The Commercial Hotel is the centrepoint of isolated Woods Point, especially in times of crisis.

Story By Ann Bolch

There’s nothing quite like a crackling open fire and some decent music to lure you in from the cold, especially during a Victorian High Country winter when the winding roads can be covered in snow. Timber panels from the 1940s line the interior of Woods Point’s Commercial Hotel and everywhere you look there are black-and-white photos, old mining tools and sayings like “It’s un-Australian to drive past a country pub”. It’s easy to perch on a red bar stool and decide your fancy from the well-stocked bar, but be careful if it’s unattended – you’ll have to ding the bell that sits in a rabbit trap, un-set, of course. Kirrily Pay and Cameron Woods currently manage the Commercial Hotel for Cam’s parents Don and Ann, who bought the pub back in 1969. Cam describes growing up in Woods Point, Vic, as a kid’s paradise. His favourite places were old mines, tracks and the local tip. “It was like an open village,” says Cam. “There was a gang of us that used to go roaming – little kids tailed along with big kids.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #62

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2009