Ale and hearty

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

from Mudgee, at­tracted 20,000 for­tune-seek­ers and boasted 42 ho­tels, in­clud­ing the Prince of Wales, still one of the old­est build­ings in a town that has 130 build­ings listed with the Na­tional Trust.

There’s no ques­tion­ing the loy­alty of the regulars here. The El­lis fam­ily has owned the Prince of Wales for more than 30 years but, in 2005, the li­censees they had leased it to shot through without warn­ing, leav­ing the pub stripped. There was no fur­ni­ture and no beer, so li­censee-man­ager Rowena El­lis put a sign on the black­board out­side say­ing BYO chair, ash­tray and beer’’. The lo­cals turned up with fold­ing chairs and Esky cool­ers and kept on drink­ing.

As a re­sult of boom­ing min­ing and tourism ac­tiv­ity in Gul­gong, staff num­bers have grown from two to 17 in four years, gue­strooms have been re­fur­bished and seven mo­tel-style units added.

The lo­cal pub trail also clinks to the frosty glass­ware of the Waratah, the Paragon, the Wool­pack, the Fed­eral and the Court­house in Mudgee and, in Gul­gong, the Post Of­fice, the Cen­ten­nial and the Com­mer­cial. Then there’s the Kan­dos in Kan­dos, the Old Cooyal Ho­tel in Cooyal, the Ulan in Ulan, the Lue in Lue, the Royal in Cas­silis, and the Windeyer Golden Fleece in Windeyer. And the greet­ing is the same at all of them: Cheers, mate.’’ Rob In­gram was a guest of Mudgee Re­gion Tourism.

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