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Taylors Arm, NSW

Village famed as the "true location" of The Pub With No Beer

Taylors Arm is really nothing more than a pub, renamed The Pub With No Beer, and a few houses nestled on the banks of the Taylors Arm River, a tributary which joins the Nambucca River at Macksville.

Location

Taylors Arm is located 498 km north of Sydney via the Pacific Highway. It lies 27 km west of Macksville.

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Origin of Name

Just beyond Macksville the Nambucca River splits into two. The northern section is known as North Arm and the southern section is Taylors Arm. The waterway was named after Taylor and Co. who held a run (a property) which stretched from the present village of Taylors Arm east to Warrell Creek where their head station was located.

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Things to See and Do

The Pub With No Beer
The only hotel in town is the Cosmopolitan Pub [now it has changed its name to the title of the song] which was the subject of the song, 'The Pub with No Beer'. Sung by Slim Dusty it was the first Australian song to reach No.1 in the British pop charts. It is said that Dusty's version recounted the adventures of the regulars who used to drink at this old and isolated timbergetters' watering hole in the 1940s.
It is claimed that the song's origins lie with some verse written by a Dan Sheahan of Ingham in Queensland. One version argues that Sheahan rode into Ingham for a drink during World War II only to find that the local pub, the Day Dawn Hotel, had been drunk dry by American serviceman. His version is very different from the Slim Dusty version.
The song that is well known is usually credited to bush worker and folk singer Gordon Parsons who may well have transformed Sheahan's verse. At any rate it became a national number one in the hands of Slim Dusty.
The Cosmopolitan is now officially called The Pub with No Beer and The Pub With No Beer Festival is held there every year at Easter, tel: (02) 6564 2101.

The Cedar Log
Outside the Pub With No Beer is a huge log which is a quiet indictment of the cavalier attitude of timber cutters in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was cut down far up a valley in the hinterland only for the cutters to realise that it was too big to haul out of the forest. It was only years later that the rotting trunk, with modern equipment, was extracted to end up uselessly lying in the yard at the front of the pub.

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Other Attractions in the Area

Driving to Taylors Arm - Taylors Arm Scenic Drive
Taylors Arm Road heads west from Macksville on Wallace Street. The drive follows Taylors Arm, a major tributary of the Nambucca River, along the intensely scenic river valley. This is the shortest way to the village from the Pacific Highway. There is a longer, and equally scenic route, which departs from Kempsey and winds for 65 km through rolling hills dotted with farms and beef and dairy cattle grazing land to the historic town of Willawarrin. It then continues on through National Park and State Forest to reach the famous “The Pub With No Beer”. For more details check out http://macleayvalleycoast.com.au/great_things_to_do/taylors-arm-scenic-drive. There is a very detailed description of the entire route:  "Head north across the Kempsey Traffic Bridge and veer left into Belgrave St. Follow the road across the railway crossing, through two roundabouts, and around to the right into River St which becomes Armidale Rd. Turn right to Millbank along Hickeys Creek Rd, and continue along the unsealed road before veering right into Sundowner Rd through State Forest. Turn left onto Greenhills Rd, (Detour in place: turn right off Greenhills Road into Bakers Creek Road.  There is a two 2 tonne load limit on Young Bridge) then turn left into Taylor’s Arm Rd  (this is usually a right hand turn when the bridge is open on Greenhills Rd).  Continue along the road to the ‘Pub with No Beer’, which Slim Dusty made famous with his popular country ballad.  Next, continue (east) along Taylor’s Arm Road to Boundary St, then veer left and follow the road past the high school and hospital until you reach the Pacific Highway at Macksville. Turn right to return to Kempsey."

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History

* Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the area, the local Aborigines, the Dunghutti, had lived in the area for tens of thousands of years.

* In 1890 a boarding house was built to cater for the timber workers.

* The Taylors Arm Post Office opened on 1 August 1891.

* By 1895 the small town had its first pub.

* By 1900 the town had a bakery, butchery and grocery store.

* In 1956 Slim Dusty heard Gordon Parsons singing The Pub With No Beer at the Taylors Arm Hotel.

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Visitor Information

There is no Visitor Information in Taylors Arm but the pub is helpful and the closest centre is the Nambucca Valley Visitor Information Centre, Pacific Highway, Nambucca Heads, tel: (02) 6568 6954.

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Accommodation

The Pub With No Beer, Taylors Arm Road, Taylors Arm, tel: (02) 6564 2100.

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Eating

The Pub With No Beer, Taylors Arm Road, Taylors Arm, tel: (02) 6564 2100.

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Useful Websites

The official website is the Nambucca Valley which has a special entry on Taylors Arm. See http://www.nambuccatourism.com.au/nambucca-valley-region/nambucca-valley/taylors-arm.

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2 suggestions
  • “Pub with no Beer” festival 1980 about 5000 visitors in “Bottom Town”, also slightly famous, the 4 hats, ” Jack the Hat, Jack of all Trades, Jack White, Jackass. 2 Timber Ring Barkers, Publican, School Principal. “Top Town” had the school. Medlow Public School.

    Jack.
  • Yes, I was that principal. The other three Jacks, had asked me, on my first week in the community and at the pub, if I was a “quick” or “spin”, meaning what did I play in cricket because the previous principal had to be replaced on the cricket team. In the very small bar room about 5 m long, I demonstrated for “the boys”, by pretending to “bowl” and spinning 360° I told the guys I did not play cricket but they christened me, Jackass (meaning a fool).

    Jack Hyland(nfp)