Is there any better feeling than walking into a country pub and feeling like you’re one of the locals? Strike up a conversation with the bartender, find a worthy opponent for a game of pool, or simply have the certainty that you and your family or friends will be fed like VIPs! Here’s a selection of 7 of the best country pubs to try in the Volcanic Lakes and Plains…
After a walk up to the peak of Mount Noorat — you deserve a cold frothy one — and there’s not more ambient a setting than the Mount Noorat Hotel. This charmingly restored pub offers a great menu of traditional fare, and a great range of your straight up, no frills, beers on tap. A family run hotel, you’ll get some great service and possibly some great banter to go with it!
Don’t forget to check out the special’s board here! Thommo’s Hotel has a selection of the pub favourites you would expect but do yourself a favour and save room for dessert. Yor publican Jess, is a former pastry chef, so the sweets are on point! If you land on the right night, you might also get a chance at the meat tray raffle, or some Joker Poker, all supporting local community or sporting clubs.
This little beauty is a bit of a local secret. The Colac crowd make it a regular outing and if you’re staying in the area (that’s anywhere within around a 20km radius), your host is likely to recommend this place. The menu is extensive — don’t be afraid to try anything. Parma night is every night here and with a long list of variations — you’ll find one that tickles your fancy. The wine list is also primo!
Further North in Lake Bolac, the hotel marks the crossroads, and for locals it’s the location of choice to debrief on a hard day’s work. The food is excellent and the parma is one of the best you’ll find. A spot outside in the late afternoon sun is the perfect spot to while away some time with a few cold drinks.
A local favourite and a must-stop pub when travelling through Mortlake. Whether it’s just for a bevvy or a bar meal, Mac’s Hotel is a comfortable pub that welcomes the whole family. Nestle by the fireplace in winter, or soak up the sun in the beer garden in summer, it’s a great spot to relax after a day out exploring the Volcanic Lakes and Plains (and there’s accommodation too!)
It’s a fine day for a Guinness — said the the Englishman, the Scotsman and the Irishman as they approached Mickey Bourke’s Hotel, which is without a doubt the best pour of Guinness you will find in regional Victoria. This pub is an icon in Koroit, which is the home of the Koroit Irish Festival, many potato growers, and clearly many people who drink the black custard, if you judge by the quality of the flow here. The restaurant fare features Irish favourites — of course.
This beautiful bluestone hotel welcomes travellers and locals alike. Adorned with delightful vines and a beer garden that is just begging to be included in your instagram feed, the Elephant Bridge Hotel is a true beauty.
Serving meals in the evenings, this family-run business is a true community hero and a lovely place to break your journey. Next door is a farm store where you can pick up supplies hand selected from local producers.
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.