Australia is filled with a plethora of institutions that are seeping with rich history. With the continuous growth of infrastructure, visiting an alluring old-fashioned pub holds a dear place in the hearts of Australians. But which pub is Australia’s oldest? This has been a point of contention among historians and there are some conflicting opinions. Nevertheless, here is an unchronicled list of longest standing.
The Bush Inn, Tasmania
Established in 1856, Tasmania’s The Bush Inn still operates to this day. Receiving Australian Heritage listing status, The Bush Inn was recognised as holding the country’s longest continuous hotel licence. Notably, Dame Nellie Melba, the famous operatic soprano performed lines from ‘Maritana’ during her stay at the establishment in 1924.
Nindigully Pub, Queensland
Nicknamed ‘The Gully’, Nindigully Pub is considered Queensland’s longest-standing hotel, located on the Moonie River. Kept in its original condition and location, its licencing was issued in 1864. In a town with a population of only nine, Nindigully Pub attracts locals from neighbouring towns, as well as tourists who are able to set up camp close by.
Family Hotel, New South Wales
Located in Tibooburra, New South Wales, the Family Hotel was constructed in 1882. The Family Hotel has seen 18 owners and countless name changes in its lifetime, and is famous for its mural walls. Beloved Australian artists Clifton Pugh and Russell Drysdale spent several weeks at the Family Hotel when using the outback for inspiration for art. The walls were painted with their individual styles, and the pub has now welcomed countless artists to contribute their own designs.
The Duke of Wellington, Victoria
Established in 1853, The Duke of Wellington is considered Melbourne’s oldest licenced pub. Holding architectural significance, the pub is a true example of a pre–gold rush institution. Designed by architect Richard Dalton and businessperson Timothy Lane, the establishment was rejected by licencing in 1850 and 1851. During the waiting period for the licence, the Duke of Wellington was used as a boarding house.
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