Bull & Barley Inn
In the heart of the quaint country town of Cambooya sits the historic Bull and Barley Inn. This beautiful old pub has benefited from various renovations over the years, the last project being completed in 2011.
First named the Cambooya Railway Hotel when it opened in 1902, the Bull and Barley Inn is a popular watering hole for locals and visitors alike. Sitting on a corner block, this grand old girl with her colonial-style architecture is really quite a sight. In a quiet country town where the general store, post office and garage are the only other businesses, the pub is certainly an unexpected and very pleasant surprise.
For travellers to the Darling Downs this is a very comfortable spot to call home at the end of a day on the road. The accommodation is located on the top floor and has been renovated to a high standard.
Quality linen and furnishings add to the overall charm here, whilst gleaming polished timber floors in the hallway suggest that Bruce Dell and his family take a great deal of pride in their property. Some of the rooms open out onto the traditional verandah where guests can relax, soak up the view across the Darling Downs and enjoy a drink as the sun sets in the West. As is the case with many old pubs, there are no ensuites in the rooms. Communal bathrooms are at the end of the hallway and are modern and clean.
Included in the overnight tariff is a continental breakfast, consisting of cereal, fruit, toast, juice, tea and coffee. Guests are welcome to help themselves to these provisions which can be found in the kitchenette, also at the end of the hallway. A small TV room is also available for guests' use. Downstairs and conveniently located adjacent to the bar is a pool room where visitors can feed the juke box, shoot pool or enjoy a game of darts.
The Bull and Barley Inn also has its own restaurant, where daily specials are great value. With tongue in cheek, Bruce will tell you about Monday's special - the aptly named "Barra Monday". Each Monday barramundi from Karumba in the Northern Territory is delivered to the Bull and Barley Inn, ready for the daily special. This restaurant is very popular with the locals, so bookings are essential to avoid disappointment - 900 meals a week are served here and it's little wonder.
The menu has something for everyone, food is reasonably priced, servings are very generous and true country hospitality can be experienced in an atmosphere that oozes old world charm. The restaurant is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and takeaways are also available.
Whether you choose to enjoy your drink or meal inside, on the verandah or at one of the rustic picnic tables on the footpath, the vibe is laid back, country style and for city slickers, that's very refreshing. For visitors with kids, there's a great little park just across the street from the pub with playground equipment, swings, picnic tables and a BBQ. Nearby silos provide a great backdrop to the park and appear to be standing guard over the town, especially as the sun goes down at the end of the day.
So what's to do in Cambooya? Well, not a lot actually. It's just a great spot to enjoy the luxury of doing not much at all. If, however, relaxing isn't on the agenda, there's plenty to see and do just a short drive away. The town of Toowoomba is only a 20- minute drive from Cambooya - and there's a bottomless pit of things to see and do in the garden city.
Also a short drive away is Steele Rudd country. Steele Rudd (whose real name was Arthur Hoey Davis) penned the well known Australian radio series, Dad and Dave. Visit the historic Rudd's Pub in Nobby where it's believed Rudd sat and wrote. Enjoy a beer, have a meal or check out the memorabilia that adorns the walls of this iconic pub.
The Darling Downs Zoo is also well worth visiting. For a small country zoo, they have an amazing variety of animals, some old favourites and some not so well known residents. White lion cubs and indisputably cute meerkats are star attractions at the zoo but there's a lot more "cuteness" to be found here. History buffs will enjoy a visit to historic Glengallan Homestead whilst Harrow Gardens (check the website for opening times) and the Preston Peak Winery are also strong contenders for day tripping options.
In springtime the fields in this region come to life with masses of bright yellow sunflowers in bloom - this is a beautiful sight and one that deserves to be on the "must do" list. Whether you enjoy beautiful winter days with clear, crisp nights or sitting on the verandah with a cool drink at the end of a hot day, plan a visit to this very Australian region.
By Sandy Ludinski
Must Do Brisbane.com was a guest of Bull and Barley Inn
Bull & Barley Inn
61 Eton St
07 4696 1235