The baker’s dozen that make up Maryborough’s PubFest pub crawl are on track to reclaim the world record.

The Queensland township of Maryborough is just south of Hervey Bay, inland of Fraser Island. It became the original holder of the Guinness Book of World Records listing for the most participants in an organised ‘pub crawl’.

Criterion Hotel, Maryborough
Criterion Hotel, Maryborough

Owner of the Criterion Hotel, Brendan Heit, told PubTIC about the race to reclaim the glory of the title.

“We set the record originally, and then upped it,” recalled Heit. “Then London took it away, then we took it back.

“In 2013 America’s Kansas City claimed it – but we think it’s within our reach to take it back again.”

It will take 4,885 patrons completing and submitting their ‘PubFest passports’ to snatch back the official record. Participants must visit and get stamped at each of the twelve pubs, plus the pop-up bar being manned by the Rotary Foundation.

This year the event will be held 1 May – a month earlier than previous years, as the previously aligned Queen’s birthday weekend in June was moved to October.

Organisers determined to bring it a little earlier, in Autumn, and have been busy promoting it on social media, radio and television since ‘passports’ went on sale recently.

Organisers have also put up a $5,000 cash giveaway to be won by one lucky holder of a completed passport.

Participants can get their passport ticket for $8 from Maryborough or Hervey Bay tourism centres, or at selected venues, or simply turn up on the day. Shuttle buses will help transport crawlers around, particularly to the outlying pubs.

Importantly in the modern era, non-alcoholic drinks are accepted for passport stamping.

Taking place 1 May – starting 11am for a frantic seven hour tour – the theme of the 2016 PubFest will be ‘horror’ and the theme colour will (naturally) be red.


The pubs involved this year are:

  • Aussie Hotel
  • Carriers Arms Hotel
  • Central Hotel
  • Criterion Hotel
  • Federal Hotel
  • Granville Hotel
  • Lamington Hotel
  • Lounge 1868
  • Old Sydney Hotel
  • Portside Rotary
  • Post Office Hotel
  • Royal Hotel
  • Westside Tavern
"Out the front" of the Criterion Hotel. Image: Criterion archives
“Out the front” of the Criterion Hotel. Image: Criterion archives
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