A win-win situation … the country pubs that make grey nomads welcome

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Grey nomads pubs
Grey nomad Kevin S (second left) meets some characters at the Tilpa Pub in NSW.

All across the country, some of our fabulous, historic pubs are struggling as the rural economy changes. Many are looking to grey nomads as a possible lifeline. Some are offering free camping and other facilities in the hope that travellers may buy a beer or a meal … and add to the atmosphere at these wonderful institutions that have for so long been at the centre of small communities. Email us here to add to our growing list of authenticated ‘grey-nomad- friendly’ pubs. So, if you’ve had a good – or a great – experience, please drop us a line. Cheers!

NEW SOUTH WALES

A couple of great pubs in Binnaway. Great tucker! And the Pumphouse free camp on the  Castlereagh River is great. There are coin-operated showers and a small charge if you want a powered site. It’s about 40 kilometres south of Coonabarabran along the Warrumbungles Way.
Gladys O

One would have to add the Bredbo Pub, some 80 kilometres south of Canberra. While I myself have not partaken of their hospitality, I am told that you are welcome to park in their big back yard, but you ARE sort of expected to have a drink at the bar and buy a meal.
Don

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I am licensee at the Brolga Hotel Motel in Coleambally. We have a great little town and my pub offers free parking for grey nomads looking to stop on their travels along the Kidman Highway. Coleambally, with a population of around 650, is one of the newest towns in the state of New South Wales, officially opened in 27 June 1968, with the Post Office opening on 1 April 1970 and the Brolga Hotel in 28 July 1971. We are located approximately 70km south of Griffith, just off the Kidman Way.
Daniel

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There is free to park up for a night or two at the Cobargo Pub if you are in a self-contained rig. It’s $5 per head per night if using the shower, toilets etc. Cobargo is on the Princes Highway between Narooma and Bega.
Robyn N

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Collingullie (about 30 kilometres north-west of Gullie PubWagga Wagga), I found a great free van park behind the Gullie Pub (also known as the Crossroads Hotel) at Collingullie. Great food and hospitality, water to sites. Shower: $5. Great spot.
Rusty M

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Rapville (between Casino and Grafton) – stayed here, Peter & Jayne excellent hosts. This pub is the lifeline for this community, please help them!
Graeme H

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We camped with our large caravan at the Collarenebri Primitive Campground 74 kilometres north east of Walgett on the Gwydir Highway. Lovely spot. We planned to stay only one night but stayed two! We walked into town for dinner at the local pub, Tattersalls Hotel Motel, and the food was superb. Certainly making a note of this place and will come again.
Robyn D

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The hotel in Coopernook on the Landsdowne River just a little north of Taree is RV and caravan friendly. Top spot.
Janice

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Deepwater Hotel south of Tenterfield offers free caravan parking. The pub has a great atmosphere and the locals we met were very welcoming.
Liz & John

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The Royal Hotel in Grong Grong offers free camping on its large block. It’s a gold coin donation to use power or bathroom facilities. The pub, which was built in 1875, is situated just off the Newell highway.
Jenny P

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The Gunning Hotel at Gunning is fantastic – a free camp is located only a few hundred metres away. Food and service is fantastic.
Peter

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We own the Royal Mirrool Hotel, a 101-year-old country pub on the Newell Highway between West Wyalong and Narrandera. There is camping in the park straight across the road for $10 a night if you need power. It’s free if you don’t. There is a shower and toilets and these are kept very clean. We also welcome dogs on the verandah or in the beer garden. We are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The locals and ourselves love talking about our little town (especially our annual silo kick which was started by Billy Brownless).
Michael & Sue Hopkins-Jones

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We have free camped a few times at the Seahorse Hotel at Boydtown, just before Eden going north. We did buy some drinks and had a meal there, too.
David P

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Shindy’s Inn, Louth, followed by Tilpa, both on the Darling River. Maude Hotel is a good one as well.
James W

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I would just like to add a couple of more pubs in NSW.   Lawrence Tavern,   and a park near the Brushgrove Hotel,  both beside but opposite sides of the Clarence River. Also Coutts Crossing on the Armidale Road. Happy Camping.
Natalie L

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Daly Waters Pub is highly recommended. Daly Waters is about 620 kilometres south of Darwin at the intersection of the Savannah Way and the Stuart Highway.
Sarah


QUEENSLAND

Augathella. Free camping across the road from pub with toilets and water. The pub has good cold beer and meals. Have stayed here on three occasions now and enjoyed all of them.
Mick & Rose

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I really loved the friendly staff at the Bajool Hotel. A welcome oasis for me as a solo traveller.
Dean

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Bollon Hotel for grey nomads

The Bollon Hotel is highly recommendedf

Bollon Hotel is  a pub that made us feel very welcome and they did to all us nomads that were there the night we called in. The town is pretty much set up to get the grey nomad to stop over for a while. Bollon is situated on the Balonne Highway, between St George and Cunnamulla on the banks of Wallam Creek.
Neil & Michelle

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Bucca Hotel, near Bundaberg. $10 per night, water available, use toilets in pub.
John & Lorraine Holloway

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Cooyar is 70 kilometres north east of Dalby in Queensland and 200 kilometres north-west on Brisbane. They offer free camping in the Swinging Bridge park behind the pub. There are three power poles (so six power options) throughout the park. It costs $5 per night for power or free without power. Meals and a great atmosphere in the pub.
Graeme

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It is hard to name a favourite country pub, but one in which my wife and I enjoyed having a meal was the Corfield Pub, located half way between Winton and Hughenden. We shared a meal of fish and chips and two cans of soft drink for only $15. For a gold coin donation one can use their showers. Also a free camp is across the road from it and it has toilets; again a donation is appreciated to maintain the facilities.
Bronco

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The General Gordon Hotel on Homebush Road near Homebush about 20 kilometres south of Mackay has great rood, great music and has very friendly owners and staff. You can camp out the back.
Suzanne

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Ilfracombe Hotel, 28 kilometres east of Longreach has camping out the back, friendly staff, informative locals and great big cheap meals ($15-$25) cooked by a very good chef. Five stars from me! There’s also a van park 100 metres away that has the best Happy Hour and storytelling every night. It’s run by very friendly and helpful young people who can’t do enough for you. It’s easy to support these type of establishments.
Serena

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The Ashton Hotel is 25 kilometres out of Ingham in North Queensland. There is parking out the back and it’s a great place to leave the van and go to the Wallaman Falls and other parks.
Bob

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Spent a night at the back of the pub at Jambin. Great atmosphere and great food. Experience the real feel of the destination! Jambin is about 110 kilometres south of Rockhampton on the Burnett Highway.
Robyn N

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We stayed at the back of Kumbia Pub near the Bunya Mountains. Lovely meals and very welcoming. Kumbia is on the Bunya Highway, about 230 kilometres north-west of Brisbane.
Robyn N

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We have camped out the back of the Maidenwell Hotel not far from Cooyar.  A nice spot. The pub  is close to the Coomba Falls, Bunyas and national parks.
Vicke

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Marlborough Pub. We stop here twice yearly on our way from Hervey Bay to Airlie Beach to see our daughter. $10 per night and we eat at the pub to save cooking in the van.
Brian & Jill

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The Middleton pub has free camping opposite and visitors can use the pub facilities for a small donation. It’s very isolated, about 170 kilometres west of Winton, but a really interesting and welcoming place.
Bob C

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I have two. The first is the Waratah Hotel (aka Gungy Pub) is on the Monto/Gladstone Road in Mungungo  about 10 kilometres from Monto; and the second is the Mulgildie Pub, eight kilometres south of Monto on Bruce Highway.
Gaylene H

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We thoroughly enjoyed our free camp at Nindigully Pub, via Thallon.  They make the yummiest food, oh and the hugest burgers ever! And their chips are up there with the best in Australia.  Add to that ice cold beer, shady beer garden, free hot showers, plus a footpath to take a stroll along and picnic tables and chairs beside the river.  They often even have free entertainment.  We will be back for sure.The pub, which was built in 1864, is located just off the Carnarvon Highway about 45 kilometres south of St George.
Stef

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country pubs and grey nomads

Manager Edith Ormonde entertains customers at the Pentland Hotel

The Pentland Hotel was a delight.  Great food and fun atmosphere.

Sue & Jon

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Prairie Hotel on the Flinders Highway. Free camp, excellent company and great food!
Margaret H

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The pub at Rosedale about 50km to 60km south of Rockhampton, Grass oval with an old toilet/ shower block for $15 first night, and $10 per night thereafter. Lovely people and great service. We were able to explore the local area from there.
Phillip R

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We enjoyed great food and met nice people when we camped in front of Rudds Pub in Nobby, between Warwick and Toowoomba.
Grant

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Both the pubs at Tiaro welcome RV and vans. Both do great meals and service … and have cold beers. Tiaro is a friendly small town located on the Bruce Highway 27 kilometres south of Maryborough.
GB

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Yaraka Pub in the channel country offers great hospitality and shire facilities at the rear of the pub for $3 a night! Mark L

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I stumbled across the Royal Hotel at Yarraman about six months ago. Being under new management in a small town it certainly got my vote. Amazing service, cold drinks, very accommodating. There’s a back car park where you can park up the van and seriously the best coffee and meals around (and I am a huge coffee and food critic). They are open for lunch and dinner seven days. Well worth stopping in if heading through.
Lisa S

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Mount Mary. Off the beaten track. Very welcoming.  Camping next to the pub, power for a small fee. Nice little pub where we were the only ones for the first half hour and then the locals rolled in.  Standing room only. The grey nomad could be some of these town’s saviours. We stop at free camps regularly and often will see other nomads gathered around their caravans drinking and not experiencing!
Peter M

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Mungerannie Pub

There’s always a warm welcome at the Mungerannie Pub

Mungerannie pub. Best I’ve ever been to. In the middle of nowhere on the Birdsville Track. I’m going back to stay more than a night!
Leigh P

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We spent a very enjoyable night at Overland Corner not far from Renmark. We parked our van at the rear of the lovely historic pub and had a great meal with interesting conversations over dinner.
Ron & Margaret W

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The Palmer Hotel (1870) in Palmer (not to far from Mannum). Great atmosphere, lots of historical photos on walls of Palmer and surrounds, best food we’ve eaten in the longest time. The publicans are very friendly, and there is free camping available.

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Spalding ‘Barbed Wire’ pub offers parking at the rear for vans and motorhomes!
Mark L

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Just spent a few days in Wirrulla. Brilliant. $10 to stay in town on the old tennis courts, with power and access to water (not hookup) per van per night. Walk across the road to one of the friendliest pubs I’ve been in for a long time (both publican and locals). Good tucker too. Little shop-come-post office there, and great mechanics and engineering places. Rob (grubby)

 

TASMANIA

Favourite pubs offering camping: Rocky Cape Tavern Bruny Hotel Derwent Bridge Hotel
Jenny T

 

VICTORIA

Apsley Hotel between Edenhope and the SA border. Free parking out the back. Pet friendly. Showers and toilet available. Beaut, cheap meals.
Graham M

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The Boolarra community hotel in the Latrobe Valley has free camping on the pub grounds for all size vehicles. The community has just bought the pub and are trying to get the camping up and running … so come have a look.
Todd B

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Brim. A great pub and great camping beside the river. It’s a donation only and the publican will even drive you back the one kilometre if you had a few drinks! Also, the food is freshly cooked and is a great place to meet the locals! Sandra K

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The Merino Pub, south east of Casterton was just magic when attending the Kelpie muster in June a couple of years ago.
Richard K

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The Riverview Hotel in Tarwin Lower, Gippsland. Buy a beer and a meal to camp out the back. For self-contained vans, though. It’s near the boat ramp on the Tarwin River.
Kym B

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The Gibson Soak Pub is a fantastic country pub that promises no one leaves hungry. There is free RV parking out the back, and there’s great beer garden there with century-old Morton Bay Fig Trees. It’s on the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway about 30 kilometres north of Esperance.
Penny M

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Kulin. Top free camp in the middle of town with toilets, shower, barbecue, dump point. The hotel is straight across the road with excellent everything. One of the best country places we have stayed!
Mick & Rose

 

 

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