The Wellshot Hotel
2020 Best Grey Nomad
The Wellshot Hotel, only 20 minutes from Longreach on the Matilda Way, provides grey nomads with an opportunity to stay in a pre-1890 outback pub with a boutique collection of powered and unpowered sites, access to quaint amenities and potable water all available immediately adjacent to the pub’s themed beer garden.
To reinforce the outback location, the Wellshot Hotel has:
A themed bar
Quirky bar stools that social media fans love
Delicious outback-style meals
Young station animals
A street-side breakfast and coffee nook
A ceiling smattered with guests’ dollar notes that are donated to charity.
The pet friendly pub also hosts an array of events that incorporate authentic outback experiences, such as speed shearing and markets that showcase local products, as it gives travellers an opportunity to meet locals and become immersed in outback culture.
Even the history of this pub will have you hooked. Prior to the arrival of the rail to Ilfracombe in 1890 this was a ‘travelling hotel’. It was pulled along on sleds, put in place in the main street of whatever town was having its railway station built at that time and then hitched up behind bullocks once again when the railway workers prepared to move on to the next place down the line. The hotel building spent some time in the main street of Barcaldine, 80 kilometres to the east, but probably started life 300 kilometres further to the east. Now that’s a journey worth drinking to!
Ilfracombe is home to the Machine Mile – a seriously impressive outdoor free machine museum that runs along the highway directly opposite the hotel, as well as the Wellshot Centre, a place where you can learn about Ilfracombe’s evolution and Wellshot Station, once one of the largest private land holdings in the world.
Trundle down the road just 30 kilometres to experience all the attractions of Longreach:
Delve into the lives of Australian explorers, stockmen and local Aboriginal people at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame.
The QANTAS Founders Museum – fly back in time at this cultural display of the airline’s beginnings. Tackle the spirit of Australia by exploring genuine QANTAS planes and artefacts.
Outback Pioneers’ stagecoach tours are a doozy – ride on a restored coach that rockets along the original Longreach-Windorah mail route thanks to five sturdy stock horses.
Join one of the biggest classrooms in the world when you do a behind-the-scenes tour of the Longreach School of Distance Education.
Cool down on the Thomson River late afternoon on one of the cruises that guarantee stunning sunsets.
Location: Matilda Way, also known as the Landsborough Highway at this point, Ilfracombe - just 20 minutes east of Longreach
Facilities: Everything you need for an outback RV stay in comfort, with a small number of sites with water, power and amenity access. Pet friendly. Breakfast, lunch and dinner available. Licensed. Good mobile and TV reception. The hotel operates the Outstation - outback accommodation for those not in an RV or others who wish to have a break from their RV.