While quenching the thirst of opal miners all year round, the Sheepyard Inn has become a special place to commemorate Anzac Day.

Story by Kirsty McKenzie and Photos by Ken Brass

The electricity comes from a generator, the water by truck some 70 kilometres from Walgett, NSW, and the ice that keeps the beer cold from Lightning Ridge, NSW, which is 70km in the other direction. But publicans Ted King and Sue Tomlinson make sure that no one who visits the Sheepyard Inn, on the opal fields at Grawin in north-western NSW, goes hungry or thirsty.
The beer might be missing its label – that proves it’s been on the ice long enough to be properly chilled – and the snacks might be limited to pies and sausage rolls, but given 24 hours’ notice, Ted and Sue will include visitors in whatever they’re having for dinner, or stoke up a barbecue in their guests’ honour. During busy times of the year, that is, the cooler months from Anzac Day to Remembrance Day, a bistro in the zebra-striped train carriage alongside the pub serves meals on weekends and special occasions.

This story excerpt is from Issue #46

Outback Magazine: Apr/May 2006