Here’s our guide to scoping out the best pub vistas in Australia.
By Georgia Rickard
What’s better than a cold beer and good company? Cold beer and good company with a view. Whether peering over Sydney Harbour, watching water slip away through Karumba’s mangroves, or admiring the moon’s reflection in Broome’s tropical mudflats, an engaging outlook always adds to the experience at Australia’s characterful pubs. Here’s our pick of where you need to be – and we promise, every single one is easy on the eye.
Australia's prettiest pub views
The Glenmore, Sydney
Walk into this 1920s Rocks icon and go straight to the top – the rooftop, that is. The terrace’s retractable lid reveals all-encompassing views of glittering Sydney Harbour. Arrive early to snag a table.
The Lennox Hotel, Lennox Head
Free pool, pub quizzes, tasty eats and reach-out-and-touch-it views of Seven Mile Beach are what you’ll find at The Lennox. Slotted between Byron Bay and Ballina, this locals’ favourite is the place to watch waves rolling along a very special coastline.
Hotel Rottnest, Perth
The former summer residence of the governor of Western Australia, Hotel Rottnest looks like a whitewashed castle dropped on the sugary sands of Thomson Bay. Sweep your eyes over bobbing yachts, splish-splashing people and maybe even a friendly quokka.
Walt and Burley, Canberra
Canberra’s tree-spotted hills and the placid Kingston foreshore combine to create the perfect pub setting, right on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin. Pop into Walt and Burley for a wine or settle in for a game on the big screen, craft beer in hand.
Mangrove Hotel, Broome
It’s a summer garden party at Mangrove Hotel – year-round – with festoon lights strung between palms, lush lawns and smart white furnishings, all overlooking Roebuck Bay’s turquoise waters and shimmering mudflats.
2KW Bar and Restaurant, Adelaide
A local secret (for now), 2KW is worth the effort to find. Eight floors up, the rooftop garden boasts an ocean-to-the-hills vista, which you can also admire from the sophisticated glass-walled restaurant.
Victory Hotel, Sellicks Beach
A line of highlighter blue ocean beams through the windows of Victory Hotel, a Fleurieu Peninsula gem. Traditional pub grub meets Asian-inspired eats in the circa 1858 building – start with fresh oysters and end with a stroll on Sellicks Beach.
Lola's Pergola, Darwin
The carnival atmosphere at Lola’s distracts from its Cullen Bay views in the best possible way. Think carousel ponies, quirky sideshow rides, candy stripes and huge illuminated eyeballs, spilling out to a lounge-topped deck.
Naked in the Sky, Melbourne
Most of hipster Fitzroy is down at eye level, so rising above to Naked’s timber-decked rooftop, edged by massive windows and an epic urban panorama, is something extra special. You’ll be glad you cracked this local secret.
Portsea Hotel, Mornington Peninsula
Peaceful Port Phillip Bay fills your peripheral vision at the Portsea Hotel, a jetty cutting through your sightline to the mesmerising horizon. Market umbrellas dot the pretty lawn – make one of them yours.
The Story Bar, Hobart
Expect the unexpected at The Story Bar, a new Tasmanian wharf-side haunt, nestled in Hobart’s historic quarter. Think bronze velvet armchairs, a magician playing card tricks and a dramatic circular fireplace. Pull your gaze from the city skyline to read the newspaper stories hung around the bar.
Eagles Nest, Brisbane
As the name suggests, this curving rooftop bar sits at the pinnacle of a 12-storey hotel, peering down at the Brisbane River and rows of skyscrapers. An exclusive champagne lounge, it’s open to the public on Fridays and Sundays only.
Sunset Tavern, Karumba
Simple pleasures, such as ice-cold beer in the sandy garden, friendly local characters, and watching the setting sun paint the waterfront pink, are what you’ll find at this classic country pub. The Gulf of Carpentaria all but laps your toes, broken only by a row of mangroves.
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