It has been a long time since I had a pub crawl. ( Actually at post 372 in early May 2014 – 6 months ago) Since moving to the Gold Coast we have been busy doing umm err hmmm, I’m not sure. Whatever we have been doing it has kept us busy. Yesterday I pulled a muscle in my back and the pain is restricting what I can do. So I am resting. It was while in a state of rest I recalled all the photos taken of hotels over the last five or six years. There are not many old hotels in the Gold Coast itself but there are many hotels in the hinterland and over the border in NSW. Lots of exploring to do.
In October 2012 I drove in WWWGO towing TERIOS, from Mt. Beauty in Victoria to Guyrah northern NSW. I took a month for the trip and stopped for several days in many of the south central western area of NSW. Many of the towns were a sad sight in various stages of decline. Many of these towns were dependent on a particular crop or industry along with the railway. Once the railway was closed, those towns on the line started the slow decline. Some have somehow managed to re-invent themselves and diversified their base industries and are in a healthy condition, even prospering. Other towns remain neutral and are neither growing or declining. I was sad to see those towns which are in decline and when the pub is closed and begins to look abandoned you can be sure the rest of the town is faring just as badly.
Coolamon NSW. The town tries to attract visitors by events such as the Scarecrow Festival in October each year. Part of the reason this town still survives is the train line is still active although a passenger train stops here twice a week. Once on it’s way west and once on the return journey to the east.
The Globe Hotel at West Wyalong NSW. This is a busy town which has a strange dog leg main street. You cannot see from one end to the other. First a few hundred metres, a bend another few hundred metres followed by another bend. The Globe Hotel is built on one of the bends.
The Farmers Hotel at Gainman NSW was probably the saddest town I visited. The hotel looks active from a distance but once up close the broken windows and signs and rusted metal and rotted wood and a layer of dust over everything tells another story. The railway station or rather where the railway station once stood (there is now just a plaque to show where the station once stood – even the lines have been removed) is across the street.
The Club House Hotel at Peak Hill is in a town which is obviously struggling. A nearby gold mine is a tourist attraction but on the day of my visit I only saw another couple while walking around the mine “pit”. Even then I gave up the self guided tour as the temperature was in the low 30’s and I did not feel comfortable walking around alone in the heat with nobody to know where I was . The other couple left after a few minutes in the heat.
Ariah Park Hotel, Ariah Park NSW (it is pronounced Area Park). Most of the shops were closed and had been for some time. The dust on the display windows announced it has been a long time since anybody had been in the shops. The pub was about the only business, apart from the bowls club which had customers.
The Palace Hotel at Ardlethan NSW. It is the Ariah Park Shire. This town is, like AP trying to attract motorhome/caravan visitors to town by providing cheap camping facilities. This hotel was once a thriving coffee house built when the town, like AP was under the control of teetotallers. This town like AP was known as the towns of Wowsers and Bowsers.
When we stayed in the small town of Culcairn south west NSW in 2012 we visited many towns in the area especially those along the Murray River. Rutherglen although well endowed with pubs is now better known for food and wine tours. Every second establishment caters for special food menus. Even the pubs stock a good range of quality wines in their upmarket dining rooms. The town is well known for the fine fortified wines – Ports – from the vineyards in the region.
Donnis worked at the Henty Hospital for three months in early 2012. Henty was well endowed with hotels and this one, the Historic Henty Hotel still had horse stable out the back.
This old hotel, still showing the scars of many years of low budget repairs is located in the small town of Hebel in Qld near the NSW border. The next stop over the border is Lightning Ridge which is far more interesting. We visited in 2011 on our way from Dirranbandi Qld (Cotton growing capital of Australia) to Lightning Ridge (Black Opal Capital of the world)
We visited the collection of small towns/villages of Tilba in 2013. This old timber hotel is called the dromedary ( many think it was named after a camel which carries its drinking supplies on a hump on its back and the local sheep shearers carries all their worldly possessions, including water in their “bluey” which was a rolled up set of blankets, on their backs. Travelling shearers liked to spend time drinking at the local pub. In fact a nearby mountain is called Dromedary and that is what the hotel is named after.
Tags: Ariah Park Hotel, Club House Hotel Peak Hill, Coolamon Hotel, Dirranbandi, Dromedary Hotel, Farmers Hotel Gainman, Golbe Hotel West Wyalong, Hebel Hotel, Henty Hotel, Lightning Ridge, Palace Hotel Ardlethan, Star Hotel Rutherglen, Tilba