West of Lightning Ridge is the remote Glengarry Hilton.

Story By Mandy McKeesick

The dog’s name is Dog. He guards an unregistered ute outside a tin-clad pub known as the Hilton and his owner is Fluffy Mick. Here on the Glengarry opal fields, 70 kilometres west of Lightning Ridge, in northern New South Wales, life is lived with laughter and legend in equal measures.
“I took over the pub in 1999 from Peter ‘Pedro’ Van Emmerick ,who had won it in a card game in 1974,” former publican Lesley Henley says. “In my time there were three tin walls and a canvas one. Occasionally we would get people ringing for the Hilton hotel chain, but we’d still book them in!” Today, the Glengarry Hilton remains a collection of corrugated iron, open spaces and wooden benches pulled up around a fire pit, and since October 2013 it has been owned by locals Sue and Tony Cummings.

This Story is from Issue #98

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2015