A hilltop vision: The Hilltop

Hearing that a heritage building we know and love is being preserved and enhanced is always a great thrill, and that’s certainly the case with the Hilltop Tavern, overlooking Akaroa.

Heritage preservation is not for the faint-hearted, and those that undertake it need to be commended for their vision, and contribution to the region’s rich history.

Akaroa’s The Hilltop Tavern is the latest regional gem to be restored and renovated, in this instance by local residents Brent and Kim Robertson, adding their vision to the stunning view. “We never intended to do this, but just couldn’t see it go into the wrong hands and not survive. It is such an iconic part of Banks Peninsula, and it deserves a new life,” says Brent.

The couple has experience in historic renovation, having completed a restoration of their 100-year-old Akaroa home.

Brent and Kim hope to see the reborn Hilltop open before Christmas this year, and are currently looking for an operator for the bar and restaurant.

“We are looking for someone who shares our goal and dream to create a really cool place for families, people travelling to and from Akaroa and the bays, and for tourists.”

The stunning views of Banks Peninsula will be able to be enjoyed from the new veranda, and the couple plan on turning the eight plus hectares of land belonging to the venue into a native reserve.

“We are working on extinguishing the gorse,” says Brent, “and we will replant in natives with access via tracks through the developing forest.”

The Hilltop received its first licence more than 100 years ago, and the building carries a soul and a character all of its own. “It will be an ideal spot to host events,” says Brent.

“The panorama before you, the indoor/outdoor flow we are creating, and space for live music and dancing means this heritage beauty is only getting better with age.”


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