Aussie an iconic watering hole

THE Australian Hotel, fondly known as the Aussie, stands atop Caledonian Hill and is virtually unchanged from Gympie's pioneering days.

On the corner of Apollonian Vale and Lady Mary Tce, the first Australian Hotel was built in 1873 when the license was granted to Mary Jane Catherwood.

She was married and had held two other licenses in Gympie between 1870 and 1873.

The public house contained two sitting rooms and four bedrooms plus a number of rooms for Mrs Catherwood's "private use".

In 1875, Mrs Catherwood's license application was rejected in favour of a Scotsman, Thomas Findlay, who became the new licensee.

Succeeding licenses included Mary Findlay, wife of T. Findlay (1890-1899), Michael Kearney (1899-1903) and J.Layden (1903-unknown).

In the early hours of Tuesday, May 15, 1917, the Australian Hotel was yet another victim to the fiery end that razed many pubs in last century.

The cause of the fire was a mystery, but the site licence, lease and goodwill was purchased by Mr J. Jerks on or about June 28, 1917.

He also purchased the One Mile landmark The Cricketers' Arms Hotel on Brisbane Rd for removal.

Built in 1884 by Gympie's leading architect, Hugo Wilhelm Durietz, the Cricketers' Arms, spectacularly, was removed not long after and resurrected to become the current Australian Hotel.

Today's owners, Dan and Karen Reeves, manage the double-storey Queenslander with public bar, dining room, kitchen, large deck, sleeping rooms and verandas that afford spectacular views of Gympie.

"It's pretty special," Karen said.

"It's an old style country pub.

"I think Gympie is a town that still lends itself to that style of building."

Gympie Times


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