About 'poo pub

The Mahinapua Hotel was built in 1905, close to Lake Mahinapua, several kilometres south of Hokitika. It was originally described as a ‘solidly built house’ with twelve rooms charging a ‘moderate tariff’. It was owned by a Scotsman from Edinburgh who came to the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island as a miner and dredge worker during the regions gold rush of the late 1800’s.


The Pub is nestled amongst the wild surrounds of Hokitika on the West coast of the South Island. It was originally an area rich in Jade from which local Maori would travel to in order to mine. Later its rich natural resources brought European attention as the area became famous for gold.

In 2014 Lonely planet voted it as one of the Top 10 Regions in the world and rightly so, it sports some of New Zealand’s most stunning sections of scenery, including wild coastlines, abandoned goldfields, alpine meadows and tropical rainforests. A shallow lake, Lake Mahinapua is the perfect spot for scenic picnics, walks and water based activities.

world famous in new zealand

In New Zealand, The Mahinapua Pub was made famous by a television advertising campaign for Mainland Cheese. Advertising themes are notoriously short-lived but the clever use of nostalgia, personified by a grumpy old man and given location by the quaint pub made those Mainland Cheese TV commercials rather more memorable than most and world Famous in New Zealand. 

the pub today

In more recent history the ‘Poo Pub’ has become a favourite of traveller and local alike, largely due to the long time owner Les Lisle who pulled pints there for 25 years. Today it is moved onto a new owner who is taking it to the next level. The pub was possibly going to have to close as it was experiencing a lack of travellers but experienced New Zealand tourism operator, Mike Warren, stepped in and is now bringing more tourists than ever to its doors through the Kiwi Experience bus tours.