The Most Iconic Pubs in Outback Australia

Because even in the desert you can still find a cold beer closeby.

We’ve all had the dream of travelling around Australia in a van, hopping from place to place through the outback and sleeping under the stars. Along the way, you’re definitely going to need to stay hydrated, and there’s no better place to do that than at some of Australia’s most iconic outback pubs.

There’s a bit of romance to it all. Stopping by these outback pubs you’ll be sharing the same space with Australian icons such as Banjo Patterson, and plenty more that have traipsed around the country. So, hit the road, these are the best pubs—and most iconic—in outback Australia.

The sunset shines through the verandah at the Birdsville Hotel.
Photo: Birdsville Hotel (Tourism and Events Queensland)

Birdsville Hotel

It’s hard to start a list like this without first going to the Birdsville Hotel, an outback pub that most people would know about. Birdsville, in Queensland, is near the South Australian border and is home to the famous Birdsville Races that see thousands of people descend on the remote town every September.

You can get to the Birdsville Hotel by light plane, or by car. The drive is 17.5 hours from Brisbane, or 22 hours from Adelaide. The hotel has accommodation options, dining rooms, and of course a front bar that serves up plenty of cold beer for weary travellers.

Photo: William Creek Hotel

William Creek Hotel

South Australia
Found on the iconic Oodnadatta Track near Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre National Park, the William Creek Hotel is a magnificent outback pub that has plenty of accommodation, and room for camping. The outback pub is in the northeastern part of South Australia and is about a two-hour drive from Coober Pedy and just over nine hours from Adelaide. You could do the drive between the William Creek Hotel, and the Birdsville Hotel in about 11.5 hours.

You can take scenic flights over Lake Eyre from the hotel—it’s not unusual to see a plethora of light planes parked outside the pub—as well as explore the nearby opal towns. The William Creek Hotel has a dining room and bar.

Silverton Hotel in New South wales with an abandoned car parked in front.
Photo: Silverton Hotel (Visit NSW)

Silverton Hotel

New South Wales
You’ve actually been to the Silverton Hotel, well, at least at the movies. The Silverton Hotel has featured in movies such as Mad Max 2, Wake In Fright, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Mission: Impossible 2.

Silverton is a small, mostly abandoned, mining town that is about a 20-minute drive from the outback mining mecca, Broken Hill. The town today has a permanent population of approximately 50 people. The Silverton Hotel is open daily and has a dining room and accommodation.

External view of the Daly Waters Pub.
Photo: Daly Waters Pub (NT News)

Daly Waters Pub

Northern Territory
The Daly Waters Pub has been pouring beers for almost 100 years. The outback pub can be found in the northern part of the Northern Territory, although it’s still a six-hour drive from Darwin. The pub’s ceiling is adorned with hundreds of bras, a tradition stemming from a bet between a coach driver and his passengers in the 80s, and now visitors leave their mark in all sorts of ways.

The Daly Waters Pub has a great selection of food and is one of a very few venues that provide beer on tap along the Sturt Highway.

Photo: Blue Heeler Hotel (Tourism and Events Queensland)

Blue Heeler Hotel

Find the Blue Heeler Hotel in north-western Queensland on the road between Brisbane and Darwin. The Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna was built in 1889, and is famous for being the venue where Banjo Patterson first recited the iconic Australian poem, ‘Waltzing Matilda’.

The pub has a caravan park area with powered sites, bathrooms, and hot showers—perfect after a day on the road.

Photo: Nindigully Pub (Tourism and Events Queensland)

Nindigully Pub

A little more accessible than some of the other pubs mentioned on this list, the Nindigully Pub can be found in Queensland near the New South Wales border and is a five and a half-hour drive from Brisbane. ‘The Gully’ is Queensland’s oldest hotel, and is situated on the banks of the Moonie River.

The Nindigully Pub is home to the ‘Road Train’ burger, an enormous burger with the lot that takes a minimum of four hungry travellers to finish. Book in advance if you plan on devouring this beast of a burger.

Photo: Grand Hotel Kookynie (Julia D’Orazio)

Grand Hotel Kookynie

Western Australia
The Grand Hotel Kookynie serves a town of 13 permanent residents and plenty of road trippers through Western Australia’s goldfields. The pub is about a two-hour drive north from the gold mining centre of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The town may be small, but the Grand Hotel Kookynie has everything you would expect from an outback pub, with cold beer, great food, and rooms available.

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Airbnb’s New Tool Makes it Easy to Discover Homes You Didn’t Know Existed

And provides comprehensive protection in travel, included for free with every stay.

airbnb new features

We’re living in a new world of travel, which means we’re looking for new destinations and new ways to find places to stay. Airbnb is one of the most popular booking platforms for travellers, and for the first time in a decade, they’ve launched their biggest change yet.

The new tools help travellers find unique homes and provide more options for longer stays.

“The way people travel has changed forever. We’re introducing the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade,” said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-Founder of Airbnb.

Airbnb Categories

Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and work. But travel search has been the same for 25 years—you enter a location and dates into a search box. Most of us can only think of a few dozen cities to type into the search box, but there are Airbnbs in 100,000 towns and cities worldwide.

When you open Airbnb, you’re presented with 56 categories that organize homes based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity. When you search for a destination, your search results are also organized by categories relevant to that destination. As you view different categories, the map intelligently zooms to show you where the homes are located.

Airbnb Categories uses machine learning to analyze titles, written descriptions, photo captions, structured data from Hosts, and reviews from guests. Airbnb’s curation team members review listings and hand-pick featured photos—so if a listing is in the Amazing Pools Category, the first photo shows a pool. Then, each category goes through a final check to help ensure consistency and photo quality.

The 56 Airbnb Categories include more than 4 million unique homes that are made possible by Hosts all around the world. Airbnb Categories organize homes by what makes them unique, which helps people discover places they wouldn’t have otherwise found. This can help alleviate over-tourism by redistributing travel to new locations beyond the same popular destinations.

Split Stays

In the last three months, nearly half of the nights booked on Airbnb were for a week or more trips. Split Stays is an innovative new feature that splits your trip between two homes. With Split Stays, you will typically see around 40% more listings when searching for longer stays.

When searching a specific destination, Split Stays automatically appear in your search results. They also appear within 14 categories—including Camping, National Parks, Skiing, and Surfing—to inspire you to stay in two destinations as part of a longer trip. For example, when browsing the Skiing Category, Split Stays might suggest a pair of homes near Thredbo and Mt. Hotham.

When viewing Split Stays on a map, an animated line visually connects the two homes to show you the distance between them and the sequence of the stays. Once you select a Split Stay, you’re guided through an easy-to-use interface to book each stay, one home at a time.

MORE: These Are Australia’s 10 Most Wishlisted Airbnb Stays

Aircover for Guests

This northern and southern winter, millions of people will travel for the first time since the pandemic’s start. AirCover is the most comprehensive protection in travel. AirCover is always included and always free, and it represents the biggest upgrade to Airbnb customer service in a decade.

With AirCover, you’re covered by four protections every time you stay on Airbnb:

  • Booking Protection Guarantee – In the unlikely event a Host needs to cancel your booking within 30 days of check-in, Airbnb will find you a similar or better home or refund you.
  • Check-In Guarantee – If you can’t check into your home and the Host cannot resolve the issue, Airbnb will find you a similar or better home for the length of your original stay or get a refund.
  • Get-What-You-Booked Guarantee – If at any time during your stay you find your listing isn’t as advertised—for example, the refrigerator stops working and your Host can’t easily fix it, or there are fewer bedrooms than listed—you’ll have three days to report it and Airbnb will find you a similar or better home or refund you.
  • 24-hour Safety Line – If you ever feel unsafe, you’ll get priority access to specially-trained safety agents, day or night.

AirCover has been designed directly into the Airbnb app and website, making it easy for you to contact an agent and resolve issues quickly. There is a team of specially trained agents for last-minute rebooking assistance. Airbnb also has significantly expanded its 24-hour safety line to cover 16 languages.

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