Airbnb Unveils South Aussie Country Pub Makeover As Part Of National Campaign

If you’re looking for a regional getaway, or just a nice place to stay on your road trip, The Grand Millicent hotel has just had a fantastic Airbnb makeover!

Airbnb has today unveiled the refurbished rooms of pubs that received $50,000 grants as part of its Country Pub Project. The rooms are now bookable on the online travel platform as part of a collection of more than 50 small town pubs that Airbnb hopes to grow as part of a multi-million dollar push to encourage more Aussies to visit regional areas.

From fresh carpets and paint, to new artwork and refurbished bathrooms, the publicans from the six selected pubs have worked alongside local tradies and suppliers to breathe new life into the rooms, injecting their own local personality and country charm. The six selected pubs have been paired with experienced Airbnb hosts to get their rooms up and running on the platform, with the ultimate end goal of attracting more overnight visitors to these true blue watering holes.

Among the pubs who received the $50,000 grant includes The Grand Hotel in Millicent.

Andrew Palmer, Publican said: “The paint job and new carpet have made a huge difference in freshening up the place up. Now we’ll be able to properly utilise the upstairs area which was always meant for accommodation. We’re really happy that the charm and historic significance of The Grand Millicent hasn’t been lost in the refurbishments – overall, it just feels fresher, cleaner and more welcoming.”


Across the country, and throughout the renovations process, entire communities chipped in to get the works completed.

Airbnb spokesperson Brent Thomas said he was delighted that Airbnb could now play a role in promoting these revamped pubs and the communities they’re located in to guests from far and wide.


“From old gold mining towns, to pristine outback waterfalls, this is about getting more Aussies to discover the great hidden gems we have in our own backyard and to showcase the quintessential Aussie hospitality you get when you visit a country pub.”

“Publicans are the ultimate hosts but like many people in country communities they’ve been doing it tough lately due to drought and economic hardship. Through this, we want to encourage more Aussies to not just visit these great establishments, but spend the night in them – enjoying one of our oldest forms of hospitality and in turn boosting the spirits of these towns by spending precious tourism dollars in areas where it really counts.”

Launched in June, publicans and locals were encouraged to nominate their favourite watering hole for The Country Pub Project grant, by describing what makes their pub so special, and how $50,000 could help revitalise the pub, ultimately helping to attract more visitors.

The community response was overwhelming, with more than 9,000 nominations received during the application process – 7,000 of which came from the public who nominated their favourite local.

The Country Pub Project was developed after Airbnb research found two thirds (70%) of Aussies wanted to take a road trip to see more of the real Australia, yet only 14% of Australians have in fact spent a night in a regional pub during the past 12 months.

From today, guests can visit and browse more than 50 pubs Australia-wide. 

Here’s the other pubs who received the grant:

Royal Hotel – Sofala, New South Wales 
The Royal Standard Hotel – Toora, Victoria 
Bischoff Hotel – Waratah, Tasmania 
Imperial Hotel – Ravenswood, Queensland 
The Woolshed Hotel – Nungarin, Western Australia

About Millicent

Four hours from Adelaide, Millicent boasts access to beach fishing off the expansive coastline from Beachport, Southend, Canunda and through to Carpenters Rocks. Four Wheel Driving is popular as is trail bike riding. Surfing, sailing and small boat fishing are also very popular and bush walking trails are also available in the national parks along with well equipped camp sites for basic getaways. The reclaimed lake Bonney is now open to sailing and canoeing and borders the national park of Canunda. Cave exploring is nearby at the Tantanoola caves and cave diving in the areas water filled limestone caves is nearby. Millicent is also within half an hours travel of the Coonawarra wine region and the city of Mount Gambier, home to the Blue Lake and its wonderful picnic grounds.

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