Day 19 – 8,462 KM. Town 30: Captains Flat lies 60 KM to the south west of Canberra and was a place I was particularly looking forward to visiting at it is home to the longest bar in the southern hemisphere. So, of course, I had the perfect excuse to visit Captains Flat Hotel for a beverage.
The barmaid explained that the hotel had lost the title of having the longest bar in the not too distant past to Mildura. However, the bar at Mildura had subsequently been removed giving the title back to Captains Flat. On first sight the bar actually does not look particularly long, however it loops around a bit and goes through two rooms so collectively it is long enough for the title it claims. It was certainly long enough for me and the two other punters.
Unlike the name suggests, Captains Flat actually surrounded by a hilly landscape which was once known for its generous seams of gold particularly when the town was thriving in the mid-1800s. Apparently the source of the name is open to debate. However, captainsflat.org suggests the following tale to be the most likely source:
“The favoured story as to how Captain’s Flat got its name does not involve men at all, but rather a bullock. Legend has it that nearby Foxlow Station owned a gigantic white team bullock known as “Captain”. Whenever work was to be done he would invariably be hiding somewhere, his favourite spot being a particular patch of river flat. Drovers travelling through the valley became so used to seeing “Captain” on his patch of grass that they began calling the area Captain’s Flat. Apparently years later, the white bullock was found dead on the very spot which is now the Captains Flat playing field. Given the Australian bush psyche, by which men of title were far less respected than fine beasts, this last story does indeed seem to be the most plausible.”