Australia: Cracow QLD

There’s just one reason why we’re here – the Cracow Hotel. The FB site Country Pub Camping got this one right – it’s a fabulous pub. Owned by boxing guru Fred Brophy and stacked to the brim with memorabilia, this pub has atmosphere by the bucketload.

Cracow is a ghost town, so the pub is a welcome sight. And Fred Brophy is one helluva welcoming publican. He sits behind the bar quietly holding court, telling engaging stories about his colourful time as the owner of Brophy Tent Boxing, about the hotel and about Cracow.

Fred, in his younger years cut his teeth in the entertainment industry in the family owned Brophy Circus. Today, he has a troupe of boxers who take on local lads throughout Queensland, in what’s billed as one of the last Boxing Tent Competitions in the world. The season begins in Cracow and goes on to regional and city venues. If you’ve been to the Birdsville Races, you would have seen his lads in action.

About the hotel, Fred tells of the female ghost who has wandered throughout the hotel since the 1930’s, always in the early morn. Apparently, the married 24 year old was in one of the hotel rooms enjoying a lustful affair with the local relieving teacher when her husband stormed into the bar, shot a bullet up through the ceiling into the above room and bed where she and her lover lay. She died, her lover survived.

About Cracow, Fred tells the story of when the pop’n was 3000 during its gold rush hey days of the 1930s. The town’s greatest moments are behind it now and the few streets that make up Cracow today are pretty much deserted. A gold mine is still operational just outside Cracow, but the miners for whatever reason rarely frequent the pub.

Fred looks after his guests well. The backyard fire doubles as a creative bbq, and here we sat all night drinking Fred’s fabulous Spanish wine, trading travel stories and watching Horn and Tszyu fight it out. It was a you beaut Aussie night out under the stars.

Not far from the hotel is the Heritage Centre which tells of Cracow’s gold mining years. It is worth a visit.

There are 3 free powered sites at the Heritage Centre with toilet and shower facilities. A further 6 powered sites have just been built in the next allotment. Facilities are provided by the local council in exchange for a donation.

If you want a slice of well priced real estate, then houses like the one below sell for $18k to $30k.

Yes, there are many things to like about Cracow, even the name. Perhaps it’s a play on the Polish city Krakow where the first white settler’s wife hailed from, perhaps it’s the sound of a whip Crack O.

Update: Ownership of hotel has changed. Read this article for more info

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