can see why! The only down side from my point of view – they were too big to snitch from her plate!


General Ambience

It’s a busy place, The Puketapu. It pays to book ahead. On the day we visited some might say it was crowded; shade in the very pleasant garden bar was a sought after commodity. But our waitress was good-natured under pressure, even when we moved tables and told her later!

There’s plenty of historical information displayed on the walls to keep you fascinated if you’re that way inclined.

A couple of titbits:

  • The original, a grand old hotel like that at Porangahau, burned down in 1909.
  • And back in the day drovers, like our granddad, took the sheep across the nearby bridge 20 at a time.

These days it’s not horses or coaches people are riding to Puketapu. Lycra or leather is the common fashion attire.

How did we rate our likely return?

Keen as

Good idea


Could be talked in to it

Not if I’m paying

The only reason they didn’t get top rating was the long, long wait for our meals (more than forty-five minutes) and they’re just a little too on the beaten track for us – but we’re different like that.

General Note: Interest in our explorations “Off The Beaten Track” is growing. Even our once-was-a-uni-student (his self-descriptor but we think it’s a bit of a stretch – the years are going by and he really does have a real job) has invited himself along the next time he’s in The Bay.

You can find The Puketapu on the web and on Facebook.

Nau mai, Haere mai. Come on in and join the korero (conversation)

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