Historic Sites on the Sunshine Coast: Joe’s Water Hole

Joe's Waterhole image source: https://frankeeg.wordpress.com


The country pub is a special and almost sacred place within Australian culture. Most of the country pubs in Australia appeared in the late 1850’s following the Goldrush.

In the early days, they followed North European traditions of hops and beer making, and it is a tradition that is still strong today. What makes the Australian pub so important, it is a nexus for culture.  A place for the far-flung community to congregate, talk and relax after a hard day’s work.

To experience the country pub atmosphere is to experience a slice of Queensland history and culture.  

Joe’s Water Hole in Eumundi is a country pub the has managed to keep its traditional identity and place in the community alive since the late 19th century.  A gem of a country pub nestled opposite one of the greatest shopping experiences, the Eumundi Marketplace.



Joe’s Water Hole was originally constructed as a single storey building known as the 1891 and was originally known as The Railway Hotel.  It operated as the Railway Hotel until 1912 when a new pub, called the Imperial – a more traditional two storey Queensland pub opened in town.

The Railway Hotel changed its name to The Commercial and opened up a second floor to compete with its new rival. In 1924 a fire swept through the town of Eumundi taking many buildings with it, including the Commercial. The pub was rebuilt in 1926 and this structure still stands today.

In 1962, Joe Whittering became the owner of The Commercial after he swapped his sugar-cane farm for the hotel.  Joe was a popular landlord, well known amongst the community for his practical jokes and the lively atmosphere he generated in his pub.  As Joe was so well-known he became a mojor draw card for the pub and The Commercial became known as Joe’s Water Hole locally.

In 1982 Joe’s son took over the pub and in 1987 renamed the pub officially to Joe’s Water Hole in honour of his father’s legacy.  The pub left the family in 2005, when it was bought by Brett Lewis – who is keen to keep the traditional, friendly and small town feel of the pub.


Current day

Today Joes Water Hole has four guest rooms to offer, a game room that boasts 15 poker machines and the Woodcutters Bistro.

The small town, community feel of this pub can be seen in the events that the pub run. For example an upcoming event will be a special anniversary party for their long-serving bar-maid of 35 years, named Sophie’s Day, where there is a band, fancy dresses and all out fun.

Its place at the heart of the Eumundi community can also be seen by the number of local clubs, and organisations that take place there, such as the Eumundi Rotary club fund-raisers.

It is also a place that fosters and helps new musical talent grow. The venue plays host to live music from touring national and international acts throughout the year as well as many local musicians.

Eumundi is still a small traditional Queensland farming community, that attracts a lot of tourists on the weekend due to the amazing Eumundi Marketplace.   Joe’s Water Hole has become a popular spot for these tourists due to its amazing menu, and traditional Australian beer.

It is not unusual to read about them meeting the small town, sweat stained Queensland farmers who are willing to share a slice of small town cultural history.

So, if you are looking to experience a traditional, small-town Queensland pub Joe’s Water Hole maybe the ideal place to visit.