Discover Australia’s Best Pubs That Also Offer Camping

Pubs are a quintessential part of Australian life, where you can get together with family and friends, knock back a few brews, share a laugh, and even some juicy gossip. They’re also the perfect place for a stopover if you’re on the road. Some Australian pubs offer accommodation in the form of furnished rooms, others offer places to park up the caravan or pitch the tent. Perfect, right? There’s no better way to tap into the heart of the community and unwind or celebrate, depending on your day.

In this blog, we’ve listed Australia’s top iconic pubs; in terms of atmosphere, food, and of course, camping.

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Western Australia

Watheroo Station Tavern

If you’re cruising through Western Australia and fancy a spot that’s a bit off the beaten track, the Watheroo Station Tavern’s your go-to. This place isn’t just your regular pub; it’s a slice of history, housed in the original Watheroo Train Station from way back in 1894.

They’ve got a knack for making everyone feel right at home, whether you’re there for a feed, a cold one, or a yarn with the locals.

Plus, if you’re rolling through with your caravan or tent, they’ve got you covered with spots to park up and stay the night.

Grand Hotel in Kookynie

For another iconic pub in Western Australia that also offers camping, consider the Grand Hotel in Kookynie. This North East Goldfields pub is dubbed the “shortcut to everywhere,” offering accommodation and camping alongside food, fuel, and icy cold beer. It’s famous for the horses that visit and the ghosts rumored to haunt the town. It’s a great spot for adventurers looking to explore the gold rush history and enjoy the hospitality of a classic Australian pub.

Billabong Homestead Hotel & Motel in Meadow

If you’re cruising up the Coral Coast and need a top-notch spot to pull over, the Billabong Homestead Hotel & Motel is your jam. Nestled between Geraldton and Carnarvon, it’s the perfect chill-out zone after a day of adventures. They’ve got comfy rooms and campsites that won’t break the bank, and a tavern to tackle your hunger with some solid grub. It’s a no-fuss, friendly place that’s got everything you need for a night, making it a smooth stop on your epic roadie.

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Northern Territory

The Daly Waters Pub, Daly Waters

This pub is an iconic Aussie landmark, located in the middle of the outback and surrounded by stunning scenery.

Offering pet-friendly accommodation in the form of cabins and campsites (powered and unpowered) – this pub is a ripper spot to unwind.

The pub itself is full of character, with a rich history and plenty of stories to tell. It’s a must-visit for anyone travelling through the Northern Territory.

The Kulgera Roadhouse, Kulgera

Known as the first and last hotel in the Northern Territory, the Kulgera Roadhouse is situated on the Stuart Highway, which is the main route through the Northern Territory.

The pub serves up classic Aussie meals and cold beers, and there’s even a souvenir shop on site.

It’s a great spot to stop, roll out the swag, fuel up, and down some cold beers on a long road trip.

Humpty Doo Hotel

If you’re venturing towards Kakadu, make the Humpty Doo Hotel your pit stop. Famous for its Trio Burgers – think Barra, Buffalo, and Croc – it’s the real Territory taste. It’s not just the food; this place is soaked in local vibes, from the massive buffalo horns above the bar to the quirky souvenirs. A true blue Aussie pub experience, Humpty Doo is where stories are shared, laughs are had, and memories made. Don’t miss out on this authentic slice of the Northern Territory. Ohh, and wanting to stay? You’ll be well accommodated in their cabins and rooms – complete with a pool to cool off in.

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Queensland

The Lions Den Hotel, Cooktown

This pub is located in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest and offers camping on its large and leafy grounds. It’s a popular spot for travellers, with plenty of activities to enjoy in the surrounding area.

The pub itself is a classic Aussie watering hole, with live music, cold drinks, and a friendly atmosphere.

Birdsville Hotel

Ready for an adventure in the Queensland outback? Don’t skip the Birdsville Hotel. This place is an icon, nestled amidst the red dust, where the hospitality is as legendary as the landscape. Imagine sipping on frosty ales and chowing down on steaks so good, they’ve been drawing folks back since the 1880s.

It’s the perfect pit stop for explorers to rest after riding the rough roads of the Birdsville Track. If you’ve been roughing it in the swag, this is also great chance to book a comfy bed and warm shower.

Folks, a visit here is more than a meal—it’s a memorable slice of the outback life.

Blue Heeler Hotel

If you’re ever wandering through Queensland’s vast landscapes, make a beeline for the Blue Heeler Hotel in Kynuna. It’s a spot bursting with character and history, where tales of the Outback come to life.

Picture this: walls decked out with memorabilia, a cold drink in hand, and the kind of stories that you’ll be itching to share.

Here, amidst tales of Waltzing Matilda and the spirit of the outback, travelers find a cozy place to pitch their tents and unwind under the stars. It’s the perfect blend of adventure and hospitality, making every visit truly memorable​

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New South Wales

Nindigully Pub

Head over to the legendary Nindigully Pub in NSW for an epic camping adventure combined with classic Aussie pub culture. Known for its rich history and the warm, welcoming vibe, this spot is perfect for those who love to merge the great outdoors with a bit of local flavour. Whether you’re in it for the scenic (free) campsite views or the hearty pub grub, Nindigully has got you covered. It’s a must-visit for any camping and 4WD enthusiast looking to experience the heart and soul of NSW’s pub scene.

Packsaddle Roadhouse

Packsaddle Roadhouse stands as an outback oasis nearly 200km north of Broken Hill, offering a glimpse into true bush hospitality. With its rustic charm, decorated with corrugated iron, fairy lights, and cowboy hats, it’s a nod to classic Western allure. The Roadhouse is famed for its hearty outback cuisine, featuring rump steaks, T-bones, and savory pies, alongside on-site camping facilities. It’s a perfect spot for those seeking to blend adventure with a taste of the wilderness.

Armatree Hotel

Dive into the heart of rural NSW with a visit to the Armatree Hotel, crowned the Best Bush Pub in 2018 & 2019. This family-friendly locale, established in 1929, promises the quintessence of Country hospitality. With a menu featuring Aussie favorites and homemade pizzas, and facilities for both short stays and camping, Armatree is a community hub where laughter and stories flow as freely as the beer. Perfect for any regional road trip, it’s where genuine warmth meets timeless charm​.

Victoria

Dargo Hotel

Nestled in Victoria’s breathtaking High Country, Dargo Hotel offers a unique camping experience right behind this iconic pub. It’s a prime spot for adventurers seeking to explore the rugged landscapes, with facilities that include portable showers and toilets. The Dargo Hotel, known for its warm hospitality and scenic beauty, makes for an unforgettable stay amidst nature. It’s a place where campfires, companionship, and the charm of the Australian bush come alive.

Royal Hotel Snake Valley

The Royal Hotel Snake Valley, nestled just 25 minutes from Ballarat, offers a blend of historical charm and contemporary comfort. Known for its friendly service and excellent cuisine, this pub is a local favorite for both dining and accommodation. With outdoor dining options, guests can enjoy the serene surroundings, while the pub’s events calendar is filled with live music, making it a vibrant community hub.

The hotel’s cozy rooms, equipped with essential amenities, ensure a comfortable stay. They also have powered and non-powered campsites right next door.

Ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat with a dash of local culture, the Royal Hotel Snake Valley stands out for its welcoming atmosphere and quality service​

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South Australia

The William Creek Hotel

This unique tavern is not only one of the most remote pubs in South Australia but also sits in a stunning location near the iconic Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre. The William Creek Hotel is steeped in history, having been built using discarded sleepers from the Ghan Railway. It offers a truly unique atmosphere where history seeps through every corner.

The tavern serves as a hotel-motel with its own campground for seasoned travelers, providing a range of accommodations from camping to self-contained options.

The Bellum Hotel

The Bellum Hotel, nestled near Mount Schank, South Australia, welcomes adventurers to free camp on its grassy terrain. Perfect for those traversing the Limestone Coast, it promises an authentic outback pub experience combined with stunning natural attractions nearby, including volcanic craters and enchanting sinkholes.

Ideal for self-contained campers seeking a touch of rural hospitality, it’s a pet-friendly spot where the sunset and pastoral views captivate, though it lacks power and toilet facilities outside hotel operating hours.

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Tasmania

The Weldborough Hotel, Weldborough

This pub is located in the heart of the Tasmanian wilderness – perfectly positioned near walking, biking, and 4wd tracks. It offers camping accommodation, and also furnished rooms, for those who don’t want to roll out the swag.

It’s a great spot for nature lovers, with plenty of opportunities to explore the nearby forests and waterfalls. The pub itself is a historic landmark, with a rich history and plenty of character.

Derwent Bridge Hotel

At the Derwent Bridge Wilderness Hotel in Tasmania, you can snag a free spot to camp, right near the road. It’s a cozy setup without its own facilities, but don’t worry, across the street, you’ll find everything you need like toilets and BBQ spots. The place is pet-friendly, so your furry friends can join in on the fun. And if you’re feeling peckish, the hotel’s got you covered with some fantastic meal options. It’s a quiet spot at night, ensuring a peaceful sleep after a day of exploring nearby attractions like Lake St Clair and the mesmerizing Wall in the Wilderness.

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Australian Pubs: More Than Just a Pub

So, you reckon a country pub’s just a place for a frothy? Then you haven’t been to an Australian pub. You see, in the Land Down Under, a pub is so much more than just a watering hole. When you walk through the door, you’re walking into the heart and soul of the local community; a place where you share stories, laughs, and moments with your mates.

Here’s the rundown of what you can expect at an outback watering hole:

  • Bloody Legends: That’s right, your local pub hosts some of Australia’s finest talent. Local musicians, pub quizzes, and live sports bring the community together. Not only will you enjoy top-notch entertainment, but you’ll also be supporting local legends.

  • Tucker: In an Aussie pub, you don’t have to settle for standard grub. No way, mate. Many of them serve delicious, hearty meals that will make your mouth water – did anyone say “chicken parmi”?

  • Gather ’round, mates: Birthdays, reunions, or just a spot to catch up with your mates – Aussie pubs offer the perfect setting. It’s not just about sinking a few coldies; it’s about the mateship and banter that comes with it.

  • Two for One: Many Aussie pubs double as accommodation, allowing travellers to rest their weary heads. These establishments are a quintessential part of Australian culture, providing a glimpse into the lives of locals and a chance to soak up regional charm.

So, the next time you step foot into your local Australian pub, remember it’s more than just a pub. It’s a place where mates become family, yarns become stories, and your local is just like your home away from home. Cheers, mate!

Pub Grub Around the Country

Ready to sink your teeth into some ripper pub grub? Across this fair dinkum country, you’ll find a wide variety of menus that’ll satisfy your hunger after a long day of slugging down some amber nectar.

Down Melbourne way, you can’t miss out on a classic parmi. That’s right, you’ll find a Chicken Parma that’ll make your taste buds sing, complete with crumbed chicken schnitzel, Napoli sauce, and finished with a generous topping of melted cheese. Every pub worth its salt has its own take on this iconic dish, so make sure you give a few a try!

After a great meal on a trip to Sydney, what could be better than a big bowl of Salt and Pepper Squid? These succulent bits of squid are seasoned just right and served up with a side of chips and a refreshing salad. It’s the perfect light meal option for any pub-hopping adventure.

Heads up, Brissy offers some unreal Steak Sandwiches. Trust us, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sambo. What you’ll find is a tender, juicy steak cooked to perfection, topped with lettuce, beetroot, and caramelised onions, all between two tasty pieces of bread. Don’t be surprised if you end up ordering seconds!

Now, over in Adelaide, you’ll be winning with their Seafood Platters. These gems are loaded with fresh-caught prawns, oysters, and fish. You’ll feel like you won the lotto right there in South Australia.

In Perth, they’re all about Burgers. You better rock up hungry because these buns are packed full of mouth-watering goodness. Whether it’s a classic beef burger or something with a bit more flair, you’ll have plenty of options here.

Cheers Mate: Drink Selection

You know what they say, mate – a pub’s only as good as its drink selection! So, let’s have a squiz at what’s on offer at our fave Aussie pubs.

First off, beers – heaps of them. You’ll find all your classic Aussie favourites like VB, Carlton Draught, and Tooheys New. There’s also a proper assortment of those frosty craft brews for those after a bit of a flavour adventure. You’ll find everything from hoppy IPAs to crisp pilsners and even a cheeky stout or two.

Now, it’s not all about the amber liquid; there’s plenty of other bevvy options to wet your whistle. If you’re into wines, they’ve got you covered with top-notch drops from the Barossa, the Hunter Valley, and beyond. Reckon you’re more of a cocktail connoisseur? No worries – from Espresso Martinis to Margaritas, there’s a tipple for every taste.

Of course, let’s not forget our mates who are off the sauce. All our top pick pubs have ripper range of soft drinks, fruit juices, and mocktails to keep you hydrated all night.

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Weekly Specials and Live Events

Oi mate, ever wondered what makes an Aussie pub a top pick? Well, here are a few things you’ll find some of the better-er water holes hosting:

Sunday arvo roast: cause really, is there a better way to end the week? Grab a schooner and tuck into dinner with a classic Australian roast dinner, served up with all the fixin’s. Between the juicy roast lamb and crunchy veggies, you’ll be chuffed as punch.

Friday night footloose: put on your dancing shoes and rock up to the pub for a night out with your mates. If it’s a pub worth its salt, the DJ will be spinning your favourite Aussie classics, so you can bop your head to the beat and maybe even bust a few moves.

Saturday arvo footy: Kick back with the lads (and a cold one), and catch the footy match live on the big screen at the back of the pub.

Weekly specials to look out for:

  • Happy Hour: Score discounted drinks during the week, typically between 5pm and 7pm.

  • Trivia Night: Test your knowledge at the pub quiz – and maybe even win a prize.

  • Open Mic Night: Got talent, mate? Get up on stage and belt out a tune, or just enjoy the performances.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top food-serving pubs in Sydney?

Mate, if you’re looking for top-notch grub at a Sydney pub, you’re in luck! Check out the Four In Hand in Paddington, Dove & Olive in Surry Hills, or the Lord Dudley in Woollahra. They’ll all treat your taste buds to a proper feed, and you’ll get a good ol’ Aussie experience.

Which Melbourne CBD pubs have the best atmosphere?

When it comes to atmosphere in Melbourne CBD pubs, you’ve got to give a shout out to the State of Grace, Section 8, and the Garden State Hotel. Each one has its own vibe and charm, so you’ll be guaranteed a great night no matter which you choose.

Where can I find the best pubs in Brisbane?

Brisbane’s got plenty of great pubs to wet your whistle. Head over to The Triffid in Newstead, the Plough Inn in South Brisbane, or the Stones Corner Hotel in Greenslopes. All three will quench your thirst and make you feel right at home with their top-notch service.

What’s the most iconic Australian pub?

It’s hard to pinpoint just one, but if you’re after a great stop for some true-blue Aussie icons, you can’t go past The Ettamogah Pub in Albury, or Coober Pedy’s Desert Cave Hotel. You’ll love the quirky design, friendly staff and the true Aussie spirit found in these iconic watering holes.

Which pubs in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs are worth visiting?

If you’re keen for a pint in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, look no further than the Cherry Tree Hotel in Cremorne or the Local Taphouse in St Kilda. Both of these joints have got top-notch brews on tap and a cozy vibe. You’ll be stoked to spend your night there.

What does ‘pub’ stand for in Australia?

Good question, mate! ‘Pub’ is a shorter version of ‘public house’ in Australia. It’s where you can go to have a yarn with your mates, enjoy a cold one, and if you’re lucky, chow down on some good ol’ pub grub. So, grab your mates and head down to your local for a great time!


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MEET THE WORD-SLINGER

G’day, I’m Stacey, CAW4D wifey, author of all our CA4WD blogs, and builder of all things website-ey. When I’m not writing about our family’s camping adventures, you’ll find me kicking around on social media with the incredible camping and 4wd community we’ve built.

Ohhh, and sometimes, you may find me doing ‘actual work’…which, ironically, is very similar to what I do ’round these parts – marketing. You can find more of my pen-pedalling atrocities here.

In the meantime, kick back, grab a coldie, and check out some more cool camping content I’ve put together for you here. Cheers.

Wanna hear about a tale about an emergency dunny roll and the Mundi Mundi Bash? Read it here.

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1 March 2024

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We’re Stacey and Lee, the creators of Camping and 4wd Downunder. We wanted to create a space to connect with other camping and 4wd enthusiasts who love nothing more than to leave the chaotic, noisy world behind and escape to the bush. If you’ve landed on this website, our guess is you’re one of those people. Our people. Welcome.

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