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The new Ladybird Hill Vineyard and Restaurant in Omarama, which opened nine weeks ago, is perfectly planned for the whole family.
Thought and energy has been poured into the venture since Rodger and Donna Smaill - originally from Oamaru - bought the former Clay Cliffs Vineyard, renamed it Ladybird Hill and began work on the refurbishment of the restaurant, winebar and surrounds.
The result is a delightful destination the centrepiece of which is a Tuscan-style restaurant which is loaded with ambience in its tranquil setting. The restaurant is open Thursday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Gates are open from 10.30am until late.
From the restaurant visitors can walk out to viewing platforms that hover above large flowing ponds replete with salmon, rainbow and brown trout which patrons are welcome to feed.
Earlier this month the fish population received a sizeable boost when about 80 rainbow trout arrived at Ladybird Hill, their new-found safe haven away from fishers and predators. Each weighing about 1kg, they were supplied by the Central South Island Fish and Game Council and are expected to grow to between 6kg and 7kg in the next two years.
The complex was granted the first permit to hold the sports fish in the region.
Another popular feature of the complex is the large custom-built two-storeyed children's playground facility which provides young visitors with endless enjoyment.
For the energetic, a gravelled walking track leads visitors to the summit of the large hill behind the
Those who make it to the to the top can relax at the seats and tables provided and enjoy the breath-taking views of the country that surrounds Omarama.
At an altitude of 450m, Ladybird Hill is the highest producing vineyard in New Zealand. (It grows pinot gris and pinot noir grapes.) Also grown are 170 cherry trees with visitors being able to pick their own.
Telephone Rodger and Donna for more information on (03) 438-9550 or check the website http//:www.ladybirdhill.co.nz