Scenic Rim Hot Air Ballooning with Historic Pub Trails

A morning Hot Air Balloon & an afternoon on a Historic Pub Trail


Canungra Hotel

18 Kidston St, Canungra

THE Canungra Hotel started life in 1916 as the Bellissima Guest House. Sawmill owner Robert Lahey built what was considered to be one of the finest hotels in the state, principally to offer accommodation to the travelling businessmen who were in Canungra to service his sawmill. The hotel was named after the ship which brought Lahey and his family to Australia from Ireland.It had its own electrical plant, water system and septic. The first license was granted to Bernhard William Conaghan in 1928.
After the Bellissima was licensed a bar was built beside it.The guest house was destroyed on January 22, 1937 and the Canungra Hotel was built in its place by owner Mr Shaw of Sydney. The new pub was opened by new licensee, Mrs Keating on October 9, 1937.

Australian Hotel, Boonah

32 High St, Boonah 

Australian Hotel Boonah 1902
THE Australian Hotel, which Boonah locals affectionately call the Aussie, is thought to be the town’s first pub.
It was built on its existing High Street site in 1888 and was established by the Blumberg family and opened under the management of Mr FW Wilkins, who had ‘considerable experience as a publican in California and elsewhere, and as he is about to erect a billiard room and there is excellent shooting in the vicinity, no doubt his entrepreneurship will be well rewarded’ (QT 18 April, 1889).
However Mr Wilkins’ tenure was not long-lived and in 1890 Adolph Blumberg took over the hotel. Later the hotel was run by Mrs Elizabeth Blumberg, widow of Levi.
The pub in the 1940s a dining room was added, along with a gentlemen’s room.A photograph in the Boonah Archives shows a group of well-dressed men sitting on the balcony of the Australian Hotel being given a demonstration in the new phonograph machine. The picture is thought to have been taken around 1905.The pub has starred in a feature film, alongside Aussie actor William McInnes, and Brenda says overnight guests may come face to face with the pub’s resident ghost.But have no fear, she’s very friendly.

Commercial Hotel, Boonah

39 High St, Boonah

Commerical Hotel Boonah
BOONAH’S ornate Commercial Hotel was built on its present site in 1904. Before it was built, the site was home to the Royal Exchange Hotel (formerly the Dugandan Hotel).
According to the Fassifern Guardian the owner of the former Royal Exchange, JC Streiner, had been leasing the hotel out since 1887 and had tried to sell it in 1890.
His lessees didn’t stay for long and by the turn of the century the facilities were said to be out of date and suffering under the stiff competition put up by the Australian Hotel and Simon’s Hotel. It is believed that when Robert Denner took up the license in 1904, Streiner was already planning a grand new building.

Dugandan Hotel

Corner of Rathdowney and Mt French Roads, Boonah

Carl Stumer's General Store - Dugandan Hotel Site
MUCH conjecture surrounds the history of the Dugandan Hotel. In some circles it is believed to be Boonah’s oldest pub building, built by the Stumer family in 1886. However those who subscribe to this argument say it is not the area’s oldest pub, due to it starting life as a general store, before being transformed into a hotel in the early 1900s.
However an article published in the Fassifern Guardian in 2006 argues that the Dugandan Hotel was actually a new building, commissioned by the Goan Family, and constructed to replace the Stumer store.
An article in the October 9, 1909 edition of the Fassifern Guardian says: ‘Mr Goan’s fine new hotel at Dugandan is now almost completed and it is expected that everything will be in readiness for opening business on or about the 27th.’
Later in the month the Guardian reported: ‘The new hotel at Dugandan is now completed. We were shown over the building yesterday by the builder, Mr Vincent, and were impressed with the thorough workmanship put into its construction. Now that the structure is complete to all outward appearance it looks quite an architectural acquisition.” The article went onto outline the features of the hotel, which included accommodation, a cellar and water tanks to ensure cool liquor, a kitchen and servants’ rooms.

Simon’s Tavern, Boonah

High Street, Boonah

THE Simon’s Tavern which stands in Boonah’s High Street looks nothing like the ornate hotel which first opened its doors on the site in 1902.
Carl Gustav Simon was the original developer and owner and Simon’s Tavern. A Fassifern Guardian story suggests the pub was the result of a German Lottery win for Simon and his two friends.
The trio shared the winning 2000 pound windfall and Gustav Simon decided to use his new fortune to build an impressive two-storey hotel beside his existing saddler building. He engaged local architect, Edward de Saluz Kretshmer to design the building. By 1902 it was open for business.
A story in the Fassifern Advocate on September 13 said: “Would you find a second hotel in Queensland that could compare with this; with its paneled walls in all rooms and passages throughout the whole building? An hotel which, besides the bar, can boast of 30 lofty and well-ventilated rooms, and where the proprietor, standing inside the bar, can overlook the front and back entrance, and at the same time can see through the doors of six rooms and conveniently serve at three bar tables.
“As to the outside appearance of the hotel, those who have seen the freshmen kiosk of Mr Muling in the Brisbane gardens, or the mansion of the Royal Bank, Gladstone Road, South Brisbane, and even the German Hotel at Woolloongabba, will be able to form an idea as to its lofty and elegant forms.” However despite winning the lottery, Gustav was apparently nearly bankrupted by the cost of building the large ornate hotel. One local historian says Gustav’s finances were so tight that he was forced to wear a shop-bought suit to the opening. It was only that his friend and successful local businessman, Charlie Behrendorff agreed to lend him money, that Gustav was able to finish the southern weatherboard wall of his hotel in Crows Ash weatherboards.
Gustav Simon died on April 11, 1905. The original Simon’s Tavern was destroyed and was replaced by the current building in the 1970s.

St Bernard’s Hotel

101 Alpine Terrace, Mount Tamborine

ST Bernard’s Hotel was built by Robert Muir in 1881 on the site of the present council quarry as an accommodation house for its managers and staff. Muir bought almost 2000 acres of heavy scrubland at the top of the southern end of Tamborine Mountain, with the intention of growing sugar cane on the cleared land. But Mr Muir was drowned in the flooded Logan River at Yatala in 1887.The new owners started a village settlement and moved St Bernard’s to its present site in 1898. Over the years St Bernard’s has had many roles, including post office receiving centre. In 1915 it was licensed and during the 1920s St Bernard’s was used as a convalescent Private Hotel and accommodation house for up to 100 guests.Today St Bernard’s offers visitors a country home-style atmosphere with the warm ambience you’d expect to find in a country pub. Sit under the pub’s 100-year-old trees and take in the coastal views.