How good is Australia? This great wide, ever changing land of ours. Lately it's been giving us itchy feet to hit the outback roads for an adventure. And we all know that no outback stint is complete without a few good old fashioned pub stops, so we've gathered the best spots to stop for a cold one. From the quintessential to the quirky, here are a few that are perfect for a pit stop, a pint and an old fashioned pub meal.
Nindigully Pub, Queensland
500 kilometres inland from Brissy, this is Queensland’s oldest, and (we reckon) most beautiful pub. Bring a swag and set up on the verandah or pitch your tent and you can use the pub’s showers for free.
Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia
Standing strong for over 140 years, it is at this pub that you can order wild outback food like camel sausages, emu rissoles, goat steaks and of course kangaroo burgers. The view from the front verandah over the Flinders Ranges pairs perfectly with a pint.
The Pink Roadhouse, Oodnadatta, South Australia
Look, it’s bubblegum pink and it serves ice cold beer in the town that, since 1960, has held the record for Australia’s hottest temperature of 50.7 degrees Celsius. Sounds pretty decent to us.
Birdsville Hotel, Queensland
Obviously this one had to make this list. It’s an iconic pub, and if you don’t want to drive all the way there (it’s a long drive), you can fly in and land on the airstrip across the street. The annual Birdsville Races are held here too, which are quite the event, pumping the town's population from 120 to roughly 6,000.
Blue Heeler Hotel, Kynuna, Queensland
If it’s history you seek, this is the pub. Banjo Patterson frequented the Blue Heeler, and it’s rumoured that Patterson’s famous Waltzing Matilda had his last drink inside these walls. It’s also, surprise surprise, dedicated to man’s best friend, the working dog.
Walkabout Creek Hotel, McKinlay, Queensland
If it was good enough for Crocodile Dundee, it’s certainly good enough to be on this list. Featured in the iconic 1986 film, this pub has been standing since 1900. A 2.5 hour drive from Mount Isa, it’s a welcome schooner stop in the outback too.
Daly Waters Pub, Northern Territory
The site of this pub was actually one of Australia’s first international airports, pre World War II, when it served as a pit stop for planes flying the London to Sydney route. It’s also moonlighted as a pit stop for drovers moving cattle between Alice Springs and Darwin, with many thirsty travellers on the inland route.
Tilpa Hotel, New South Wales
It may be tiny, but it’s got a big personality. The Tilpa Hotel is the centrepiece of this sleepy town, which has the shortest heritage trail in Australia (a few metres) and a cemetery with no one in it. The pub interior has been lovingly decorated with graffiti by adoring visitors. For a $2 donation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, you can leave your mark on the wall too.
William Creek Hotel, South Australia
With a population of just six, William Creek is about halfway along the famed Oodnadatta Track, at the entrance to the Kati Thanda – Lake Eyre salt pan. Built in 1935, the hotel was once a siding on the Ghan railway line, and today provides everything travellers could need, from camping spots and accommodation to a mechanic and, of course, ice cold beer.
Shakespeare Hotel, Barcaldine, Queensland
One of the larger outback towns on this list, you can actually do a pub crawl in Barcaldine! Arguably the best of the towns four remaining pubs, the ‘Shakey’ is a grand two story hotel with wide verandahs overlooking the railway.
Fun fact: Barcaldine is also known as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party.
Wellshot Hotel, Ilfracombe, Queensland
A restored Queenslander that was once a railway station, the Wellshot Hotel is decorated in wide brimmed hats and foreign currency. Pull a chair up to the wool press bar and order a Wellshot Burger. They’re pretty decent!
Ironclad hotel, Marble Bar, Pilbara, WA
This pub has been a lifeline to the people of Marble Bar for over 120 years, through cyclones, fires and no less than 160 consecutive days above 37.8 degrees back from 1923-24. We wouldn’t call it fancy, but downing a pint of ice cold beer on a bloody hot day will have you feeling like a king.
Ready for your outback adventure? Get in touch with us to plan your next amazing holiday!