Pub of the Week: Apollonian Hotel, Sunshine Coast

If you’re heading to the Apollonian Hotel for a good-ol’-fashioned Sunday lunch, take my tip and get there early. The wood-fired spit roast (pork or beef) is the biggest calling card to this pretty lakeside pub.

We grabbed a table under the wide shady verandah with its trailing bougainvillea, looking out on the rolling lawn that runs down to the street. With rainforest gardens all around it, this is a popular spot for families, especially at weekends.

Sunday lunch is being prepared in the rustic bush kitchen and there’s live music to keep everyone entertained while they eat. The Sunday roast is served with platters of salad, hot potatoes and damper and the music continues in the shady beer garden until 4pm.

The Apollonian Hotel looks so perfect in its park-like setting that it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been there forever. This historic pub on the Sunshine Coast was built at the height of the 1860s gold rush in Gympie and was moved to the pretty village of Boreen Point on the shores of Lake Cootharaba more than a century later.

Fossickers struck gold in Gympie in 1867 and within a short time, an English comedian and vocalist named Robert ‘Billy’ Barlow had built Barlow’s Apollonian Philharmonic Music Hall Hotel, taking its name from the Greek sun god Apollo, the god of theatre and music. Through several changes of name and owners, the Apollonian stuck until it became simply the Apollonian Hotel.

BYO-instrument ‘muso’ nights are held every second Tuesday with all-comers welcome to play, and since 2000, the Apollonian Hotel Folk Club has seen local and visiting musicians performing anything from traditional jazz to gospel, classic rock and a capella tunes.

To make a weekend of it, stay in one of the restored railway cottages on the other side of the gravel car park. There are 10 budget rooms available, sharing kitchen and bathroom facilities. The best part is you’re only about 20 minutes’ drive to the beaches and boutiques of Noosa, but it seems a world away.

You can check out more of Lee’s pub reviews in the book Great Australian Pubs (Explore Australia).