The South Western Hotel is pretty much all that is left of tiny Toompine, Qld

Story By Mandy McKeesick

In the 1890s Toompine must have resembled the movie set from a wild western epic: dusty miners and fledgling pastoralists wandering a main street comprising a couple of hotels and a couple of shops, a policeman holding onto law and order with a small jail at his disposal, and the Cobb & Co coach rattling through town. Then, in a typical Australian twist, an extended dry spell in 1900 scattered the fortunes of this isolated outpost, leaving only the South Western Hotel standing.
One hundred and fourteen years later, the South Western Hotel, or the Toompine Pub as it is affectionately known, is still standing as the lone sentinel of this small community, 80 kilometres south of Quilpie, in outback Queensland.

This story excerpt is from Issue #93

Outback Magazine: Feb/Mar 2014