Queensland’s historic Nindigully Hotel runs a unique event that attracts big crowds and raises money for a favourite cause.

Story John Dunn   Photo Alamy/Genevieve Vallee

It’s mid-morning at the ‘Gully’– the Nindigully Hotel, between St George and Goondiwindi – and Steve ‘Burnsie’ Burns and Adam Kilpatrick are having a drink on one of the longest hotel verandahs in Queensland. They’re taking things quietly – their tipple is not ‘Moonie Mud’, the hotel’s home-brew appropriately named after the adjacent river, nor is it the ‘Rough as Guts’ red, the house wine. Instead, they’re having a coffee, because there are serious matters to discuss.

Burnsie owns the iconic pub, which is one of the oldest hotels in its original condition and position in Queensland. It’ll turn a whopping 160 this year. Adam is a singer, songwriter and entertainer, who performs from the Gulf of Carpentaria to Melbourne, but mainly in Queensland. They have much to discuss, because Adam organises entertainment for the pub, particularly for its major event of the year, the Nindigully Pub pig races, held the last Saturday in November.

With the associated entertainment, the races take up an entire weekend and attract hundreds of people. “There can be as many as 400 caravans on the stock route and you can camp right out the front,” Burnsie says.

This story excerpt is from Issue #154

Outback Magazine: April/May 2024