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It’s unclear where to draw Tasmania’s beer line –  the north favours James Boag’s; in the south they drink Cascade. 

But have fun trying to work it out by stepping inside a few of the state’s charming historic pubs.

 

Pub in the Paddock

Named quite literally, the Pub in the Paddock has traded on the same remote patch of grass since 1880, in the lush north-east hinterland near St Helens. The pub is notable for its resident beer-swilling pig, the princess of the paddock. 250 St Columba Falls Rd, Pyengana.

Exterior of the signage painted on wood at the front of The Pub in the Paddock.
Pub in the Paddock
Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne
Interior of the bar at the Pub in the Paddock, the menu is written on chalk boards.
Pub in the Paddock
Tourism Tasmania & Nick Osborne

Hope and Anchor Tavern 

The colony’s first pub was the Hope and Anchor. It opened as The Whale Fishery in 1807, when the settlement was a rough and bustling hub. The notorious convict Isaac “Ikey” Solomon, a thief who might have inspired the character of Fagin in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist, was reported to frequent The Whale in the late 1820s. By 1830 Hobart had a pub for every 200 residents. Tuck into the signature beef wellington or local scallops in the upstairs dining area while surrounded by antiques and artefacts. The tavern is a stop on Hobart Historic Tours’ old pubs tour. 65 Macquarie St, Hobart.

 

Rosevears Hotel

The history of this stunning riverfront hotel dates back to the early 19th century when it was called the Rose Inn and served as a stop for ship crew plying kanamaluka / River Tamar. The inn was built from bricks and timber milled on the property. Today, the jetty out front remains but 26 contemporary water-view rooms have been added to make this one posh historic pub. 215 Rosevears Dr, Rosevears.

A blurred exterior image with bright lights coming Rosevears Hotel, Grindelwald.
Rosevears Hotel
Richard Strong

Empire Hotel

Built in 1901, the grand Empire Hotel is a rich reminder of the boom era of mining in Queenstown. Admire the burnished tones of the National Trust-listed Tasmanian blackwood staircase with acorn finials. And enjoy a meal in one of the state’s most romantic pub dining rooms, complete with fireplace, elegant Austrian shades, striped wallpaper, wood panelling and solid timber furniture. Wander the halls to discover tall arches, decorative cornices and the odd piece of taxidermy. 2 Orr St, Queenstown.

 

Bush Inn

The Hope and Anchor closed for several years, which allowed the Bush Inn at New Norfolk, a 35-minute drive north-west of Hobart, to claim the title of Tasmania's (and Australia's) oldest continually trading hotel. Built to serve travellers venturing into the Derwent Valley, the Bush Inn also wrote itself into the history books by receiving Australia's first long-distance phone call - from Hobart - in 1888. Enjoy a Cascade on the deck overlooking the River Derwent. 49-51 Montagu St, New Norfolk.

Exterior shot from below looking up at the Empire Hotel, Queenstown. Blue skies in the background.
Empire Hotel, Queenstown
Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett
Exterior side angle of the Bush Inn Bar and Bistro with signage on the wall.
Bush Inn
Tourism Tasmania & Rob Burnett

The Ross Hotel 

A famous signpost at a crossroad in the historic town of Ross is labelled: Recreation (the town hall), Salvation (church), Temptation (pub) and Damnation (jail). The tempting part of that scenario is a handsome sandstone hotel opened in 1835 as the Man O' Ross Hotel. Drop in for an upmarket pub meal, craft beer or wine – and don’t be surprised to see a rabbit hopping through the gardens. 35 Church St, Ross.

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