Brisbane’s Historic Pubs

Photo by Lee Mylne

Classic Queensland watering holes

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Brisbane’s attractive historic pubs have wide, shady verandas and beer gardens just perfect for whiling away a sunny afternoon or catching a quick meal at night.

The best known is the Breakfast Creek Hotel. Built in 1889, the hotel is a Brisbane institution, and for many Australians a visit to Brisbane isn’t complete without a steak and beer “off the wood” at the Brekky Creek.

Another of the city’s oldest pubs is the Plough Inn at South Bank Parklands, which has stood its ground through major changes in the neighbourhood since 1885.

Another landmark is the Regatta Hotel on Coronation Drive, overlooking the Brisbane River at Toowong, a five minute drive from the CBD. This heritage hotel with three stories of iron lace balconies has a fascinating history.

Not far from the Regatta, on High Street, Toowong, is the Royal Exchange Hotel. Known simply as “the RE,” it’s popular with students, probably because of its proximity to the University of Queensland. It has a great garden bar at the back.

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The Story Bridge Hotel at Kangaroo Point, is well known as the venue for some of Brisbane’s most unusual events, such as the annual Australia Day (January 26) cockroach races. Built in 1886, the pub is also a great place to find live music. The restaurant and bar are literally built into the base of the bridge, and there’s a large beer garden under the bridge.

Another great Kangaroo Point hotel is The Pineapple, so named because of its location on a former pineapple plantation. Built in 1864, it is the fifth oldest pub in Queensland – so that alone makes it worth a visit. This family-owned hotel is also very family-friendly if you are travelling with children (there’s a playground, and a park next door).

The inner-city suburb of Woolloongabba is home to Brisbane’s “worst vegetarian restaurant” at The Norman Hotel. Yes, you guessed it, it’s known for its enormous steaks. Choose your meat and watch it being cooked in the open kitchen. It’s been around since the late 1880s, but the facilities are modern and the beer is cold.

Head a little further out of the city centre, to Cleveland Point on the shores of Moreton Bay and you’ll find one of Queensland’s oldest licensed hotels, serving drinks since 1851. As its name suggests, the Grand View Hotel is hard to beat for views of the bay and across to North Stradbroke Island. There’s a large garden bar to relax in.


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