The Iron Clad Hotel in Marble Bar

The Iron Clad Hotel in Marble Bar

Marble Bar local, Paul Stream at the iconic Iron Clad Hotel

Marble Bar local, Paul Stream at the iconic Iron Clad Hotel

When we walked into Marble Bar’s infamous Iron Clad Hotel for the first time, it felt like it was a bit too good to be true. The framed footy jerseys and other Aussie memorabilia on the walls, the collection of Aussie beer cans displayed behind the bar, the roadsigns strung up from the ceiling. ..This must all be laid on for the tourists.

But hang on…what tourists? Sure, there’s some out-of-towners at the bar but they’re discussing the price of gold, metal detectors and prospecting. On closer inspection and with a few questions answered, we discovered the footy jerseys were those of the teams from Aboriginal communities within the East Pilbara Shire - the largest Shire in the world, apparently. 

The display of Aussie beer cans was to show what was available - there is no beer on tap here, instead there’s chilled tinnies in a giant ice-filled esky behind the bar.

And the roadsigns hanging around the bar…earlier in the day we’d been about 40km north of Marble Bar looking for Dooleena Gorge. We eventually worked out that a signless pole marked the turn-off. Here, in the Iron Clad Hotel was that missing sign, hanging above the door. I remarked on this to our new mate Tim - he laughed, “Yeah if anything around here goes missing, it’ll turn up at the pub!”

While Steve was having a rest one day, I took myself and my camera down to the lunchtime session at the Iron Clad Hotel. I found a few locals getting in a bit of practice before the Friday night pool competition.

Pilbara backroads

Pilbara backroads

Around Marble Bar

Around Marble Bar