The Bitter End

In an effort to enjoy every iconic pub in this country sometimes we stumble and it this one we came a cropper. Aug 2018 With a bunch of mates we have lunch at the ‘B’ Hotel and it is memorable. I am ‘lucky’ enough to get the last serve of the daily roast pork. Funny we’re the first diners to order and they’ve only got six serves. Now I know the true meaning of ‘bitter end’ because I am confronted with a plate full of bitter, chewy and dry, day old roast ends. Is it any wonder that they gave … Continue reading The Bitter End

Why I Write About Pubs

The Aussie bush pub is not just a hotel. It is a place where the community gathers. It is where marriages and births are celebrated and mates are farewelled. Where thirsts are slaked and sorrows drowned. Whether the industry is cane or cows, sorghum or sheep the locals meet at the pub. Walls are decorated with trophies and photos and faded advertisements for tractors. Rooms are occupied by insurance agents and miners who drank too late and couldn’t risk the drive home because of the ‘roos on the road. If you notice money on the ceiling it means that the … Continue reading Why I Write About Pubs

Cooktown Hotel

The Cooktown Hotel advertises sunset on their verandah and we decide to take them up on their offer. The front door is shaded by a piece of striped canvas hanging down about a metre. We lift the canvas and enter the cool of the bar. It is busy and noisy and classic rock is still playing as it was earlier in the day, now it’s the Rolling Stones. We are greeted by a small shaggy dog with a big smile. We take our drinks up the steep wooden stairs and find half a dozen others on the verandah. There are … Continue reading Cooktown Hotel

Blue Heeler Hotel

Some pubs in the outback like the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna, Qld have very narrow doors, we just assumed that people were smaller in the old days. But hell no, it was to stop you from riding your horse into the bar. Spoil sports. The Blue Heeler Hotel has been here since the 1860’s when it was a Cobb and Co coaching stop and the gnarly old floor boards look like they’re original. If that’s not enough this hotel was where the shearers celebrated during the great shearer’s strike of 1894 when they set fire to the woolshed at … Continue reading Blue Heeler Hotel

Harry Corones & The Hotel Corones

Even when on his deathbed blind and deaf, Harry Corones knew when someone had rung up a ‘no sale’ on the till downstairs. Aviator Amy Johnson touched down at Charleville in Western Queensland on her record breaking flight to London. She asked HC for a champagne bath to celebrate her arrival thus far. Twenty three magnums of the finest champagne went into her bath that night and later while she was downstairs being wooed by the townsfolk of Charleville, the staff rebottled the champagne. Harry got on the phone and sold the lot as “the champagne Amy Johnson had bathed in … Continue reading Harry Corones & The Hotel Corones

Club Hotel, Croydon, Qld

Croydon is in the Gulf Country, the Gulf of Carpentaria and yep, you can call that the outback. The GPS tells us that we’re 3.3kms from Croydon but where the hell is it? We emerge from the scrub to find half a dozen wide dusty streets. This is a gold mining town whose heyday ended at the outbreak of the First World War. It now has a few houses, a pub, a take away/ store, an historic general store, a police station and the shire council. In fact the council has to provide all of the other services that are … Continue reading Club Hotel, Croydon, Qld

Never Look a Gift Pub in the Mouth

The wee town of Port Albert is a fisherman’s paradise. The free camp is actually a parking area for cars, boat trailers and RV’s right on the sea front adjoining the boat ramp. There is supposedly parking space for six RV’s. So a bunch of us new arrivals all stand around debating how and where we are supposed to park. We later find the parking instructions and yes we have parked our vans incorrectly, but it isn’t busy and we aren’t blocking anyone. We should have parked the van on the lawn with the car on the asphalt. The town … Continue reading Never Look a Gift Pub in the Mouth

South Johnstone

In north Queensland we had passed an intriguing pub at South Johnstone but couldn’t park the van. Being only a short distance away we decided not to let this one go. Next day we cross the South Johnstone River on a large causeway style bridge with no rails, these things freak me out. The thought of rushing floodwaters and crocodiles is enough to give anyone a thirst. South Johnstone has a large sugar mill at the south end and the South Johnstone River at the north end. In between there is a narrow road, about six empty “shops”, the Criterion … Continue reading South Johnstone