The grand old lady of Tasmania’s west coast is an enduring reminder of Queenstown’s mining riches.

Story By Andrew Bain

When the Empire Hotel was built in 1901 it was one pub among many in Queenstown, but even then it stood tall. The Tasmanian town with the famously lunar landscape was at its mining peak, and 19 pubs stood in its streets. Parked at the most prominent point in town, the Empire was built taller and grander than all others.

Columns and arches greeted patrons, a prime minister dined here, and in 1904 a pile of local blackwood timber that had been shipped to Britain returned to the pub carved into a staircase. Today, Queenstown is the mining town with no mine, and all but two of the pubs are gone. But the Empire Hotel, the so-called ‘grand old lady of the west coast’, remains. It was designed to impress, and continues to do so.

This story excerpt is from Issue #105

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2016