Five great country pubs in regional Victoria

Koroit potato chips crowned with runny eggs at the Bunyip Hotel.
Koroit potato chips crowned with runny eggs at the Bunyip Hotel. Photo: Richard Cornish

On the road and looking for a great Australian pub? Try these reliable watering holes.

The Bunyip Hotel, Cavendish

It's been the pride of the town since the 1840s, sitting proudly on the banks of the Wannon River, four hours west of Melbourne. Some make the drive for ex-MoVida chef James Campbell's massive mutton chop with Koroit potato chips crowned with a runny egg (pictured) and washed down with a glass of Henty Estate shiraz. Or they come for the ever-changing Sunday chef's table, five shared courses for an exceedingly modest $44 a head.

17-25 Scott Street, Cavendish, 03 5574 2205, bunyiphotelcavendish.com

Gunbower Family Hotel, Gunbower    

This pub, on the Gunbower Creek, 40 kilometres downstream of the Murray from Echuca, serves what some say is Australia's best steak. The publican, farmer and butcher Richard McGillivray, raises cattle on his farm nearby, dry-ages sides of beef, and grills them expertly.

18-20 Murray Valley Highway, Gunbower, 03 5487 1214, gunbowerhotel.com.au

The Red Hill Hotel, Chewton  

On the winding road to Castlemaine is the great old pub with a laid-back feel and classic pub menu with dishes such as fried ricotta gnocchi with rocket pesto. When live music starts again, this place will rock.

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163 Main Road, Chewton, 03 5416 1133, redhillhotel.com.au

Whorouly Hotel, Whorouly 

Make a beeline for Cyril, the dining room at this 1927 pub because local talented chefs Tim Witherow and Sally Wright took over the kitchen last week and bring their wealth of experience and love of High Country produce to pub classics, from burgers to steak and less traditional offerings such as asparagus and goat's curd croquettes and cauliflower and tomato pie. 

542 Whorouly Road, Whorouly, 03 5727 1424

Radio Springs Hotel, Lyonville

After a long walk on the old Daylesford train line, there is nothing more refreshing than a pint of Holgate IPA pulled fresh from the keg. The deco brick pub in this central Victoria village does a really good charcuterie plate and porchetta with roast apple and cabbage. 

1 High Street, Lyonville, 03 5348 5562, radiospringshotel.com.au