Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published September 29th 2015
Update December 19th 2015
Wonderful Holiday Events coming up for that get away trip:
Mexican Thursdays with Frozen Margaritas
Christmas Eve Grudge Concert from 8 PM FREE ENTRY
New Years EVE EVE Party on 18th DEC $5.00 Entry
News Years DAY Party with Darts, Table Tennis, Quoits, and Pool. Win $150 for your team. See their website for further details.
Weekend Escape - Oktoberfest or Country Singers, tough choi
I adore road trips where I can thrill at picturesque countryside and meander through the historic towns around Australia and explore our national heritage and antique shops. And if I have to go on my own, without my husband, I get to actually stop the hurtling car and take photos.
My last trip took me to Wagga Wagga, NSW and back to deliver a horse. And whether it is a horse float or a caravan, you need a place to stop and stretch, eat, or sleep overnight and fit the caravan safely. Well, if you are headed to New South Wales, I have found the sweetest hotel.
The sleepy town of Culcairn lies just off the Olympic Highway and has been a hub for travellers since 1800s as it allowed a rest place when coming in from the outback before catching the train either to Sydney or Melbourne.
The hotel was built initially as just a "watering hole" for a cold beer and a counter meal. In 1891, Culcairn really started to prosper when the new extended railway line linked Albury to the broad gauge line at Melbourne and people noted the wonderful lush grazing lands around the town.
With a flood of new land prospectors and accommodation demand on the rise, the owners of the Culcairn Hotel extended this stunning hotel to include 70 rooms and stables. Now people could break their long journey and leave their animals and carriages in care while they were away to the "Big Smoke".
This historically listed hotel retains its old world charm blended with refreshing modernisation. You can experience delicious food, well above "pub grub", in their dining room. It holds many of their original antiques and you are surrounded by the ambient light of stunning stain glass windows hand made in the early settler days. I had the best mushroom risotto I have had in years, sitting by the open fire, while reading the fascinating historical stories on the walls around me. And the kids won't get bored, as the pool table and jukebox are there to entertain. A warming espresso coffee topped it off, to give me the energy for that next 4 hours of driving.
Before I left I had a stroll around the sculpted gardens which were famous in the day when Culcairn Hotel hosted garden parties that were attended by one and all. Still gracing the lawns, in what is now the Beer Garden, is a fountain from those earlier times. They have an extensive line of beers and wines to enjoy in this peaceful outdoor setting with the birds singing and practically zero road noise. Every city socialite must dream of escape from road noise.
Or you can stay overnight in quaint rooms that are light and cheerful with white beds and bright throws. The joy of staying overnight is that the next day you can explore the Station Master cottage just across the train line, the historic train station, the court house, and antique shops. Make a full day of exploring this lovely scenic town and going back through the ages and learning about our colonists.
And they still host local garden parties and festivals such as the search for the "Aussie Bush Idol" where host Australian Idol Star "Korey Livy" will be looking for the next new voice of country talent from October 11, 2015 and continuing through till the Grand Final on December 12, 2015. Their next big family fun festival is their Oktoberfest coming up October 17, 2015. So you might want to book accommodation pretty quick. It is the perfect drive from Melbourne for a lovely weekend escape, as it is only 4 hours away. Do you remember the joy of your first train ride as a child? Don't forget you can always take the train right to the front door of the Historic Culcairn Hotel.
Photographs taken by and copyright to Tricia Ziemer
thank you for your article. Comments such as yours make all the hard work of operating such a large old hotel all worth while. We all work tirelessly to maintain the history of the hotel, as well as slowly transitioning the "old girl" into the modern era. Our staff and myself take great pride in show casing such a beautiful building to our guests. I encourage any traveler to drop in and take a walk around the hotel and it's grounds and imagine how it must have been in the late 1800's. We would love to see you back again, thanks again for your glowing review of the hotel.
The building looks amazing. This is definitely on my list of places to go. My husband and I drove through the area a while ago but we were on the tail end of a three month road trip and eager to be home again. so didin't stop. There are many places I'd like to visit in that area and hope to spend a couple of weeks there next holidays.