One of the things we have loved most about exploring outback Queensland, has been the amazing outback pubs we have found. Many of these pubs are the lifeblood of their communities. Sometimes, they are the only thing open! We can guarantee you won’t want to miss these awesome outback Queensland Pubs. And yes – we did have a beer or a meal or both in every single one!
As the sign says on the approach to Eulo – “It’s unAustralian not to stop at an Outback Pub!” And we would have to agree.
You can check out where all these fabulous outback Queensland pubs are by heading to our link on WikiCamps.
THE ROYAL CARRANGARRA HOTEL, TAMBO
We have put the Royal Carrangarra first on our list because, not only is it a fabulous pub, it’s also home to Ben’s Chicken Racing. Publican Ben, runs Chicken Races every night to raise money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). This guy is an absolute born entertainer and he had us in stitches as he introduced his stable of thoroughbred racing chickens!
All dyed a different colour so you can tell them apart, spectators bid on each chicken, and then that chicken races on the winning bidders behalf. And let me tell you some people’s pockets were deep and their determination to win was high. On the night we were there, one chicken went for $100.
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Once the chickens have all been auctioned off the racing action starts. The chickens are encouraged to race by chasing a remote control car around the track. The back of the car has a container of wheat attached to it so there is plenty of incentive to race.
After the races it’s definitely worth staying around for a meal and a couple of beers. They even have a courtesy bus to drop you back to wherever you’re staying, including Stubby Bend, the free camp on the edge of town. A great night of Aussie entertainment!
NINDIGULLY PUB, NINDIGULLY
We love Nindigully Pub! The oldest, continuously licenced pub in Queensland, it is full of character. With a long front verandah and quirky memorabilia on the walls, you can easily spend a couple of hours just looking at it all.
Home to the famous 6.5kg Roadtrain Burger, it’s best only to order it if you have a few mates to help you eat it. But rest assured, there is always something tasty on the menu plus plenty of cold beer.
Of course, as an added bonus you can free camp right next door. This ever popular spot is right on the banks of the Moonie River.
THE EULO QUEEN HOTEL, EULO
Eulo is just a tiny dot on the map between Bollon and Thargomindah. But a stop off at this pub will have you learning all about the original publican, Isobel Robertson, The Eulo Queen. By all accounts she was something of a colourful character. She frequently ‘entertained’ male customers and was said to be an astute business woman. Despite her business successes, she died almost destitute and is buried in an unmarked grave in Toowoomba.
There is a lovely little caravan park behind the pub, which is always very popular. The town also has a couple of small shops and the coffee from the general store is excellent. Or if you prefer a riverside free camp, just a kilometre out of town there are plenty of spots to set up camp right on the Paroo River. But do make sure you drop into this pub for a cold beer or a meal.
NOCCUNDRA HOTEL, NOCCUNDRA
Noccundra Hotel is located within Nockatunga Station and is the only thing in ‘town’. It’s biggest drawcard is that it is on the way to Cameron Corner, where Queensland, NSW and South Australia meet. So it definitely makes our list of outback Queensland pubs!
It’s a fabulous old pub. Built in 1882 with sandstone quarried in NSW and bought up by camel train, it has very low door ways. Why you might ask? As the story goes, it was to stop the stockmen from riding their horses into the bar!
The pub has a good selection of beer and the meals were also fabulous and reasonably priced for such a small pub. The added bonus of a visit to Noccundra is the awesome free camp across the road on the Wilson River.
ROYAL HOTEL, EROMANGA
Famous for it’s dinosaur fossils, Eromanga is another top spot with a great little pub. In fact, the Royal Hotel may have the smallest bar of any pub we’ve been into. But the verandah area more than makes up for it. The pub is full of surprises – the lady behind the bar hails from Canada and runs the pub with her brother in law who is also the local postman. Thursday night is pizza night – made by the local school teacher! But make sure you get your order in early otherwise you will miss out!
The pub is just a short walk up the street from the Eromanga Free Rest Stop or the local caravan park. Make sure you check out the Eromanga Natural History Museum whilst you are in town.
BETOOTA HOTEL, BETOOTA
The story of the Betoota Hotel is a good one. It was once, one of three pubs in a town that included a police station, post office and general store. Up until March, 2020 the pub had been closed for 20 years. But since re-opening it has become a popular stop-over for anyone travelling to or from Birdsville. We had a fabulous night at the pub. Lots of cold beer and friendly staff.
When we asked what was on the menu for dinner we were told “Rissoles and Salad – take it or leave it!” We of course took it and were treated to fresh, homemade rissoles cooked on the BBQ and the best array of fresh salads we have seen anywhere.
Free camping is available out the front of the pub and there are also very clean showers and toilets. A shower is $5.00 payable at the bar.
Once a year, just before the Birdsville Races, Betoota holds it’s annual race event. It’s guaranteed to be an awesome weekend.
BIRDSVILLE HOTEL, BIRDSVILLE
I doubt that there is anyone in Australia who hasn’t heard of the Birdsville Hotel. This iconic outback pub was built in 1884 and is a must visit outback destination. The main bar area is filled with some amazing memorabilia and you can sit around one of the wine barrel tables or head out to the huge beer garden area. We enjoyed two meals at the pub and both times they were delicious.
If you like read wine, then I highly recommend having a glass or two of The Outback Loop Shiraz which is bottled in McLaren Vale for the Birdsville Pub. It was delicious and an extra bottle made it’s way home with me!
WALKABOUT CREEK HOTEL, MCKINLAY
This iconic outback Queensland pub was made famous when it featured in the classic Aussie movie Crocodile Dundee. The pub itself dates back to the 1900’s and was originally named the Federal Hotel. Now it is a popular spot for tourists to the area to visit. There are plenty of photo ops inside and outside the pub and lots of photos from the making of the movie adorn the walls
Make sure you have a glass (or two) of Dundee Draught, the pubs very own beer, whilst you’re there. Owners Debbie and Frank will make you feel welcome and if you fancy staying awhile there is a caravan park at the rear.
PURPLE PUB, NORMANTON
I first heard about the Purple Pub at Normanton in the Carpenteria region of Queensland in the mid 1980’s and always said I would get there one day for a beer.
The western section of the Purple Pub was previously the Exchange Hotel in Croydon and was relocated to Normanton. It was first painted a light shade of mauve in the late 1960’s before being painted ‘full on’ purple in 1979. With it’s yellow and green contrasting trim, it certainly is a unique site and definitely worthy of a visit.
SUNSET TAVERN, KARUMBA
The Sunset Tavern at Karumba Point is the most modern of all the outback pubs we visited. But it has to be included, because where else can you drink a beer whilst overlooking the Gulf of Carpenteria?
Karumba, where the Outback Meets the Sea, is a fabulous spot. We could have stayed there for days just watching the waters of the Gulf. We were amazed at how fast the tide raced out, and how shallow the water was. The Sunset Tavern has a huge, shady beer garden that overlooks the water. It was the perfect spot to enjoy a freshly cooked piece of local Barramundi.
If you can, make sure you stay for sunset. Truly something to see at least once in your lifetime.
CLUB HOTEL, CROYDON
If you happen to catch the Gulflander train from Normanton to Croydon then the Croydon Club Hotel is a top spot for lunch when you get off the train. This lovely old, two story weatherboard pub was built in 1887 and is much bigger than most of the pubs we visited. It has a wide, welcoming veranda which was a great spot to set up on a hot day. Around the top section of the veranda you will find a series of very impressive murals. Just next door, there is also a painted water tank. It was a great spot to sit in the shade and enjoy some lunch.
If you are planning to stay the night, the Club Hotel has a variety of rooms and a swimming pool as well. Plus Croydon is a lovely, historic little town.
EINASLEIGH HOTEL, EINASLEIGH
When travelling, it always pays to chat to other travellers. This is how we heard about Einasleigh and subsequently found the local pub as well. Einasleigh is another tiny dot on the map and has the spectacular Copperfield Gorge right on its doorstep.
The pub itself, was a welcoming and cool spot after walking around the Gorge. As with many of the pubs we have visited, there was some interesting memorabilia on the walls. We enjoyed a couple of beers and chatted with the lady behind the bar who was also travelling around Australia.
The pub also doubles as a coffee shop and café and I have to say I had one of the best pieces of Carrot Cake from there that I’ve ever eaten!
EXCHANGE HOTEL, MUTTABURRA
Our last, but by no means least, pub on our list of outback Queensland pubs is the Exchange Hotel in Muttaburra. Muttaburra is the closest town to the geographical centre of Queensland. It is also home to the Muttaburrasaurus Langdoni – one of the most complete fossilised dinosaur skeletons ever discovered in Australia.
At one time, there were seven hotels in Muttaburra but now the Exchange Hotel is the last remaining one. A friendly pub, they have meals available seven nights a week, as well as free camping at the rear of the hotel. A great feature of this pub are the wool bale stencils that adorn some of the walls.
Make sure when you visit this pub, you ask what the small sign above the doorway into the dining room means!
We loved every single one of these outback Queensland pubs. They are the centrepiece of their local communities and always a fantastic spots to visit. We hope you get the chance to visit all these wonderful outback Queensland pubs too.