52 Pubs in 52 Weeks: Mountain View Hotel, Gordonvale
Video edited by Isaac Egan, Interviews by Laura Packham, Photography by Mike Watt.
Steeped in all the tradition and charm you'd expect of any country Queensland pub, the Mountain View Hotel is Little Mulgrave's tucked away treasure.
Nestled beneath the region’s iconic bottle-green mountains, the two-storey hotel is surrounded by a
dense tropical forest along the Gillies Highway, about 10km southwest of Gordonvale.
At first glance, it appears just another quaint historic pub – a domain for Akubra-wearers and dusty blue singlets. But inside, stands an immaculate bar with friendly country folk and a spectacular beer garden.
A generous outdoor deck, covered by red, green and cream shadesails, sprawls out to a stone’s throw from the Little Mulgrave River – inviting many into the drink on a sweltering summer’s day.
Fresh from a swim, friends Mackenzie Waselynchuk and Keri-Leigh Porter have spent the past few years in Gordonvale, and since discovered the locals’ secret hideaway.
“It’s a pretty typical country type of pub but at the back it’s just breathtaking. I think this is a million dollar view,” Ms Waselynchuk says.
“We like to go for a swim at Little Mulgrave and this is always a good place to come and take in the view and you can bring the dogs sometime out the back.”
“It’s fantastic,” Ms Porter adds. “I was just saying to Mackenzie that this might be a good place for my upcoming wedding.
“It’s more secluded and I like the atmosphere, it’s very calming.”
Clocking off for another work day, patrons settle down to a beer beneath the front veranda, scrutinising their styrofoam stubby coolers and the day just had.
Local motor mechanic Troy Dalton interrupts the natter of bird calls with an infectious laugh, and is then briefly interrupted himself by the blare of a passing car along the scenic route to Cairns.
“This is a really small community so we’ve had some really sad times and some really fun times,” he says.
“My wife and I actually got married here at the creek and made everyone walk up the pub and had our reception at the little pub here.
“Then we’ve had some really good friends, younger and older who have passed on.”
Easing into a padded stool inside at the pristine bar, manager Kristine Falvo points to sheets of folded aeroplane-shaped newspapers piled beneath the square timber bar.
“We’re about the only pub around here that actually wraps our takeaway beers, we’re very known for it,” she says.
“Just wrap it up like a Christmas present,” she says twirling a Hahn Light beer in a week-old copy of The Cairns Post.
Owners Bev and Ken Monaghan, said the “mountain wrap” was not the only continued tradition of the pub, with the walls strewn with black and white snapshots of the region’s history.
“The thing I find very interesting is the timetable for the Gillies, when it was only one lane,” she says pointing to a metal poster hanging above the doorway.
“There was a three-hour allotted period, they left the bottom gate and they had to be up to the top gate by the certain time.
“That’s why this pub was originally built – to coincide with the opening of the Gillies range.”
A teacher aide and former limousine driver, the Monaghans bought the pub 13 years ago.
It has a colourful history, the building also previously used as a base to pack parachutes during WWII as well as hosting church services.
With magnificent mountain and river views, a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of XXXX Gold, the Mountain View Hotel has it all.
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Cool view: Keri-Leigh Porter (left) and Mackenzie Waselynchuk. Photo MIKE WATT