Retired couple on Australia’s longest pub crawl say old country hotels are best – Michmutters

Retired couple on Australia’s longest pub crawl say old country hotels are best

A couple from Queensland are on Australia’s longest pub crawl, aiming to have at least one drink in every pub in the country.

Andrew and Ursula Keese set themselves the adventurous task for their retirement and they believe nobody has attempted it before.

“We both like to travel and we both like drinks and we both like to see Australia,” Mr Keese said.

They have ticked off every Queensland hotel and are just about to finish South Australia, where they have pulled up a seat at more than 380 pubs, bringing their total to more than 1,500.

Couple standing in front of modern large white campervan
Andrew and Ursula Keese plan to spend six months each year traveling to pubs across Australia.(Supplied: Ursula and Andrew Keese)

“I’ve been going to pubs since I was literally a baby with my mum and dad, and Ursula’s dream was to buy a motor home and travel around Australia so we thought we’d combine the two,” he said.

They expect it will take eight years to visit every pub in the country which they research online.

“We print out all the towns and suburbs and each state, and as we go we’ll cross off the town or the suburb,” Mr Keese said.

Man and woman in front of William Creek hotel building
Andrew and Ursula Keese at William Creek Hotel.(Supplied: Ursula and Andrew Keese)

“There’s only one website … that lists all the pubs, which is 6,033, but unfortunately it’s about 15 years out of date so we’re finding since that time about 10 per cent of pubs have closed.

“Some stunning old pubs [have closed] which is tragic so we’re hopefully doing our little bit just to promote pubs, especially country pubs and get people traveling out and going to their local once again.”

Reputation precedes them

The couple post photographs on social media and quite often the next pub on their list is expecting them.

“We always get our photo out the front of the pub so we’ve got proof that we’ve been there,” Mr Keese said.

“Some of them have seen us on other pubs they follow and they are happy to see us in their pub.

Woman in pink top leaning over bar to pat dog behind hotel par, post looking on
Ursula Keese enjoys meeting the locals at the Poochera Hotel in rural South Australia.(Supplied: Ursula and Andrew Keese)

“So many of them show you around the pub and take you on a tour which is really nice.

“They say ‘We’ve been wondering when you’d come into our pub’.”

They photograph the bars and features of the pub.

“If there’s stunning facades we get that and then all of the inside of the pub … just so people can see what does the pub look like and what does it offer.”

A drink at each watering hole

The couple have at least a drink at the pub, and try the local drops whenever they are available.

“We’ll order local, certainly anything different on tap or if they’ve got a local gin or a local wine,” Mr Keese said.

“We try and change it up so we’re always ordering something local because we went through outback Queensland for about three months and you could only get XXXX and Great Northern and I’ll drink them, but it was certainly a stretch,” he said.

Man behind a bar filled with memorabilia on shelves and ceiling
The couple enjoy exploring Australia’s most remote and quirky pubs and take a photo of the bar person who serves them.(Supplied: Andrew and Ursula Keese)

Most of their favorite pubs were older pubs that had character on the outside and characters on the bar stools inside.

“The beautiful old country pubs, they’ve just got a different feel and the locals they’ll always welcome you especially in the old pubs.

“It’s rare that you walk in and people don’t go ‘g’day, how ya going?'”


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