11 North Coast Pubs We Love
Coastbeat takes a bit of a crawl from north to south to discover the best pubs for food, music and views in our neck of the woods…
One of the most happening pubs on the east coast, the Hotel Brunswick is an institution. The hotel was established in 1884 and has retained its old-school feel, whilst also hosting some of the best live music in the region (which is saying a lot). It’s one of the few hotels left that is genuinely family orientated; a place where you can enjoy a meal before dancing together to local bands in a beautiful courtyard. Definitely one of our favourite pub experiences.
This hotel delivers one of our favourite pub experiences. Image courtesy of Hotel Brunswick
Unlike many of the pubs on our list with decades under their belt, this is a youngster, having opened in 1991 to much fanfare due to high-profile owners, Paul Hogan and John “Strop” Cornell. It took no time at all though for this pub to establish itself as one of most frequented watering holes in the region. Close to three decades on, it would a rarity for anyone visiting Byron Bay not to call into this great, open-plan pub known for its live performances and relaxed, beachy vibe.
Perched atop a headland overlooking a vast expanse of ocean, the Pacific Hotel has a truly magnificent view. Like many historical pubs, it’s also got an atmosphere to match and the added bonus of a delicious menu.
A brew with a view! Image courtesy of Yamba’s Pacific Hotel
True to form, the delightful town of Bellingen is home to a gorgeous pub that dates back to 1901 and boasts a consistently good line-up of live music and some restaurant-quality meals.
Remember the famous Slim Dusty song? The pub that inspired it is located in a little-known nook of the Nambucca Shire. It’s well-worth undertaking a Sunday drive through the pretty valley for lunch at the pub, which offers true-blue pub grub and quintessentially Aussie décor. There’s also a campground across the road if you’re in for the long haul.
A big pub for a little village, the Seabreeze is the place to be in South West Rocks – featuring plenty of live music and excellent food options. Located in the centre of town, The Seabreeze also puts on two of the region’s best small festivals, GermanFest (happening later this month) and Crafts on the Coast that occurs annually in March.
Slow roasted pork knuckle by the Seabreeze Beach Hotel. Photo by Steven Woodburn
When I was a young adult, the ‘Beachy’ was a popular night club – the place to end a big night out. These days, it’s a popular restaurant where locals and visitors like to begin their festivities with cocktails and sunset views across the Hastings River.
With four and a half stars on Trip Advisor, this award-winning hotel is one of the most well-reviewed on the north coast. Dine at the bistro to enjoy their signature local oysters and yummy desserts – just make sure you book a table; the place is a popular community hub.
9. Wynter Tavern, Taree
We believe in going where the locals head to, which is why the Wynter Tavern is our choice for this region. The family-friendly hotel has been recently renovated and boasts an extensive menu that features plenty of Manning Valley produce.
One of the dishes from their extensive menu. Image courtesy of the Wynter Tavern
By now you’ll notice we’re partial to a beer with a view, and the Lakes and Ocean Hotel has one of the best. Looking out across the lake channel, you can really settle in for the night at this atmospheric watering hole.
With plenty of five-star reviews, high-quality meals and stunning lake vistas – the ‘Recky’ as locals call it, is a special place to enjoy a quiet drink. Just make sure you head in early to nab a balcony seat for the best sunset view. Lounging on the lawn is also a wonderful way to while away a summery afternoon.
The ‘Recky’ in Pacific Palms (south of Forster) offers the perfect view for a sundowner