After a long day travelling through the outback, nothing beats settling down with a cold drink and good company. In this installation of Destination Inspiration, we’ve scoped out the best outback pubs across Australia – each of which are unique, historic, and will definitely satisfy your thirst!
Birdsville Hotel, Queensland
Pictured above, the Birdsville Hotel is one of the most famous and certainly one of the best outback pubs in the country. The only problem? It’s sort of far away from anything else, located in central Queensland close to the South Australian border on the edge of the Simpson Desert. This still hasn’t stopped people from flying to Birdsville just to experience this 1880s pub as well as annual Birdsville Races, which sees over a thousand people arrive in Birdsville to witness the excitement of horse racing each year.
The Pink Roadhouse, Oodnadatta, South Australia
Image via Absolutely Australian
Are you heading across the Simpson Desert and are in need of a good meal and some cold schooners? Head to The Pink Roadhouse in Oodnadatta. You can’t miss it! This 44-year-old outback pub is also oozing with hospitality, has its own burger (the “Oodnaburger”), a good selection of beers, wines and spirits at the bar, and offers accommodation as well as car repair parts and a 24-hour recovery service.
Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia
If you want to taste some unusual “feral” delicacies, head to the Prairie Hotel on your way into the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Here you can try out kangaroo, emu, goat and camel meat all made into steaks, sausages and rissoles. Having a drink on the veranda is very much recommended, as this outback pub gives you fantastic views of the red desert surrounds.
Tilpa Hotel, New South Wales
Image via CGoodwin/Wikimedia
Located in far western New South Wales, this tiny pub with its corrugated iron roof is an absolute classic. Its interior is decorated with graffiti from its many visitors and fans, which you can add to by donating $2 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service – a unique experience that goes to a worthy cause.
Walkabout Creek Hotel, McKinlay, Queensland
This pub has been around since 1900, but was really made famous by the 1982 film Crocodile Dundee, in which it served as Mick Dundee’s favourite watering hole after his long days spent in the Australian outback. Located about a two and a half hour drive from Mt Isa, this isolated outback pub is a mix of memorabilia and history.
Nindigully Pub, Queensland
Image via Mattinbgn/Wikimedia
This outback pub is over 150 years old and was originally set up for early shearers. Thought to be Queensland’s oldest pubs, Nindigully Pub also one of the best outback pubs in our opinion. Located 500km inland from Brisbane, you can stay in the pub’s accommodation, but you’re also welcome to set up your swag on the veranda and sleep under the stars. You can also pitch a tent and use the pub’s showers for free.
Daly Waters Pub, Northern Territory
The oldest pub in the Northern Territory, the Daly Waters Pub has been welcoming travellers since the 1930s, when it was built to service one of Australia’s first international airports. Beloved by drovers who often stopped in for a drink while moving cattle between Alice Springs and Darwin, this outback pub also features a ceiling full of dangling bras, part of a tradition that began in the ‘80s when a coach driver bet his female passengers that they couldn’t drink a certain number of beers. If they couldn’t meet his bet, they had to surrender their undergarments!
Interested in what else there is to see in Australia’s great outback? Check out our top outback experiences we’ve found across the country.