Dirt- floor Hil­ton’s all good

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION - with John An­der­sen john. an­der­sen@ news. com. au

IF YOU are good, very, very good, the Good Lord, if he is im­pressed with what you achieved on this earth, might let you spend a night at the Mid­dle­ton Hil­ton be­fore you get carted off to that dusty camp­ing ground in the sky.

Ahh, the Mid­dle­ton Hil­ton, I hear you sigh. Egyp­tian cot­ton sheets, room ser­vice, Lob­ster Ther­mi­dor, Oys­ter’s Kil­patrick and chilled white wine from Mar­garet River. The bliss of it all. Hot showers and mini­bars. Can’t wait, can you?

It’s all a dream. This Hil­ton is not tucked away in a cor­ner of Eng­land, but is at the one- pub whistlestop of Mid­dle­ton, 180km west of Win­ton. Tourism pro­mot­ers, and of course they never tell any whop­pers, say the Mid­dle­ton pub is Queens­land’s most re­mote ho­tel. The Mid­dle­ton Hil­ton is in fact an open- sided bough shed made of tim­ber and leftover pipe. The orig­i­nal, with a spinifex and wire net­ting roof, was built in 1972 by ringers from Toole­buc Sta­tion.

There have been some run­ning re­pairs since, but it is still much the same.

Un­like the Hil­ton Ho­tels Paris Hil­ton is ac­cus­tomed to, this one has no lux­u­ries. It has a dirt floor and no beds. It’s de­signed for swags, but you can stay there for free. The big plus in its favour? It’s just across the road from Lester and Va­lerie Cain’s Mid­dle­ton Ho­tel. Doesn’t get any bet­ter. Re­mem­ber, if you want to make a book­ing, you have to be good, very, very good.

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