The Pretty Pine Hotel has a surprising array of facilities, which owners Twang and Denise Vaughan are happy to offer to travellers and locals alike.

Story and photos Martin Auldist

Mark “Twang” Lengacher and his partner Denise Vaughan searched the country looking for the perfect pub, before settling on the Pretty Pine Hotel, 18 kilometres north of Deniliquin, NSW. “We travelled everywhere looking for just the right place,” Twang says. “We looked at pubs in Kununurra in northern Western Australia, and as far south as Port Pirie and the Yorke Peninsula [SA]. We also drove to Boggabilla, NSW, and Coral Bay on the west coast of WA.” Eventually the couple, formerly from Melbourne, decided on the Pretty Pine, only three hours north of the southern capital, and took possession on December 1, 2016.

“When we came to look at the Pine, we saw the potential to do so many things, but it just wasn’t being exploited,” Twang says. “That’s what we liked most. We were sure they wouldn’t have built all these facilities for no reason. We thought, ‘There must be people here’… and it turns out there are people here!” 

The facilities Twang refers to include a camping ground complete with ablution block, a music stage, and an outdoor bar, all within the hotel’s grounds. “We saw all the infrastructure and thought it offered a great opportunity to host events, to bring people to the region,” says Twang, who has a background in hospitality, having previously managed a business taking backpackers on four-wheel-drive trips.

One such event, which Twang and Denise hosted for the first time recently but is in its fifth year, is the annual Shovel Muster, held by the Outlaws Motorcycle Club. This year in June there were 300 bikers, complete with their Shovelhead and Ironhead Harley-Davidson motorcycles, camped at the pub. “There’s not a lot of other venues that could host a group like this,” Denise says. “We’ve got a big camping area, where they can have bonfires, but there are no neighbours – so they can make as much noise as they like. Plus, we’ve got the stage so they have live bands and music. They’re actually very well behaved – they left the place spotless.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #115

Outback Magazine: October/November 2017