Despite the quietness of Tasmania’s east coast, Mark and Felicity Montgomery have turned the Weldborough Hotel into a destination in its own right.

Story By Andrew Bain

Through the windows of the Weldborough Hotel, the Tasman Highway can look as quiet as the fields around it. Crossing from Launceston to the east coast of Tasmania, it’s a road so hilly and winding that most local drivers avoid it, heading to the coast through more southerly Fingal instead. Calling it a highway gives it far too much credit. “The Tasman Highway sounds flat out, doesn’t it?” says Mark Montgomery. “We probably misread the opportunities for tourist traffic when we bought the pub, but in the end I think we’ve got just the right balance.”
Since buying the pub – the only service in a town of around 30 people – in 2009, Mark and his wife Felicity have transformed a struggling business into a destination in its own right. Billing itself as the Tasmanian MicroBru Experience, the Weldborough Hotel serves beer from every microbrewery and cider maker in the state – 31 at last count, and growing.
“When we started it five years ago, there were only seven small brewers, but they keep popping up,” Mark says. “We stock a representative of all of them, and usually six on tap.”

This Story is from Issue #102

Outback Magazine: Aug/Sept 2015