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Australia Hotel’s Long Bar

Australia Hotel Sydney 1950s

Australia Hotel, Sydney, 1950s. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University

THE Long Bar of the Australia Hotel, known all over the world, is having its character changed. Half its length has closed down and will be converted into a series of short island bars, with a cocktail bar at the end. Meanwhile, business and barmaids have been transferred to the other side while the transfer takes place. It looks like the beginning of the end of another tradition.

Arthur Polkinghorne’s Sydney Diary, The Sydney Sun, Thursday 3 September 1953.

long bar australia hotel sydney

The Australia Hotel’s long bar, after it was “converted into a series of short island bars, with a cocktail bar at the end”. Photo: The Daily Telegraph Friday 18 December 1953.

SYDNEY’S Australia Hotel, located long ago at the corner of Castlereagh Street and Martin Place, became known for the quirky practice of throwing coins into four chandeliers in its long bar during the 1940s and 50s.
It was not unusual for more than £25 a month to be retrieved from the bar’s chandeliers. The money was given to charity.
Pictured right is an airman tossing coins into one of the long bar’s chandeliers at the Hotel Australia. (Photo: Sydney Daily Telegraph Sunday 12 December 1943).


Arthur Polkinghorne was correct in writing in his column that the shortening of its famous long bar was the “beginning of the end”.
The landmark hotel closed in 1971, and was later demolished.

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Categories: Sydney hotels

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