A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Published June 20th 2014
More than just a pub, an iconic landmark that entertains
How many are there?
I thought there were two – the original in Albury and one at Kellyville Ridge but my mother-in-law advised me there was one in Queensland. Upon using my friend Google, I found there were actually 4 of these iconic pubs built. The other one is in Western Australia.
For the history buffs, the Ettamogah pub started as a cartoon pub in a magazine called Australasian Post. The magazine is now defunct but a chain of pubs continues. The cartoonist was a man named Ken Maynard who loved empty spaces and an area at Table Top outside of Albury and so the first pub in this chain was built in this location. 1987 was the year and it became a watering hole for many thirsty travellers and revellers of the sloping timber building. The name Ettamogah is Aboriginal for "place of good drink". I remember stopping at it years ago on a trip from Sydney to Melbourne and it seemed isolated on its own but had people pouring out of it with beer in hand. It's just something you couldn't miss visiting on a road trip. One of the most photographed pubs in Australia, it was also a themed family restaurant and grew to include cabin accommodation, a museum and artwork collection, a caravan park and petrol station. The sad news is that this site has since closed down.
However, I'm so glad they expanded on the original in various states as it allows me to enjoy one in my home city of Sydney. The tradition lives on with the remaining pubs. The Kellyville Ridge location was the fourth to open and has recently been refurbished. It follows the cartoon theme inside with various memorabilia hanging from the ceilings and on the walls.
An upside down plane hanging from the ceiling at Kellyville Ridge location
There's lots to do here in this pub for both adults and children from air hockey tables to a large outdoor playground that has a jumping castle and an 8 metre rock climbing wall. It is open for lunch and dinner 7 days with live entertainment on a weekly basis, a retro night, 3 bars that serve some great cocktails among other liquor, and 2 function rooms for events. I've been twice to this one, once for a work colleague's farewell and once for an anniversary, and loved it both times.
The food is fantastic with large meals that keep you satisfied. I wanted to try one of the amazing looking desserts on display but just couldn't fit it in. I think I will have to make the half hour journey back again.
I haven't visited the other two pubs in the chain but, they too, follow the same cartoon theme. The Queensland version is on the Sunshine Coast at the Aussie World theme park at Palmview and has a 1927 Chevy sitting atop the roof. It started brewing and selling its own beer to commemorate its 21st birthday. The Western Australian landmark pub is in the small country wheat belt town of Cunderdin, 156kms east of Perth. It has the typical outback pub concept and atmosphere.
All in all, a great time to be had in these iconic franchises.