On the only sealed road between Queensland and the NT, Camooweal’s Post Office Hotel is a convenient resting place for travellers and an important social hub for locals.
Story + Photos Martin Auldist
Somewhat paradoxically it is the remote location of the Post Office Hotel in Camooweal, Qld, that these days draws many of its customers. “We are the first and last pub in Queensland,” laughs publican Kris Doyle. “There’s nowhere else to stop!”
Camooweal is 15km east of the NT border. To the west, the nearest services are at Barkly Homestead, some 260km distant, and the major centre of Mount Isa is 190km to the east. No matter whether people are heading into or out of Queensland, the Post Office Hotel provides a convenient and important stopover.
“This road is the only sealed road into the Territory from Queensland, and also the quickest route from NSW, so we get a bit of traffic,” Kris says. “We provide people with a safe and comfy place to break their drive.”
Each day from mid-afternoon onwards a good proportion of the passing procession of vehicles towing caravans or boats pulls in to settle in for the night among the cabins and green lawns of the caravan park at the back of the pub. By nightfall during the tourist season the pub is well patronised.
“The boats are heading to and from the Gulf,” Kris says. “They’re mostly chasing barra at Borroloola or King Ash Bay. There are plenty of holidaymakers camping and caravanning as well. Some are on their big lap around Australia. Lots of people free camp on the Georgina River just out of town, too, but they often end up here for a drink or a meal.”
This story excerpt is from Issue #147
Outback Magazine: February/March 2023