Pack the car, it’s road trip time! Here are the best country pubs in NSW to get a pint and a parmi when regional travel restrictions lift on June 1.
Pack the car, it’s road trip time! Here are the best country pubs in NSW to get a pint and a parmi when regional travel restrictions lift on June 1.

Best country pubs to visit in regional NSW

A pub with no beer should be criminal but a pub with no people is not a pub at all.

With regional travel back on the cards from June 1, the time has come to put some kilometres on the odometer and some money into our regional towns.

And the best way to do that is by buying a few schooners and a schnitty at a country pub - in accordance with capacity rules, of course.

Residents of Balldale in particular would be feeling pretty hard done by.

Owner Leigh Booth at the Balldale Hotel. Picture: David Swift
Owner Leigh Booth at the Balldale Hotel. Picture: David Swift

An hour's drive from Wagga, the tiny farming town went without a pub for 10 years.

When it reopened in November, Balldale had a new heartbeat, but only months later, owner Leigh Booth would be forced to shut the doors again.

WHERE TO FIND A COUNTRY FEED

 

"It's a fine line between making money and losing money in country pubs but for us it was more about keeping it open for the community," he said.

"So we scrambled to pull together a takeaway offering and really I think the community made a conscious effort to support us.

Friday Farmers Feed - a roast beef roll with horseradish mayo, coleslaw, chips and gravy. Picture: David Swift
Friday Farmers Feed - a roast beef roll with horseradish mayo, coleslaw, chips and gravy. Picture: David Swift

"It's been a good way to keep in touch with our patrons, not everyone is on social media around here."

In fact, on the farms around Balldale, farmers can go long periods of time without seeing anyone.

When pubs closed, many farmers lost their mental outlet, their social respite.

"We are so much more than a pub, the mental health aspect is huge because farming can be hard at the best of times," Mr Booth said.

"They were seeing faces again when the hotel opened back up so the last thing they wanted to see was it closing down again.

"But even just doing takeaway it has become a social outing for people."

The pub's famous Chicken Parma. Picture: David Swift
The pub's famous Chicken Parma. Picture: David Swift

Jobs, Investment, Tourism And Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres said getting out to a regional town was beneficial to both the locals and visitors - the former get a cash injection and the latter get a properly poured beer.

"Country pubs provide some of the most authentic local experiences to visitors," he said.

"Tourism is the lifeblood of regional communities, and so many businesses including pubs, hotels, local stores and cafes rely on visitors to keep them ticking along.

"Tourism is going to be so important to the social and economic recovery of NSW - and the people of NSW can help regional communities to bounce back just by taking a holiday."

NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres and Premier Gladys Berejiklian are opening tourism back up. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi
NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres and Premier Gladys Berejiklian are opening tourism back up. Picture: AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi

Australian Hotels Association director of liquor and policing John Green agreed that spending money in regional towns would actually benefit NSW as a whole.

"Regional NSW has been severely impacted by drought, bushfires, flood and now the shutdown caused by the worldwide pandemic, so the reopening of regional travel is a fantastic opportunity to put some money into the bush," he said.

"There is a great selection of pubs all within reasonable distance of the Greater Metropolitan Area, so whether you take a day, a weekend or a week, be sure to take your wallet and support NSW Regional communities

"As we slowly emerge from this crisis, regional tourism will play a major part in rebuilding our economy, and pubs are the heart of regional towns."

 

 

MUST-VISIT REGIONAL PUBS

 

The Friendly Inn, Kangaroo Valley

(02) 4465 1355

 

Couple enjoying a drink at The Friendly Inn Hotel, Kangaroo Valley. Picture: Destination NSW
Couple enjoying a drink at The Friendly Inn Hotel, Kangaroo Valley. Picture: Destination NSW

 

The Family Hotel, Tibooburra

(08) 8091 3314

 

Durham Hotel, Wingen

(02) 6545 0351

 

Royal Hotel, Queanbeyan

(02) 6297 1444

 

The Loaded Dog Hotel, Tarago

(02) 4849 4499

 

Royal Federal Hotel, Branxton

(02) 4938 1335

 

Willow Tree Inn, New England

(02) 6747 7711

 

The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree. Picture: Destination NSW
The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree. Picture: Destination NSW

 

Surveyor General Inn, Berrima

(02) 4877 1226

 

The Surveyor General Inn, established in 1834, is Australia's oldest continuously licensed inn. Picture: Destination NSW
The Surveyor General Inn, established in 1834, is Australia's oldest continuously licensed inn. Picture: Destination NSW

Balldale Hotel, Balldale

(02) 6082 9613

 

Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui

(02) 6493 4206

 

Built in 185 and opposite Horseshoe Bay beach, Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui, is a family friendly pub venue. Picture: Destination NSW
Built in 185 and opposite Horseshoe Bay beach, Bermagui Beach Hotel, Bermagui, is a family friendly pub venue. Picture: Destination NSW

Bowning Hotel, Bowning

(02) 6227 6008

 

Local watering hole The Bowning Hotel.
Local watering hole The Bowning Hotel.

 

Carinda Hotel, Carinda

(02) 6823 2218

 

Harrigans Irish Pub, Pokolbin

(02) 4998 4300

 

Heads Hotel, Shoalhaven

(02) 4448 7125

 

Irish in the Hunter . . . Harrigans Pokolbin.
Irish in the Hunter . . . Harrigans Pokolbin.

 

Oriental Hotel, Mudgee

(02) 6372 1074

 

Terrigal Hotel, Terrigal

(02) 4384 1033

 

NOT OPEN YET, BUT ADD THEM TO YOUR LIST

Jack Duggan's Irish Pub, Bathurst

Burrawang Village Hotel, Southern Highlands

Port of Bourke Hotel, Bourke,

The Palace Hotel, Broken Hill

Originally published as Best country pubs to visit in regional NSW


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