Praire Hotel, Praire

prairie hotel google streetview

Prairie Hotel, Prairie, Queensland 2014. Photo: Google Streetview.

Praire Hotel, Praire, Queensland. Photo: Bruce Howard

“What are ya lookin’ so upset about, mate?”

“Oh, we’ve been stuck in the mud out west for about 15 hours.”

“Could’ve been worse.”


“You could’ve been stuck there the rest of ya life.”

“Suppose you’re right.”

If you can cope with this level of outrageous rural wit, then a visit to the Praire pub in Queensland is exceedingly well worthwhile. For their is a client of this hotel, one Alan Scanlon, who actually saw the incident involving the Wild Irishman in Birdsville all those years ago.

“Yep, I was there,” he said. “They didn’t have a lockup in Birdsville those days, and the Wild Irishman had been playin’ up. So the cops arrested him and chained him to a bloody great log outside the pub.

Anyway, the sun beat down and after a couple of hours, the pub door burst open. And there was the Irishman with the log still chanied to him, ‘cept he was carrying it on his shoulder.

” ‘It’s bloody hot out there,’ he said, ‘how about givin’ me a little drink?’ ” 

-John Larkins.

IN the early 1970s, writer, John Larkins and photographer, Bruce Howard went on a 40,000km pub crawl around Australia, telling their wives, “Don’t wait up!” With Larkins wonderful words, and Howards’ fabulous photos, they chronicled an amazing snap shot of Australian pub culture – many, both people and pubs, which have now gone. From that expedition they had published “Australian Pubs”. These are excerpts from the now out of print book.

Personalities at the Praire Hotel, Queensland. Photos: Bruce Howard.





Categories: Queensland hotels

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