The Outback Pub

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  ,
Sunday, October 28, 2007

This weekend saw a visit to the remote outpost of Ora Banda, an historic and sunbaked community of... at least a dozen or so, and a notable point of interest along the 'Golden Quest Discovery Trail'. I took a ride out there with Laurie who furnished me with loads of exciting stories involving bikies, kidnappings, shootings and pub-bombings. Seems that many of these forgotten outback jewels have seen plenty of action over the years.

We were called out there to provide outdoor catering to a party of a hundred or so VIP's who were taking a tour at one of the region's far-flung mining operations. Trying to sear thick steaks in the open air as the howling wind blasted across the plains was an absolute joke. Within minutes the whole spread was covered in dust. Snags, kebabs, butter and rolls were all sporting a nice warm terra-cotta tinge to anyone who cared pick them up. And people did. They were hungry, worn out and very grateful. Two hours and it was over. We bundled the whole sandy lot in the back of the car, hit the dusty highways and took in the sights.

Ora Banda was interesting enough, for its remote emptiness if nothing else. To see scores of half lived-in/half abandoned houses still in use gave the place an odd flavour and it was only when we dropped in at the local pub that we realised that the whole community of Ora Banda (or at least the majority of it) was seated comfortably in the lounge out of the heat, supping on their afternoon brew.

Broad Arrow - the tiniest speck of a place - was home to one of the most bizarre pubs I've ever seen, aptly named the 'Broad Arrow'. Have a look at the pics: every inch of it, both inside and out, from floor to ceiling (including the floor and ceiling) is covered in hand-scrawled text depicting some moment in time that the writer once stood there, probably drunk, and delivered his/her personal message to the outside world. Fascinating. I could have stayed there hours. Honestly, these places need to be seen to be believed..
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