The Gunbower Hotel is a 30-minute drive north-west of Echuca. Owner Richard McGillivray bought the 1941-built pub in 2004, eager to give his tiny town a place to socialise.
McGillivray’s been a cattle grazier since 1987. His farm is just up the road, which is where he raises the native-grass-fed Herefords that become the scotch fillet or porterhouse steaks at the pub. Gunbower Hotel was quietly peddling paddock-to-plate before the term caught the marketing bug.
Visitors rave about the steak, which comes with chips and salad or mash and veggies. They also talk about the duck spring rolls and the homemade sticky-date pudding for dessert. The lamb chops are also from about 200 metres up the road. These come from fourth-generation farmer John Toll, who raises Wiltipoll sheep on native grass. In true pub fashion, the meals arrive on the larger side, with kids also catered to.
It’s a genuine country pub, with locals dropping by for a quick lunchtime schooner, and the dining room filling up with all sorts of characters come dinner. Drinks are on the simple side – Cruisers, UDLs, Strongbow and XXXX – and there’s a pool table out the back.
McGillivray’s family also runs the butcher shop in town and the abattoir just up the road, and have done for 100 years. Similarly, McGillivray has a hand in all roles at this unassuming pub – he’s a self-taught butcher and cook, as well as the publican.
Explore Echuca further using our detailed Out of Town to Echuca guide.