Story: October 2015: Lynd Junction, Outback north-west Queensland, Australia
A tiny bar in Queensland’s Outback is vying for one of the world’s biggest awards – a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The 1.2m2 (or almost 13 square feet) bar, which can fit just two people at the bar at any one time, has applied to The Guinness Book of Records for the coveted title, which is currently held by Germany’s Blomberger Saustall that is 5.19m2
With only 12 people living within a 10km radius of the bar, the aptly named Lynd Junction Oasis Roadhouse truly is a sanctuary in the Queensland outback as it’s the only watering hole on a stretch of outback highway midway between the tropical North Queensland centres of Cairns and Townsville and the last fuel stop for 260km.
Despite its isolation, the roadhouse and pub are a popular stopover for long-distance truckers, local farmworkers, miners and tourists travelling through Queensland’s Outback.
It’s size makes it the perfect place to have a friendly drink says Pauline Royce, who has owned the Oasis Roadhouse for the past 10 years. “It does get quite busy at times. It’s a bit squishy, so no room for fights in here!”
The most they ever fit in the bar at one time on a dare was 28 people – and on another night even managed to get a cow into the tiny space!
It’s a long way from the pubs and bars of Dublin for Irish bar worker and backpacker Stacy Murray.
“It’s in the middle of nowhere there’s just no-one around no distractions we meet so many different people passing by. Also we found compared to the cities everybody is just so down to earth so relaxed it’s just a really fun place to work,” says Stacy.
Despite the isolation, the busy road and curiosity surrounding the small bar means the clientele are never dull says Stacy, who chanced across an advertisement to work at the bar.
“It’s a lot busier if you’re working in a pub in Dublin but then even though it’s in the middle of a city we meet a bigger variety of people that come through here, you have backpackers you have locals.
“While it might not be as busy it’s a lot more interesting to work in a smaller bar like this. You get to know a lot more people, like the truckies that come through you get to know them, yeah a lot more friendly.”
Stacy says it is so friendly she and a travel companion turned their few weeks of work in to an extended stay.
Even without taking out the title of World’s Smallest Bar yet, the Oasis has already made international headlines and become a must see attraction for those heading to the Queensland outback.
“We’ve had lots of international visitors, we’ve had a write up on the front page of an Indian newspaper we’ve had a story done in the New York Times on us and there’s been a couple of French newspapers that have done stories,” says owner Pauline.
Inside the bar there’s a wooden countertop, a refrigerator, serving area and standing room only for patrons. There’s not even room for a bar stool so visitors can sit and sip their frosty beer on a hot Queensland day.
The origins of the size of the bar, come down to money saving. Back in 1980 when the original owners of the Roadhouse were looking to build the bar, the cost of a liquor licence was determined by the size of the bar, the smaller the bar the lower the government fees.
A small bar serving big beers, big burgers with a big side of small town country hospitality.
For more information:
Contact Media Only:
Kerri Anderson, Tourism and Events Queensland
T: +61 (0)7 3535 5010, M: +61 (0)422 041 285
0:00 Exterior shot of the pub with signage above the doorway which moves from outside into the pub.
0:07 Camera walks up to counter of the bar, greeted by worker who asks “G’day welcome to Australia’s smallest bar what can I get you?”
0:11 Vision of the sign above the bar door which shows the licensee and the hours of operation of the bar.
0:16 Vision of a group of people walking in to the bar.
0:29 Vision of that same group of people inside the bar.
0:35 Sped up shot of group of people walking in and filling up the bar.
0:42 Man ordering a beer at the bar.
0:45 Bar worker getting a beer out of the refrigerator and giving it to patron “There you go $6 thank you”.
0:55 Man opening his wallet and paying for beer.
0:58 Sign in bar ‘Outback Australia Aussie Watering Hole’.
1:03 Camera walking in to the bar patron says “Right O lets go outside and have our beers”.
1:07 Group of patrons walking out of the bar with beers in hand.
1:15 Group of patrons sitting at table outside the bar drinking beers and talking.
Interview with patron Peter Harvey from Lismore
1:33 We’ve been on a road trip from Lismore in New South Wales and we’ve been up to Cooktown and we’re on our way back down towards home and we stopped in here to have a look at the smallest pub in Australia.
Interview with Pauline Royce, owner of Oasis Roadhouse and smallest bar
1:47 We’ve had as I said lots of international visitors we’ve had a write up on the front page of an Indian newspaper we’ve had a story done in the New York Times on us and there’s been a couple of French newspapers that have done stories.
2:08 Question from interviewer “So that must be interesting having a story in one of the world’s largest cities, and here you are at one of the cross roads where the population is about what 20?” Answer from Pauline “Well right here at the Oasis the population is only 2 to 4 and within a 10km radius the population grows to about 12 I suppose”.
2:33 We’ve just recently applied to the Guinness Book of Records for the World’s Smallest Bar at present the World’s Smallest Bar in the Guinness Book of Records is in Germany and it is five square metres, and our bar here is only 1.2square metres.
2:54 We’re going to have a big party here and celebrate our Guinness Book of Records nomination or acceptance I hope.
3:02 It does get quite busy at times in the bar here itself at any one time we can fit up to 23, 28 people it’s a bit squishy no room for fights in here anyway.
3:17 General vision of Lynd Junction, north west Queensland, where the smallest bar is located.
3:24 Vision of a large road train/truck travelling along outback road coming to a stop out the front of the bar.
Interview with bar worker – Stacy Murray from Ireland
3:46 It’s in the middle of nowhere there’s just no-one around no distractions we meet so many different people coming passing by there’s always somebody different passing by. Also we found compared to the cities everybody is just so down to earth so relaxed it’s just a really fun place to work.
4:06 They’re friendly they like to drink just as much as we like to drink. So we like that. I think they’re a lot more laid back than Irish people a lot more laid back than other people that we’ve met.
4:19 It’s a lot busier if you’re working in a pub in Dublin but then even though it’s in the middle of a city we meet a bigger variety of people that come through here, you have backpackers you have locals. While it might not be as busy it’s a lot more interesting to work in a smaller bar like this. You get to know a lot more people like the truckies that come through you get to know them, yeah a lot more friendly.
4:47 We knew there was a bar here but we didn’t realize it was the smallest one in Australia. So first we were happy that there was a bar here and yeah we were amazed at just how small it is, but yet there’s always people.
5:04 General vision of the bar without any patrons.
5:26 Bar worker bringing giant burger and beer out to the counter of the bar.
5:30 Woman and little girl with big cowboy hat taking burger and beer from the bar.
5:39 Pair of motorbikes leaving the Oasis Roadhouse
5:50 Animated map showing location of Lynd Junction in Queensland