Baan Baa, Railway Hotel
Baranabah St Baan Baa Phone: 02 6794 4712
There are some pretty ordinary towns on the Kamilaroi Hwy between its southern end at the Willow Tree Junction with the New England and its western terminus at Bourke but one of nice surprises is Baan Baa, a tiny spot 140km nth west of Quirindi.
Baan Baa’s Railway Hotel is a block off the highway and this short distance will ensure you have a good night’s sleep uninterrupted by exhaust brakes and other traffic noise.
The pub was saved 5 years ago when Frank and Judy and their son and daughter-in-law bought the license after its previous owners had closed the doors and walked away. They are local farmers, totally inexperienced in running a pub but they feared this town, without mains water, without any general store or servo, was about to lose its social centre.
They wanted a place where local farmers and contractors, and increasingly workers from the local mines, could relax, kick back and talk after their working day and on their days off. For this reason they refused to install any TAB, Keno or pokies.
Hopeful of cashing in on the nearby open cut and underground coal mines, they’ve built a collection of dongas out the back, each with two single beds and which will set you back 59 bucks a head. The intention is to let these permanently to mining contractors but the take up has not been all Frank and Judy hoped for. But even if they are all let out full time, four rooms in the pub have been set aside of casual travelers. There are shared bathrooms and toilets and a room for two will cost $59.00 all up. If you’re on your own and want a discount, haggle and you’ll get a bit of a discount!
If you turn up with a group you can swag in the town hall across the road for a whopping $5.00 each with free use of the pub’s bathrooms and showers. (The hall has its own toilets.)
But if you do stay here, there’s one important thing to remember: There is no town water and so Frank carts fresh potable water from his farm dam every couple of days and so play fair and limit your washing time. Shower with a friend where at all possible (in the name of resource preservation of course!)
Judy and Kylie tend to look after cooking dinner every day of the week and there is a great roast each Sunday lunch.
There’s only 61 permanent residents of the town and Tracie the manger reckons, with a laugh, that most of them are dinking age but a standard afternoon will see a couple of dozen in the bar and on the beautiful verandah around the pub.
Friday night there are raffles to lure the locals and it’s the biggest night for riders to also front. This is not just a good rest and watering hole on the way up or down the Kamilaroi but is a genuine destination pub. The generous mindset that saw this pub saved for the town resonates in the friendliness on both sides of the bar. If you are based in the Hunter, Port Macquarie or the Coffs Coast, think about grabbing some mates and heading out for a great day’s riding followed by a great night in a top pub.
Railway Hotel Baan Baa, Baranabah St, Baan Baa. T: 02 6794 4712