7 of the best Southern Queensland Country pubs
It’s all well and good to breathe in fresh country air and take in the wide-open spaces, but if you really want to get a feel of what makes Southern Queensland Country so great, you’ve got to go straight to the nerve centre… aka the local pubs.
Yes, these fine establishments aren’t just the source of a solid meal and a cold one, but they tell tales of our state’s history and boast charms and quirks you’d never expect.
So hit the road Jack (or whatever your name is) and don’t ya come back until you’ve paid a visit to these top 7 country pubs.
1. Rudd’s Pub
Rudd’s Pub in Nobby is so much more than just some country waterhole serving up a decent feed (but just so you know, their steaks are as big as your plate). This is the pub where ‘Dad and Dave’, two of Australia’s most famous folklore icons, came to life in the pages of On Our Selection, thanks to writer Steele Rudd and a couple of pints.
Nobby legend says the author – who lived in the small Darling Downs village and whose real name is Arthur Hoey Davis – would haul up in the corner of the pub to pen his tales.
But what’s even more impressive (and unexpected) is the crazy collection of Steve Rudd memorabilia that lines the walls. Floor-to-ceiling you’ll find photographs, posters, newsletter clippings, paintings, and the author’s books. It’s kind of like eating inside a museum that also serves alcohol daily. #cheerstothat
Hit the road to: 10 Tooth St, Nobby.
2. The Bull and Barley Inn
Lovingly restored to its former grandeur, The Bull and Barley Inn is a sight for sore eyes in the quaint town of Cambooya, and not just because it’s the only pub in town.
Over the years, the owners have managed to maintain its character and old world charm to a tee, including the original cedar chiller box from the 1930s, which is still kickin’ to this day.
Our recommendation? Order some grub and take a seat at one of the rustic picnic tables on the open veranda (if you can nab a spot).
Hit the road to: 61 Eton Street, Cambooya.
3. The Farmers Arm Tavern
There are a few good reasons why The Farmers Arms Tavern in Cabarlah should be on your country pub bucket list.
Firstly, it’s famed as the longest-continually-licensed pub in Queensland, established back in 1863 as the sign out the front proclaims. Secondly, it was the venue of the first EVER international darts match played via satellite (super random but pretty freaking cool if you ask me).
And last but certainly not least, the infamous Mixed Grill: a mammoth feast of T-bone steak, pork chop, thick English sausage, bacon, chips, fried egg, grilled tomato, gravy and veggies. Locals admit it’s a rare sight to see one of these bad boys finished… are you up for the challenge?
Hit the road to: 9864 New England Highway, Cabarlah.
4. The Spotted Cow
Fancy yourself quite the beer connoisseur? With over 70 different beers, including Australian craft beers and limited editions, you could come back to The Spotted Cow in Toowoomba every Sunday for a whole year and still not sample the lot.
Surprisingly though, it’s not just the fine selection of tipple that the place is famed for, but the mussels. Yep, for a pub that’s got the word cow in its name, you’d think it’d be the beef everyone would be raving about and not sea barnacles.
But while their prime cut beef is damn good too, it’s their signature dish of black mussels from Spring Bay in Tasmania, served by the kilo, that’s got everyone in a frenzy.
Hit the road to: 296 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba.
5. Nindigully Pub
Where does one go if they want to find some of Australia’s biggest burgers? Why, to the edge of Southern Queensland Country, of course. Nindigully may be a small town of nine souls, but when it comes to burgers, the local pub has got some big game.
Say hello to the Road Hog Burger: 14kg of smoked, boned and seasoned leg of pork with 15 tomatoes, 24 slices of cheese, two lettuces, pineapple, beetroot, onion, and topped off with apple sauce and fresh crackle. This bad boy feeds 20-25 hangry bellies, and like their other oversized burgers, needs to be pre-ordered three days in advance so that the buns can be custom made by the nearby bakery.
If you can’t convince an army of friends and family to tackle the beast, you can still make the journey out to order the Road Train Burger straight off the menu, any day of the week. Weighing in at 5.5kg, it’s served with fries, onion rings and lashings of sauce, feeding up to six people.
Hit the road to: Sternes Street, Nindigully.
6. Victoria Hotel
This old girl has sure come a long way since good ol’ Queen Victoria’s days. What started out as a modest single-storey wooden building with a shingle roof is now one of the most outstanding examples of architecture in Southern Queensland Country.
Standing out like a sore (and ridiculously beautiful) thumb in Goondiwindi‘s main street, the iconic Victoria Hotel oozes Victoriana and Jazz Age style with a hint of Early Colonial thrown into the mix: a criss-cross of dark panelling and white lattice lines the building’s exterior, complimented by stained-glass windows and doorways, and an ornamental tower as the cherry on top to cement its grand status.
Hit the road to: 81 Marshall Street, Goondiwindi.
7. Stockman Hotel
If you own a sweet set of (motorised) two wheels, then this is the pub for you.
Renowned in the biking community for their friendly hospitality, a visit to the Stockman Hotel will see guests arriving by motorbike – and staying at the hotel – treated to undercover parking, a free Biker’s Kit with all the essentials like chain oil and helmet cleaner, and to top it off, your first drink on the house.
Is the only bike you own one that needs pedalling? Don’t worry, a road trip out to this yellow-brick country pub via car/campervan is still worth it, if only to say you’ve been to Texas. Nope, not that one in the US of A, but the tiny Queensland town perched on the banks of the peaceful Dumaresq River, south-west of Goondiwindi.
Hit the road to: 3 High Street, Texas.