We haven’t tried pub camping so just shy of Rockhampton in Qld we turn off towards Mount Morgan and 15 minutes later we are in the little town of Bouldercombe. We pull up outside the Royal Hotel and Tracey the publican bounds down the beer garden steps to meet us. Yes, we can park out the back on the wide mowed paddock along with the other campers. “A beer in the bar would be appreciated, thanks and there are $10 meals”. What a lovely spot, it is sunny, warm and dry and peaceful. The other campers are a chatty bunch and we have a few laughs. A cold beer in the shaded beer garden goes down a treat. By the way the camp toilets just across the road are spotless.
In the evening we return to the pub for dinner. The food is cheap and good, the vegies are extra. They don’t sell wine by the glass but by the bottle, if you don’t finish it you take it with you. “Fair enough” we say. Max the arthritic Staffy nudges his rump up to my leg for a pat. He works the room in this fashion moving from one set of legs to the next. A bunch of cheery campers play pool. Some of the locals are still drinking on the veranda. Country music plays. This is Queensland.
Next morning as we head into Rockhampton, Brian says “You know that free camp at the pub last night, well it cost as much as two nights in a caravan park!” But how many caravan parks will we remember as fondly? Don’t they say you always remember your first? And that bottle of wine, we didn’t have to take it with us, we finished it!