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7 of the Best Country Pubs in South Australia

7 Dec 2021

Did you know that at last count, there were more than 6,000 pubs in Australia?

From the quirky to the world-famous, Australians love exploring unique taverns and grandiose bars that are perfect on any type of road trip! 

Luckily, South Australia has plenty to work with, so if staying refreshed and having a good time is your thing, SA is definitely for you!


If you're already planning a road trip to South Australia, or even if you're not, you owe it to yourself to try some of these signature country pubs.

Here are seven of the best in SA!

Stanley Bridge Tavern, Verdun

Sa's best country pubs stanley bridge tavern

Image Credit: @stanleybridgetavern

There are country pubs, and then there is the Stanley Bridge Tavern.

This newly restored gem in Verdun, South Australia, just outside Adelaide on the road from Hahndorf to Balhannah in the Adelaide Hills, has been around since 1853.

Very much the quintessential Australian pub where locals meet for an afternoon or evening meal complemented by a pint from the growing number of local craft breweries. This tavern is always buzzing and well worth a visit as soon as the late afternoon sun starts bending through its windows.

Sa's best country pubs stanley bridge tavern2

Image Credit: @stanleybridgetavern

With new owners since 2016, they have transformed the pub into a destination dining restaurant while at the same time keeping their front bar regulars happy.

The menu features everything from pork belly to pan-roasted chicken and all the classics to please even the fussiest of eaters. A sunny afternoon in the beer garden here is always time well spent.

William Creek Tavern, William Creek

Sa's best country pubs william creek tavern

Image Credit: @williamcreekhotel

One of the most remote locations on our list, William Creek Tavern sits in one of the most idyllic locations in South Australia because of its proximity to the iconic Kati Thanda Lake-Eyre, the lowest natural point of elevation in Australia at 15 meters below sea level.

Built using discarded sleepers from the iconic Ghan Railway, history seeps through every corner of this still popular and uniquely quirky tavern on the famous Oodnadatta Track between Marree and Oodnadatta, two hours east of Coober Pedy.

Surrounded by Anna Creek Station, one of the largest cattle stations in the world, not only is it a hotel-motel in its own right, the tavern includes a campground for seasoned travellers and has self-contained accommodation options if you end up staying for one too many! (ProTip: you might not be alone).

Sa's best country pubs william creek tavern dog friendly

Image Credit: @williamcreekhotel

Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, the William Creek Tavern is the kind of pub where locals and travellers meet at the end of the day to enjoy a cold one, a chat about all manner of topics (nothing is off limits here) and any of the hearty country meals available from the restaurant.

If you’re on a mission to visit every pub in South Australia, this one is not to be missed! And don’t be surprised if you’re there when a Hollywood film crew rocks up, or a big name celebrity pops round for a coldie. It’s an icon of the South Australian outback, after all, and at the gateway to the Simpson Desert.

Sevenhill Hotel, Clare Valley

Sa's best country pubs sevenhill hotel clare valley

Image Credit @sevenhillhotel

All the elements of a perfect South Aussie pub experience can be found at the Sevenhill Hotel.

Almost certainly one of the best pubs in the state, the success of this establishment can be put down to its kitchen. Serving great homemade food sourced from local producers, every meal is beautifully paired with any number of the nearby Clare valley winemakers product.

Priding itself on providing an inviting, hospitable atmosphere while serving the best wine, beer and food the Clare Valley region has to offer!

Sa's best country pubs sevenhill hotel clare valley schnitzel

Image Credit @sevenhillhotel

Opened way back in 1863, Sevenhill Hotel might not look it, but the original premises is over 150 years old.

Steeped in local history, Sevenhill is a must-visit if you are ever in the town of Sevenhills about an hours drive north of Adelaide in one of Australia's best wine regions. Expect to meet a winemaker or three here!

Uraidla Hotel, Uraidla

Sa's best country pubs uraidla hotel craft beer

Image Credit: @uraidlahotel

This popular pub in the Adelaide Hills is a gastronomic hub with its own microbrewery, bakery, and cafe all packed into one.

The Uraidla Hotel aka 'the worst and best' pub in Uraidla (it's the only one) brews its own craft beer label which you can now buy in most good bottle shops, and pours a wide variety of lagers, IPAs, and stouts.

Always at the forefront of sustainable environmental business practices, sustainability is the vision of the owners and employees, setting a benchmark for more local businesses to follow.

Sa's best country pubs uraidla hotel

Image Credit: @uraidlahotel

Located in an idyllic spot in the Adelaide Hills, the Uraidla complements its homemade brews with a menu packed with pub classics, gourmet creations and a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options.

Given its enviable location, the hotel is popular on sunny weekends as it has ample outdoor seating areas, its own chicken coop and access to a bustling main street where local markets, food artisans and antique shops draw a diverse crowd.

They will also cater for your private function or you can hire the venue for your own event!

Penneshaw Hotel, Kangaroo Island

Sa's best country pubs penneshaw hotel

Image Credit @penneshawhotel

Anybody heading to Kangaroo Island, sometimes referred to as ‘Australia’s Galapagos,’ would be wise to give Penneshaw Hotel a visit. With a wide range of beers on tap and a cosy vibe created by their stone wall building, Penneshaw is well-known to produce some of the best food on the island.

Located right at the beginning of the island, the hotel offers uninterrupted views over Backstairs Passage with absolute water frontage. Glass walls at the front of the outdoor area open up the view to sea, meaning that from the moment you step through the doors, the Penneshaw’s ambience is relaxed and welcoming.

Sa's best country pubs penneshaw hotel  seafood

Image Credit @penneshawhotel

On the menu at Penny’s Restaurant you'll find a variety of entrees and mains that won't disappoint, with everything from fresh seafood to burgers and of course, a classic Australian beef or chicken schnitzel!

Prairie Hotel, Parachilna

Sa's best country pubs prairie hotel

Credit Image: @prairiehotel

The Prairie Hotel is another icon of the South Australian outback located a cool 470 kilometres north of Adelaide, close to the Flinders Ranges in Parachilna, which has a reported population of 16! This one-of-a-kind Australian-style outback pub is the place to get stuck into their signature mixed grill which famously features kangaroo fillet, camel sausage, and a native pepper leaf jus.

Sa's best country pubs prairie hotel food and drink

Credit Image: @prairiehotel

Aside from the hotel, restaurant, and brewhouse, you can also take a helicopter tour of the nearby Ediacara fossil field which is a World Heritage Site visited by Sir David Attenborough and featured in his ‘First Life’ documentary series in 2014.

Closed during the hotter summer months, this hotel is a true South Australian icon!

Marion Bay Tavern, Yorke Peninsula

This modern country pub is built from recycled wood and corrugated iron, and sits in the isolated but popular holiday spot of Marion Bay on the much loved Yorke Peninsula.

The atmosphere here is always warm and welcoming, with a superb view of the jetty and surrounding beaches.

Sa's best country pubs marion bay  food

The Tavern boasts relaxed indoor and outdoor spaces and offers a menu which gives diners a choice between bar snacks and a full-on restaurant menu with specialities like beer-battered fish and chips, salt and pepper squid and a porterhouse steak that is said to be the best on the peninsula!

Enjoy all the modern comforts here only a stone's throw from some of South Australia’s best beaches.

Road Trip The Best Country Pubs In South Australia Now!

A road trip to some of these locations will take your breath away, and by including some of the best country pubs in South Australia, you immediately take your trip to a whole new level of local.

Whether you want to discover the outback, laze on a beach or visit world heritage sites, South Australia really does have it all!

Are you about to visit South Australia? Not sure where to go or where to stay?


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