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Bizarre hotel up for grabs

July 16, 2012

It costs less than a million bucks, but you'd have to be a reptile lover to want it.

SYDNEY: A charming Australian outback hotel that welcomes all visitors—snakes and crocodiles included—is for sale. No pesky neighbours and a mere 180km to the nearest city.

And all yours for only A$760,000.

It’s the 88-year-old Grove Hill Hotel, which sits on a red dirt road about two hours’ drive south of Darwin in the sparsely populated and tropical Northern Territory.

“The hotel is a fairly unique hotel, it was built in 1934. The floor is made up of concrete. They found it down in the bush and carried it back and laid it back down,” said Stan Haeusler, 78, who has run it for the last 12 years with his wife, Mary.

Built of tin and steel, the hotel’s walls open out to catch any breeze that might venture in, helping to cool sweating drinkers as they down a cold beer.

Wooden shelves are lined with beer bottles and colourful tins of food, old signs are nailed up behind the timber bar, and a picture of Elvis Presley sits proudly on a beer fridge.

In operation from 6am to 2am every day of the year, the hotel opens its doors to miners thirsty after a long, hard night.

“Six a.m. is when the miners change over, so they come down and have a drink,” said the grey-bearded Haeusler.

After his wife died last month, Haeusler decided to put the hotel up for sale, but last week’s auction ended without takers. And he is fine with sticking around until it sells,  putting up with some of the more unusual visitors.

“Occasionally freshwater crocs come up from the river just two kilometres away. The visitors get a fright when they move, because you think it’s a statue first off,” he said.

Then there are the non-poisonous pythons.

“They eat all my ducks and chooks (chickens) and what not,” Heusler lamented.—Reuters


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