Best pubs in Queensland: Venue with east coast's best view

Amanda Collins with her neices Felicity and Taitum McConville from Mackay enjoy a cold beverage and a stellar ocean view at the Eimeo Pacific Hotel near Mackay.
Amanda Collins with her neices Felicity and Taitum McConville from Mackay enjoy a cold beverage and a stellar ocean view at the Eimeo Pacific Hotel near Mackay. Lachie Millard

IT WAS named after a Tahitian Island and the Eimeo Pacific Hotel, 14km north of Mackay, effortlessly lives up to expectations of a South Pacific paradise.

Residing on a cliff for more than a century, the Eimeo Pacific Hotel lays claim to one of the most impressive locations on Australia's eastern seaboard.

It carries the name of a Mackay beach side suburb named in the late 19th century by Jeremiah Armitage, a timber merchant and adventurer who gazed at the view from the cliff top and was reminded of Mo'orea Island.

Mo'orea is an island near Tahiti once known as "Aimeho,'' or perhaps "Aimeo,'' but meaning, "my only home''.

Don Stayte, scion of the Stayte family who have owned the Eimeo for the bulk of the past 70 years (his grandmother sold it briefly in the 1950s and repurchased it in 1960), has a deep affection for a pub which, much like the Breakfast Creek Hotel in Brisbane, has woven itself deeply into the community fabric.

Don, Mackay born-and-bred but now a resident on the Gold Coast with wife Darlene to keep close to the grown kids, says it's appropriate the pub is named after an island.

"The fact is it is actually built on one, and not many people know that,'' he says.

"Way, way back it was a sort of hunting lodge for the early pioneers because there were kangaroos and wallabies and a lot of fish out there, and people would come over from Mackay on a boat and stay there to do a bit of hunting,'' he says.

A road was built across a tidal salt pan separating the pub from the mainland which motorists now effortlessly drive across before approaching a heritage-listed listed avenue of mango trees serving as a sort of welcoming, leafy green line of sentinels.

"Mango Avenue,'' as it's called, is a bit like the pub itself - a fixture of the district and an attractive symbol of Mackay's laid-back, tropical life style.

Don says the pub may be a fixture but it's popularity has waxed and waned across the century.

It began operating as a pub the same year Australian troops hit the beaches in Gallipoli in 1915 and started to become popular in the 1930s, possibly as the car became the preferred mode of transport.

By the early 1940s it was home to America servicemen after Uncle Sam commandeered it as part of the war effort.

Later in the 1960s and 1970s the Macky district embraced it warmly, enamoured by the beauty of the beer garden where drinkers and diners still while away a Sunday afternoon gazing at the blue Pacific.

For Amanda Collins, new to Mackay and settling in to her new home on the city's south side, the Eimeo has opened her eyes to exactly what the Mackay district, with its magnificent northern beaches and enchanting hinterland, has to offer.

"This really is a beautiful part of the world.''

Topics:  best pubs queensland eimeo eimeo pacific hotel heritage mackay region queensland pubs views

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'Mafia' claims surface in Ipswich armed robbery appeal

The jailed man says his conviction and sentence for armed robbery was wrong. (File)

Jailed armed robber says witness lied repeatedly

‘Dumb f**ks’: The words coming back to bite Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook is in full on defence mode. Picture: Tobias schwarz

‘Dumb f**ks’: The two words coming back to bite Mark Zuckerberg

Hit the road and help raise funds for Autism Qld

JOIN IN: Members from the Southsiders 4x4 are encouraging people to sign up for an upcoming charity day, which will raise money for Autism Queensland.

A convoy will take place from Browns Plains to Goomburra.

Local Partners