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Formerly the Blackball Hilton


For some strange reason, I’m going back to the subject of off-the-beaten-track old style pubs. Don’t worry, I think this is the only other one I know. Also, don’t ask why, just embrace it as the useless piece of trivia that it is. Maybe you can use it as a conversation topic for when things get awkward around strangers? No? Okay, no.

Browsing through my photos of the South Island, I came across a couple of shots of the Blackball Hilton, located in the tiny town of Blackball on the West Coast (just inland from Greymouth), which is home to only about 330 people.

This Victorian style inn was built in 1910 and, in 1992, at age 82, when it was already old enough to be respected and left alone, the lawyers of the Hilton family (yes, that Hilton family) somehow heard of this place in the middle of nowhere, in the quietest little town on the quietest island. They slapped the owners with a lawsuit to get them to stop using the word Hilton and, in response, the name was changed and, since then, the inn has been known as “Formerly the Blackball Hilton”.


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