The Goolwa Hotel

goolwa hotel google street view

A Google Streetview of the Goolwa Hotel

BUILT in 1853, the Goolwa Hotel is an excellent example of early colonial architecture, and still provides comfortable facilities for patrons without losing the heritage atmosphere and ambience.

Located in Goolwa, a historic river port on the Murray River near the Murray Mouth in South Australia, the pub is said to maintain the “delicate balance between the old and the new”.

goolwa hotel 1950s

The Goolwa Hotel in the 1950s

“A wonderful dining experience awaits guests in the Mozambique Restaurant. Friendly staff and magnificant meals make this a certain stop when visiting Goolwa.

-South Australian Hotels

goolwa hotel 1Historic Goolwa Hotel Goolwa Hotel, built in 1853, has strong connections with the wreck of the Mozambique on the Coorong in the mid- 1800s. The first person to discover the wreck was James Law, of Finniss. Mr Law transported the survivors to the Goolwa Hotel where they were given food and accommodation. In appreciation, the captain of the Mozambique then presented the licensee, John Varcoe, with the figurehead of the ship, some cedar tables and chairs, a cedar side board, a 60 foot mast and some spars. Today, the mast holds up the floor in the non-smoking dining room, the Captain’s Room. Three years after the Mozambique disaster Mr Varcoe added an extra storey of bedrooms to the hotel and used the cedar from the ship to construct a staircase.

-Times (Victor Harbor, SA) Tuesday 25 January 1994.

masterheadA Goolwa landmark is back on her vigil looking out towards the Murray Mouth… the figurehead from the Mozambique, which went down off the Coorong near the Murray Mouth in August, 1854, was returned to her “home” on the Goolwa Hotel on Friday morning after a “facelift”. Repairs to the figurehead were carried out by Ross Ballard and painting work by Tony Gluyas. Helping to return the landmark to her “home” on Friday are Ross Ballard and Rod Butterfield.

– Times (Victor Harbor, SA) Tuesday 14 December 1993

masterhead 2

goolwa hotel old

advertToday the figurehead has been re-located inside the hotel, and sits on the wall of the dining room. Originally it seems the figurehead of the  “Mozambique” was above the doors of Hayloft on the Stables (As pictured in this advertisement of the Goolwa Hotel, with portrait of proprietor and advertisements. The figurehead can be seen here on the stables.

This advertisement for the Goolwa Hotel states the following: ‘River Murray an ordinary daily at one o’clock. Choice English ales on draught. Horses guns and dogs for sportsmen. By yours respectfully Jno. Varcoe. Wines spirits and cordials. Good stables, stock yards. Horses and gigs on hire. Three photographs on the advertisement depict the Goolwa Hotel, Jno. Varcoe and the Stables

– Historic images with the exception of the newspaper stories: State Library of South Australia.


Categories: South Australia Hotels

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