The oldest pub in Australia, the Macquarie Arms Hotel is still in business, now lovingly referred to by locals as 'The Arms'. The Macquarie Arms is a pub in the heart of the historic town of Windsor, one of the earliest towns for colonial settlement but the heritage listed pub has its stories to tell.
Claims from locals indicate that the Arms is in fact haunted by a pair of convicts who blew themselves up in the cellar or, more commonly, a young ghost called Mary. Mary was a little girl who died on the top floor of the Arms in a fire at the arms when she was 7. Ghost tours run in the area that cover the Arms from $30.
Built by convicts, two of the three stories of the arms are available to the public, with and event room, juke box, pool table and a balcony with a beautiful view of a night time looking over the Windsor cafés and restaurants all residing on the top floor and pokies, a TV by the warm gas fire, bistro, dinning room and the main bar down stairs.
Outside are more tables and chairs, a TV and a kid's play area. The building was build by hand by the convicts and erosion from hundreds of years of walking has left a touch of character at the gate. The gaming area has both non-smoking and smoking rooms, and the tab has 3 TVs playing sports and sky. The dinning room has an open gas fire place, as well as lounge room, which has a TV, pinball and chocolate machines.
Like any other good pub the Arms runs happy hours (3-5 week days), open mic nights (Mondays, $3 beers all night), poker nights (Tuesdays and Thursdays with $300 prize money), a DJ (Saturday night), topless waitress (and free sausage sizzle 3.30-6pm) and bands plus live sheep sheering run by the Arms across the road at the park every Sunday at 12-3pm. The bistro runs $10 specials every day and is open 11.30-2.30 and 5.30-8.30pm most days. The Arms also has its own drive through bottle shop open until midnight every night.
Although the Arms have previously had a bad history with bikey gangs, it now has a no colours (no bikey badges) policy that does a fairly good job of keeping trouble out. The locals are friendly and the staff are all good for a chat, ask them about the history of the Arms, about the underground tunnel in the cellar that leads to the court house where the convicts were trialled and back under the river.
The Arms is a perfect place for a beer after work, a hang out with friends or a family Sunday lunch with in the park with the band and sheep sheering after having a look at the Windsor Sunday markets further down the street. If you go for dinner in winter don't forget your jacket.