A life-long desire to run a country pub and a lucky Google search have seen a trio of women move up from the big smoke to take over running the Hivesville Hotel.
Nicole Hancock, her daughter Chelsea and mother Desley Peach recently began operating the iconic property, which has been at the heart of Hivesville – in one form or another – since 1911.
While it’s a far cry from their former lives in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Beaudesert and Townsville, they say they’re really enjoying the experience.
Nicole said owning a country pub had been one of her longstanding ambitions, and she stumbled over the property online by accident a few months ago.
An inspection followed, and soon afterwards the family took over the pub without knowing much about the South Burnett at all … including how to get to Murgon.
But locals have been more than willing to help the trio find its feet, and the women say they’re having a lot of fun meeting everyone.
“Trapper Ramke, who everyone calls the Mayor of Hivesville, dropped by not long after we opened and told us a lot about the place,” Nicole said.
“We found out Trapper had done a lot of work on the building over the years, including all the beautiful woodwork in the public bar.
“He’s an amazing man, and I call him Mr Mayor whenever he comes in.”
The trio intends to continue the hotel’s operations largely “as normal”.
This includes daily lunches and dinners, friendly bar service and offering overnight accommodation in the hotel’s rooms or cabins located out back.
But one thing Nicole would like to do is bring in a bit more live music.
“The Kennel Jam Sessions that used to run here once a month won’t be running any more because they were created by the previous owner, but we’re looking around to see what else we can add,” she said.
“Maybe some country music, maybe some karaoke … we’ll see what turns up.”
Footnote: The Hivesville Hotel was established by George Seymour in 1911 but was called the Proston Hotel, a name that caused a lot of confusion for travellers. It was destroyed by fire in 1935 and the current hotel – renamed the Hivesville Hotel – was built to replace it. During construction, a temporary bar operated across the road in the former butcher’s shop.