The Hotel Bruny is the only pub on Tasmania’s beautifully windswept Bruny Island.

Story + Photos Andrew Bain

When builders were making repairs to Tasmania’s Hotel Bruny last November, they uncovered a section of weatherboard wall belonging to the house that preceded the pub. Hidden behind the brick walls of the Alonnah pub, the home belonged to Tim Murphy, Bruny Island’s butcher, baker and school bus driver in the 1930s. He also sold sly grog, shipping in crates of beer and turning his home into the weekend drinking den for the island’s farmers. Business became so good that in 1936 Tim was nabbed by police, a misdemeanour he settled by applying for a hotel licence. Hotel Bruny, then known colloquially as the Rubbity, was born.

“It really is just an old weatherworn house that’s been added on to, and hence it isn’t the Taj Mahal to look at,” hotel owner Dave Gunton says. “I don’t ever want to turn it into a flash architectural masterpiece. I still want it to be a humble country pub.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #129

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2020