Ipswich’s country pubs are worth a little road trip out of town and they’re not too far away if you’re living in Brisbane, on the Goldie or in Toowoomba.
These are day trippin’ destinations stacked with charm, history and good old-fashioned hospitality.
Expect less neon and more quirk factor, along with publicans and staff who are up for a chat even when the pace is on.
Here are six classic pubs to discover around the Ipswich regions.
Marburg Pub, Marburg
This loved social hub in the heart of the town of Marburg is a classic Queensland timber hotel, originally built as a single storey venue in 1881 – yes, back when locals would arrive on horseback or even with a horse-drawn cart. A second story was added near the end of the century.
In more recent decades, since the 1940s in fact, the pub has been run by the Bowden family and still is to this day. The Marburg Pub’s front veranda overlooks the main street in town and sits opposite Scotland Yard Antiques, and other quaint shops, making this a popular weekend drive destination. Pull up a chair on the rear deck or in the leafy area garden for one of publican Matt’s fantastic burgers and a cold one!
The Rising Sun, Rosewood
Will someone put this architectural beauty in an art-house movie already? It’s a building that wouldn’t look out of place in an American flick with plenty of Cadillacs, cowboy boots and slide guitar. Oh and it’s got a pretty cool name too – The Rising Sun Hotel.
If you love the appeal of faded glory be quick because this historic landmark has already undergone some recent work indoors, including the addition of a suitably elaborate pressed metal ceiling in the main bar area.
A new menu of crowd-pleaser meals and a beer garden full of rustic wooden tables completes the package.
Walloon Hotel, Walloon
Formerly known as the Walloon Saloon, this hotel was built more than a century ago but rebuilt after fire – although that chimney is the original one! The hotel has a laidback restaurant and beer garden. Watch out for week day lunch specials from $5.95 (homemade beef rissoles with mash and veg anyone?) and a brand new menu launching mid-February. Also good to know: if you’re visiting on the first Sunday or the month, the Walloon Markets are worth a look, just a short drive away at Waterlea Estate.
The Sundowner, Haigslea
Pull up a pew on the Hacienda-style veranda of this classic pub on the Warrego Highway halfway between Brisbane and Toowoomba. As you gaze out to the rolling hills you might even spy a classic bike or car or two pull up out the front as it is a favourite of car club runs. If you’re making a day of it, and with a dedicated driver on board, the aforementioned Marburg Pub is just a five-minute drive from here.
The Royal Hotel, Harrisville
Just over the Ipswich border in the Scenic Rim you’ll find the majestic Royal Hotel at Harrisville. It’s a hotel that will whisk you straight back to a bygone era.
It was known as the Harrisville Inn when it was established in the mid-1870s in what was a busy little cotton region at the time. It was burnt down in 1916, and rebuilt in 1920 in the quite lovely form you see today.
Hearty country meals are on offer and there are rooms available if you want to extend your visit, as well as converted train carriages out the back and camping options.
The Commercial Hotel, Redbank
While not strictly speaking a country pub, it is still a deserving addition to this list for its recent renovations, its heritage appeal and its big-hearted menu including generous daily specials.
And back in the day this was most definitely a country pub. It was built in 1910 and while some regulars can claim to have been coming here for half a century, these days it is also drawing in a new generation. Regular live music and a major renovation have helped give this classic pub new energy.