My memory of the Ardath Pub was that it was on the loop of a horseshoe shaped road, and in the middle of nowhere. You could see it for miles and it was a beacon to anyone who drove past. Not quite true because (a) no one drives past, and (b) it is not on a horseshoe shaped road. But I would still stay it is a beacon and quite remote. It is the only pub between Bruce Rock and Corrigin and one of the few in the eastern wheatbelt of Western Australia.
Maybe it was looming and visible in my memory because it featured in a national beer advertisement in the 1980s, which if I’m honest was set in the wild, wild west of the United States of America while still claiming to be part of WA’s history. Or was it the gold rush. Memory is a fickle thing for those of us who are quite lazy.
Shall I set you straight? The Ardath Pub is one of the original State Hotels. One of many that were built in in the late 1800s and early 1900s to provide accommodation for government employees who travelled for work. These days only a handful remain – notably the Muntadgin Pub (“The Munty”), the Gwalia Pub, close to Leonora in the Goldfields and the Ardath Pub.
On this trip I visited the Munty Pub which is my brother’s local, and then on the way back to Perth swung by Bruce Rock for a chicken parmigiana and then the extra 20km out of town to visit this beacon in the wheatbelt – the Ardath Pub.
The town of Ardath used to be bigger. But it still has the pub, a tennis court and a golf course. These golf courses are another quirk of the wheatbelt. The greens are made from black sand. The fairways sometimes have grass, but it is likely to be dried off.
In Ardath, if you can find the golf course manager (link) I’m sure it would be appreciated if you paid the green fees, but if not you can have a quick round on a pretty decent course before you head to lunch (at the Pub) or head back to your sleeping place.
On the approach to the golf course don’t miss the Shoe Tree.
The wheatbelt is just there on the doorstep of Perth (or visa versa). My early childhood was there, and since leaving I have traveled the world. These pubs are still there, as are the golf courses and the open roads. When I lived at the edge of the Andes in Santiago de Chile I loved the mountains, but deep down I felt a bit alarmed because they loomed next to me. When I go back to the farm I realise why – because I was missing the flat horizons that extend in every direction and beyond them the sky. Dry, calm, comforting & worth a try.
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This post is linked to Faraway Files #60 – click here to get back.
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