Great news for Toompine Hotel, south of Quilpie, Queensland – camping is still open, renovations continue for the family friendly pub and a Christmas surprise!
Update: Great news – the bar and cafe are now open – order a pub feed when you are there!
We drove past Toompine last winter, south of Quilpie, and checked that the hotel was still closed.
Publicans, Stu and Lauren Bond updated us today. Lauren said, “Unfortunately we are still restoring the hotel. Camping is always open. There is limited power for a donation, otherwise camping is free.”
I spoke to Kate Bowen, Lauren’s mum, Toompine local and co-owner of the pub. “Lauren has always wanted to own the pub.” Working away as a chef, she was keen to return home to the bush with her own young family and bring life back into the old pub.
The Bowens purchased the pub before Covid – and they knew it was in disrepair, with a leaking roof – in fact, a previous owner almost boarded the whole thing up! However, the white ant damage was a disappointment. Kate said the pub had the second smallest bar in Queensland. They discovered some of the original features were removed in prior renovations, to open the bar up more.
The family have strived to retain as much of the original features as possible, like the floorboards. Built circa 1893, it is a big job – like restoration of the verandah.
Having a family return to run the hotel, is so important. Kate is proud that her family is bringing new life to the community, “It means other families feel even more welcome at the hotel. Plus, it is so important to have young families return to the bush.”
Last year, Lauren ran the cafe – and became well known for her delicious coffee and cakes. Said Kate: “Lauren is passionate about coffee – the hot chocolates were so popular with travellers, too.”
Now the cafe is being integrated into the pub, so coffees and beers will have to wait until it opens again. But camping is full steam ahead.
Lauren said, “We ask that people come and see us when they camp just so we are aware who is lighting fires. They can call us too.” (The updated number is in the CAMPS App).
“There are toilets and hot showers behind the community hall. There are a few picnic tables near there too, people sit at. We do have one bore water outlet.
“We do ask if you are camping away from the pub, that you are fully self contained – as we maintain an extremely tidy property, especially down by the creek.”
Kate said Bulloo Shire Council have done a wonderful job of the tennis court, and there are plans for a playground in the near future.
There is fishing, yabbying and birdwatching, not far from the pub. Plus more plans instore!
Toompine is situated along the “Dowling Track” named after legendary explorer and pastoralist Vincent Dowling. Cobb & Co once serviced this opal town – all that is left is Toompine South Western Hotel (circa 1893). We’ll let you know when “The Pub with No Town” and Bowerbird Rest Cafe (with coffee, cakes, pies and sandwiches) reopens.
Visit Quilpie, Thargomindah, Yowah and Eulo whilst you are there or do the whole Natural Sciences Loop.
And the family is still growing – they will welcome a Christmas baby at the pub! All the best with the repairs, and the new bub!
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