Outback icon the Grove Hill Hotel will soon close its doors for good, as its octogenarian owner looks to retire and follow the sun.
Built in 1934 during the peak of the goldrush in the area, the Grove Hill is two hours south of Darwin. At the time, the town counted around 3,000 people. The pub was constructed using odd materials sourced from the goldfields, and is a wholly unique structure.
The owner is 82-year-old Stan Heausler, who has been looking to sell it since 2012 to enjoy his southern land and get away from the worst of Northern Territory weather.
“I’ve got a block down in New South Wales at Conargo, right on the river, so I want to follow the weather, six months here, six months there,” he said to ABC Rural.
Heausler says he “always wanted to own a pub” but after 17 years manning the old Grove, he’d like to retire, turn the pub into his home and maybe “grow some vegetables”.
The Hotel includes a museum of historic memorabilia of the region, such as tools, rabbit and dingo traps, toys, typewriters and furniture. There is a cut-down shovel ‘modified’ by one of the Chinese workers protesting that they hadn’t gotten the pay rise of their Australian counterparts.
And behind the bar is a collection of 200 beers in cans and bottles – still full, but not for responsible consumption.
Story appeared in ABC Rural.