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Best pubs in Queensland: A great place to roost a while

Chooky the chicken, pet of publican Keryn Payne, enjoys a beer with local Greg 'Rooster' Friend in the main bar at The Appollonian Hotel at Boreen Point.
Chooky the chicken, pet of publican Keryn Payne, enjoys a beer with local Greg 'Rooster' Friend in the main bar at The Appollonian Hotel at Boreen Point. Lachie Millard

IT HAPPENS a lot in bars, a rooster offering a bird a drink - but at the Apollonian at Boreen Point they do things differently.

For one thing, it's publican Keryn Payne who rules the roost, even if Chooky, one of three resident chickens, has free run of the place. And Rooster - he's the one wearing glasses - is welcome like all locals but it's the tourists who keep the place pumping.

Another of Queensland's peripatetic pubs, the Apollonian was built in one place, moved to another then hauled to a third for its rebirth as a home away from home for campers and tourists.

Built in Gympie and licensed in 1868 in time for the gold rush that saved Queensland from bankruptcy, the pub boasted a music hall that hosted lyric soprano Mabel Cox, whose photos adorn its walls.

But after the gold ran dry, so did the pub. It was converted into a furniture shop before being chopped up and moved to a paddock out of town.

It was from there that current owner Neil Paynter rescued it, sitting it on three acres at Boreen Point in 1985.

And while Rooster and the chooks are more than welcome, if it's a flutter you're want, the Apollonian isn't your natural home.

Publican Keryn said the pub is proof you don't need Keno or pokies to survive.

It does 300 meals every Sunday with the spit roast drawing crowds from Brisbane up for the day through to hungry campers from the camping grounds just around the corner.

A local "back to my grandparents”, Keryn has worked in pubs since she was 19.

"It's like a big home. We try to make it that way. Dogs, chooks they all walk around,” she says.

"I lead by example. I get in and do everything. I wash dishes. I take rubbish out. I'm a worker. I don't wear high heels.”

Keryn says people still love a pub, if it offers something good to eat and space to spread out.

The Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Point.
The Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Point. John McCutcheon

And sleepy "Boring Point” to the locals draws a good crowd.

"This is tourism. It's mainly families, campers. They come, they eat, they go.” Keryn says.

"We get 5000 people come to Boreen Point on the holidays. Nobody knows it. I didn't know.

"The way we get, I believe it. I never realised. I've lived in Tewantin all my life. Oh, Boreen, boring Point.”

Topics:  best pubs queensland boreen point campers gympie region noosa queensland pubs tourism


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