Time gentlemen please! The Birdsville Hotel seeks new publican after 38 years

Time gentlemen please! The Birdsville Hotel seeks new publican after 38 years
Time gentlemen please! The Birdsville Hotel seeks new publican after 38 years

The Birdsville Hotel, one of the most well-known tourism pubs in Australia, is back on the market.

Offers for the hotel, built in 1884, are sought by September 20.

One of Queensland's most famous watering holes, the Birdsville Hotel has survived floods, heat waves and fire, set at the edge of the Simpson Desert.

Birdsville was settled by pioneers in the early 1860s and in the 1880s the hotel became the central meeting place for town residents, nearby station owners and their thirsty cattle drovers. 

The sale will include the hotel and its 27 rooms motel accommodation.

It will also include the liquor licence, goodwill, intellectual property, business name, plant and equipment and stock in trade.

There are two detached residences, an industrial block and an aviation fuel supply business operated by the current hotel owners on offer.

The sale campaign is being managed by Russell Iles and Guy Bennett of Knight Frank, in conjunction with Darren Steele of Steele & Associates Hotel Brokers. 

The current owners bought the hotel in 1980.

The hotel manager Ben Fullagar suggested there had been "a huge amount of work over 38 years to build the brand and totally rebuild the entire premises."

Time gentlemen please! The Birdsville Hotel seeks new publican after 38 years

The town of Birdsville is located in outback Queensland, on the edge of the Simpson Desert 1,600 kilometres from Brisbane.

The Birdsville Hotel is well regarded outback tourism destination having won tourism awards including Queensland's best outback pub for three consecutive years.

Its annual races are in a fortnight's time, run on the first Saturday in September.

It attracts thousands of visitors during school holidays and mild winter months. 

The boozy Birdsville image annoys many locals, especially the heroines of the outback. 

Mr Steele said he expected the iconic hotel offering to be highly sought after by buyers from around Australia, as well as internationally.

“It’s a true Aussie icon, and one that many people around the world have heard of, so we anticipate there will be interest from investors and those looking to own and operate their own hotel in Birdsville."

The tourism sector in Queensland is strengthening, with international visitors up by 5.5% and domestic visitors up by 2.6%, with spending around 6% more in the year ending March 2018, according to Tourism & Events Queensland.

Birdsville is accessible by road as well as a sealed airstrip adjacent within walking distance from the hotel. 

Light planes ceased to park in front of the hotel in 1964 because fences and street lights had been erected.

The hotel was on the market in 2007 as well but reported offers of up to $5 million were not enough to make the Fort family, the long time owner, part with the Birdsville property.

Knight Frank’s Guy Bennett told the local paper that what was on offer now was a “very different proposition” to 2007.

It was former Adelaide builder Kym Fort who took over the hotel when it was a fire-ravaged shell with its only working part a makeshift public bar.

He used his construction skills to restore one of Australia's most famous pubs which he co-owned with four silent partners.


Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

Hotel Birdsville

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