Prairie Hotel, Parachilna: This list was compiled in 2006. The updated 2011 Edition can be found here.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to get real. We’re not talking glossy, classy, glitzy, glam, unreal city bars and pubs here– we’re talking about staying in a pub where you know you’re somewhere different, and real.
There’s a sandy street outside. The pavement is probably made of planks – like the rest of the hotel. The bar is just that: a bar, with beer, no frills. (Avoid, at all costs, the pub without beer.) It’s probably bloody hot outside, and pretty warm inside. The food is real food – roo, emu, yabbies, damper and so on. And the next pub– well, it’s likely to be miles and miles away. A couple of days drive at least, mate.
There are no doubt many pubs in this wide, amber land that fit the bill here, but as a starting point you might want to check out the Prairie Hotel in South Australia’s Parachilna (population: seven). This quintessential Aussie pub is full of real people, it’s got Utes parked out front, serves true blue food and has brilliant views of the Northern Flinders Ranges from right outside. The nearest pubs? 90km north and 68km south. (The Prairie, we have to admit, is a little different. The owners have managed to meld an historic old pub together with fantastic food and brilliant accommodation.)
Did you know?
The oldest pub in Australia, that started as – and continued to be – a pub throughout its entire history, is claimed to be the Hope & Anchor Tavern in Hobart. It opened for business on July 25, 1807.
How to get there
Qantas and Virgin Blue offer daily flights to Adelaide from all major cities in Australia. There are plenty of car rental options in Adelaide.
Kendell Airlines and Wrightsair have regular flights from Adelaide to Coober Pedy, Port Augusta, Leigh Creek and Roxby Downs.
The Flinders Ranges have sealed roads to Wilpena Pound and Leigh Creek, but there are also many gravel roads, which may require a 4WD verhicle. From Adelaide, drive north to Crystal Brook, Gladstone or Jamestown, Port Pirie or Port Augusta.
The Premier Stateliner bus service runs from Adelaide to Wilpena Pound, Quorn and Hawker.
The Ghan train service from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin passes through Port Augusta and Tarcoola.
Best time to go
Anytime. The Flinders Ranges see very little rain, but when it does rain, it buckets down, so check the weather every day.
Website of Flinders Ranges & Outback South Australia Tourism
Flinders Ranges National Park website
** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.