It was our first night in Mount Gambier and we were thirsty.
The truck was parked, the tent was pitched and there were pubs to visit, so we put our walking shoes on and bee lined towards town. We were aware that it was a Sunday night so our chances of having a disorderly night were unlikely, but there is no harm in giving it a go.
We started off at the South Aussie Hotel and devised a crawling route through town that covered five pubs.
#1 South Aussie Hotel
The oldest pub in town, it has a very traditional feel. You’ll find the true locals in the front while the back is reserved for TAB. The crowd was quite rowdy, perhaps due to Races that were on during the day, but it wasn’t a crowd that we felt comfortable to penetrate so after one schooner and a round of trivia from the newspaper, we moved on to the next pub.
#2 Jen’s Hotel
We had walked past this pub earlier to see that it was full of people enjoying lunch. Unfortunately, the pub was closed when we arrived at around 8pm and the only section open was the Gaming Room, stuffed with pokies but only three people.
#3 The Mount Gambier Hotel
Located right in the centre of town, this pub was newly refurbished but still had a traditional atmosphere. There were big screens that played music videos, a dance floor at the front and outdoor drinking area with heating.
It was at this pub that our night changed course from a simple two-player pub crawl to a ridiculous night of joke sharing, pun telling and senseless drinking.
We came across a buck’s party that we sighted earlier in the day. The theme was lads and ladies – except the only ‘lady’ was the buck, dressed in a stunning navy gown with pink bolero jacket and matching heels. By the time we crossed paths with them again at the Mount Gambier Hotel a few hours later, the buck was struggling to remain conscious, and his lads were struggling to peel him off the footpath.
We had a giggle as they pushed him into a taxi, and before we knew it, three of the lads invited themselves on our crawl.
#4 Mac’s Hotel
This is the closest pub to our accommodation but due to its TAB nature, it isn’t the most attractive drinking hole for us. Unfortunately, by the time our crawl brought us to Mac’s, they were shut so we moved on.
#5 Flannagan’s Irish Pub
This venue seems to be the odd one out in the circle of buildings that surround the Cave Gardens, but then again, you could suggest that it is a community facility. Flannagan’s looked closed at first due to the dim inside lighting and lack of patrons, but we entered and called out for service. A young fellow appeared, poured us a round of beers and we settled down for the night.
Despite the pub being practically empty, it had a good atmosphere. There was no music playing so the bartender let us play some tunes from our smartphone as we chatted over a brew. About an hour later, the rest of the buck’s party (minus the buck) arrived and our group grew from five to ten, giving us enough influence to convince the bartender to keep the place open for another hour. Of course, this influence included one of the lads waving around hundreds of dollars in exchange for a few bottles of red wine.
We ended up having a great night, chatting, exchanging stories, jokes and sexual re-enactments. The joke of the night was the ‘frog’ joke, and this is how it goes…
A frog hops into a bank, goes up to a teller called Paddy Wack and says, “I’d like a loan please.”
Paddy asks the frog for his name and collateral.
The frog replies, “My name is Frog Jagger and I have this porcelain elephant for collateral.”
Paddy says, “That’s a bit odd.”
The frog says, “My dad is Mick Jagger. Speak to the manager; he’s friends with my dad.”
Paddy goes out the back to speak with his manager and says, “There’s a frog out there who wants a loan. He says you are friends with his dad, Mick Jagger. Can he use a porcelain elephant as collateral?”
The manager replies, “Of course! It’s a knick-knack, Paddy Wack. Give the frog a loan! His old man’s a Rolling Stone.”
Cheers for an awesome night, lads.
#Hair of the Dog – The South Eastern Hotel
A pub that was a little outside of walking distance for our pub crawl was the South Eastern Hotel. Located just near the Lady Nelson Information Centre, this large complex has a huge dining area, front bar and back pokies room.
We stopped for a beer on our way out of town and it seemed like a great place to spend a Friday night.