Macksville Pubs

This BotF correspondent is doing the long drive up the Pacific Highway from Sydney, where he will ultimately finish at Rainbow Beach, near Fraser Island. An emotional reunion with TfT awaits. If possible a drive like this is best done in hits, and nights can be spent experiencing new towns.


Macksville lies halfway between Sydney and Brisbane on the banks of the Nambucca River. It is named after Andrew Mackay, who helped found the place and who was also responsible for building the very impressive hotel we stayed in. The Star Hotel is one of the great pubs of NSW. Originally built in 1885, it has been wonderfully restored and offers great food, veranda drinking, views of the mighty Nambucca, punting facilities and accomodation. It’s all wood with wrought iron lace.


The Nambucca Hotel is just down the road from the Star. It is a classic example of a two story corner hotel with wrap around veranda upstairs. It suffers in comparison both inside and out because it hasn’t been done up, but could also be a belter with some coin dropped on it. More original inside with a rabbit warren feel compared to the opened up downstairs bar of the Star. There’s a great collection of clippings about local test cricketer, Phil Hughes, that may not be added to for some time.


Both pubs offer a very bland range of beers with James Squire Chancer being the most adventurous. That said, the Schooners of Tooheys Old I had at both places were top quality. Really cold, really clean and just the right amount of carbonation. At $4.50 a schooner, there’s worse ways to spend your money.


In holiday traffic, you’ll grind to a halt just outside Macksville. It’s best to “drive, revive, survive” at the Star whilst surveying the mighty Nambucca and driving on with any pent up frustration.