Next time you’re passing through a country town, head for the wide verandahs and cheery atmosphere of the local pub. Here you’ll discover the soul of a town; it’s where the beer is cold and the yarns are spun.
New South Wales
Apart from the legendary Pub With No Beer, NSW is dotted with quirky and colourful character pubs.
In the tiny township of Tilpa, 130km north of Wilcannia, in far west NSW, there’s a classic pub called the Tilpa Hotel. The interior of this old corrugated iron pub is plastered with graffiti from its many adorning fans. And, for a $2 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, you too can leave your mark on the pub’s tin wall….
Known to locals as “The Stump”, the Caledonian Inn was established in 1844 and claims to be the oldest continually licensed hotel in Victoria. Located in the small coastal town of Port Fairy, the pub has maintained its country style atmosphere and is popular with locals and tourists, hungry travellers can try ‘Stump Rump’ a 900gram steak that defies you to be hungry afterwards….
The colourful Daly Waters Pub, clad in corrugated iron, is crammed with decades of Australian memorabilia. Once a popular drover’s rest, this quirky pub built in 1930, gained fame again as a stopover for pilots and passengers arriving on the new Qantas airline in 1934. Today, it is a pit-stop for thirsty tourists travelling the Explorer’s Way between Alice Springs and Darwin….
From Billinudgel you can head out west via Goondiwindi to Nindigully, just across the border into Queensland.
Walking into the rustic Nindigully Pub is like walking into the lounge room of the Outback. This quintessential Outback pub on the banks of the Moonie River has been the meeting point for locals for well over 100 years. It’s famous for the more than 140 Akubra hats from local farmers and stockmen which adorn the walls. Queensland’s oldest hotel, it was issued a license in 1864 after it had been shearers’ accommodation for Nindigully Station and is still in its original condition….
In a beautiful little valley called Pyengana you’ll come across a sign that says, “Pub in a Paddock 3km – Come and see our Beer Drinking Pig”. The Pub in the Paddock is surely one of Australia’s quirkiest pubs….
The only stopover on the 528km Birdsville Track, the Mungerannie Hotel sits on the edge of the Sturt Stony, Simpson, Tirari and Strzelecki deserts and is nestled beside the Derwent River – an oasis in sharp contrast to its surrounds….
Over on our West Coast, The Roey, Broome’s oldest pub, lives by the saying “if it’s going to happen in Broome, it’s going to happen at the Roey”. If you stumble across a local character by the name of Swindle, pull up a chair and order a coldie because he has enough tales about pearling and gangsters to last a week.