about us

"The Cow" is an institution serving food to visitors from around the world and to our loyal local customers. The menu is still the same as when the restaurant opened its door in 1976. The same deicious mix of hand rolled pizzas and spaghetti dishes, hot soup and homemade bread and salad make for a winning combination that has the diners coming back again and again.


a little history

In the 1860s, during the reign of Queen Victoria, Queenstown became the transit centre of a major goldrush. As today, the many people who lived here needed milk. Cows were kept in paddocks near where the old Queenstown school stands and each day they were herded and brought down 'Cow Lane' to be milked to provide milk for the hotels and others in Beach Street. For a time it was jokingly known as 'Bledisloe Lane' after the 'chauffeur' for Lord Bledisloe (then Governor General), took a wrong turn out of Camp Street. But obviously an older tradition has prevailed and we are proud of our historic 'Cow Lane'..


Early in the 1940’s, John King leased the library paddock next to the Post Office for the grazing of the King’s cow. Having this cow was a necessity to help nourish the 12 King children. The library minutes show that the annual rent was set at two pounds.
John, sitting down on his stool doing the milking wherever the cow happened to be, became an early tourist attraction because of it being right in the centre of town.
John King’s mother, “Granny King” who was the first white woman born at Albert Town in 1868, along with willis scaife turned on the switch for Wanaka’s first electricity in 1940 right outside the post office.
Adding to this history is the aptly named “The Cow Pizza & Spaghetti House” which sits on this lane. Hence the name Post Office Lane.