Iconic Queensland truckies’ stop sold but stays in the family

It is a place where thousands of truckies have stopped over the years.

Fourteen decades ago in the 1880s it was a stopover for Cobb and Co coaches.

The iconic, but very remote, Middelton Hotel, which is located on the Development Road between Winton and Boulia has been sold.

But it has stayed in the family as the new owner Stoney Cain is the son of the legendary previous couple who ran it – Lester and Val Cain.

Having stopped there six times in the past 30 years Spy can say with genuine sincerity it is a welcome sight for travellers, including truckies.

Indeed, many truckies who have enjoyed the hospitality there have told Spy about the takeover after Lester was ill.

It is about 170km from Boulia where I used to go annually for the camel races and about 190km from Winton.

There are few buildings along the way and many describe the trip between Winton and Boulia as boring.

Stoney had been a mostly uninvolved part-owner of the pub since it was bought by his parents in 2005.

This outback man had been involved in mustering cattle, earthmoving, mining opals and flying choppers. His offsider is fiancée Clara Fisher who runs cattle on Glen Kyree Station, south of Winton.

Over the years I had numerous telephone conversations with Lester who was once bitten by a Taipan snake and survived.

Lester would tell me about seeing the mysterious Min Min Light which many claim can be seen at certain times in the region.

Across the road is an old camping ground with a “Hilton Hotel” sign proudly hanging at the entrance.

Truckies I have spoken to recently love stopping at the Middleton for a coldie – a soft drink of course if they are on duty – a snack, or just a yarn.

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