Mintaro - Places to See


Magpie & Stump Hotel
This hotel has been licensed since 1851 when, if the stories are correct, it was a wild pub catering for the needs of the itinerant bullock and mule drivers who passed through the town. Over the years it has changed name - it was once known simply as Mintaro Hotel - but in recent times it has been carefully revived as a typical English village pub. Its location at the centre of the town ensures it is a focal point.

Between the Magpie and Stump and the old Council chambers (now done up) are the historic bullock stables. If you go around the back and look at the wall which faces onto the street you can still see huge rings where the bullocks were tied up at night time, presumably so the bullock drivers had only a short walk to the pubs which existed on either side of the stable. You can buy a pizza cooked in the town's original baker's oven which is located out the back of the pub. The oven dates from the late 1850s. Beyond the baker's oven is a room in the pub devoted to the Mintaro Coursing Club which started in 1884. The last live hare was chased to its doom in 1986. The continued until 1997 with a drag lure when it closed.

Historic Buildings
There are literally dozens of domestic historic buildings in Mintaro. The only sensible thing to do is to park as close to the Magpie & Stump Hotel and start walking. Among the town's charming buildings are Reilly's Cottage Gallery and Wines (Hugh Reilly built the cottage in the 1870s - he was a cobbler and harness maker), Teapot Inn, The Old Manse, the Pay Office Cottage, The Mintaro Institute (1878), the old council chambers and Mintaro Mews. A symbol of the changing nature of the town is that the old General Store is now an Antiques Store.

The Olde Devonshire Arms
The Olde Devonshire Arms (which dates from 1856 and now used as a Bed and Breakfast destination) is located just along the road from the Magpie and Stump Hotel. It was originally called the Devonshire Arms. It was the second pub in town to entertain the bullockies and was so large (go down the side and you will see that it goes on forever) it had a shooting gallery and a skittles alley below and up top there was a huge open space which was 70 feet by 40 feet.

Over the Road from the Devonshire Arms
Over the road are a run of shops (including the Teapot Inn which has attic accommodation) that provided the provisions for the bullock and mule drivers who passed through the town.

Martindale Hall
Located on the road between Mintaro and Manoora, Martindale Hall is a superbly preserved Georgian style mansion which was built in 1879-1880 for Edmund Bowman who lived in the house until 1891. In recent times it has been used as the mansion in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock and been converted into an excellent guest house. For more information contact (08) 8843 9088

Mintaro Slate Quarries
Mintaro has a world reputation for its Cambrian era slate which has been used internationally for the production of billiard tables. Such was the fame and quality of the slate that Walter Lindrum, the great Australian billiards champion, wrote to the Quarry to congratulate them on the quality of their slate. Slate has been mined in the area since the 1860s. It is possible to inspect the quarry although the owners are not happy about people wandering around the site as there are obvious safety issues. Contact (08) 8843 9077 for details.

Wineries
Reillys Cottage
Located on the corner of Burra and Hill Streets in Mintaro this small vineyard and winery was established in 1994 and specialises in red and white table wines and port derived from cabernet sauvignon, riesling, Grenache and shiraz grapes. It is open on weekends for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8843 9013.

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Mintaro Cellars
Located on Leasingham Road in Mintaro this small vineyard and winery was established in 1984 and specialises in red and white table wines and tawny port derived from cabernet sauvignon, riesling, shiraz and cabernet franc grapes. It is open seven days a week for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8843 9046.

Pikes Polish Hill River Estate
Located on Polish Hill River Road north-west of Mintaro this small vineyard and winery was established in 1984 and specialises in red and white table wines derived from cabernet sauvignon, riesling, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, Merlot, cabernet franc and sangiovese grapes. It is located next door to the Old Polish Hill River Church which dates from the 1870s. It is open seven days a week for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8843 4370.

Paulett Wines
Located on Polish Hill River Road north-west of Mintaro this small, family-owned vineyard and winery was established in 1983 and specialises in dry red and white table wines and sparkling wines derived from cabernet sauvignon, riesling, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and Merlot grapes. It is open seven days a week for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8843 4328.

The Wilson Vineyard
Located on Polish Hill River Road north-west of Mintaro this small, family-owned vineyard and winery was established in 1974 and specialises in red and white table wines and fortified wines derived from cabernet sauvignon, riesling, shiraz, zinfandel, semillon, chardonnay, Malbec and traminer grapes. It is open on weekends for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8843 4310.

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