Our Story

There is history around every corner of Canungra Hotel!
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Get in touch with us to book your next event or getaway!
How it Started

Starting out as the Bellissima Guest House, the original property was built in 1916 by sawmill owner, Robert Lahey, primarily to offer accommodation to the travelling businessmen who were in town to do business with the sawmill.

Named after the ship that brought Mr Lahey and his family from Ireland to Australia in 1861, the guesthouse was considered one of the finest hotels in Queensland at the time, boasting well ventilated rooms, wood fires in winter and a tennis court for guests to enjoy. Over the years it accommodated many dignitaries, including the State Governor and Premier at the time, and was one of the first buildings in the Canungra township to have its own electricity supply, septic and water services.

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Bellissima Guest House

The Bellissima Guest House was sold in 1927, when the Lahey Company gave Bellissima to David Lahey who sold it to Bernie Conaghan. Bernie quickly converted the premise into Canungra’s first hotel, adding an extension to the house which became the bar. In 1928, the property was granted a liquor licence – making it the first licensed premise in Canungra.

In early 1937, the building was unfortunately destroyed by fire, but the decision to rebuild was made by the owner, Mr Shaw, and reopened in October that same year.

By the 1940’s most of the timber in the region had been cut and the sawmills were closing, so the property became a destination for travellers to the area for leisure rather than business.

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History Remains, with Present Day Conveniences

In 2008, the hotel was purchased by the Walsh family, who in 2014, renovated the outdoor area to become the leafy garden you enjoy today. More recently in 2022, the accommodation arm of the hotel was refurbished, allowing guests to enjoy more privacy during their stay. Each guest room now has its own bathroom, aligning lodging with other short stay accommodations in the area, as well as one King Suite which presents similar to a self-contained apartment.

The property caters for every visitor and local by way of a relaxed family-friendly approach to dining, take away meals, and a liquor store on site. And since Covid, we even deliver!

Proudly independently owned, Canungra Hotel welcomes you to come and experience the warmth and hospitality of country life. Whether it’s a cold beer at the sports bar, dinner in the bistro, or a private function on our deck, create your lasting memories here and become part of ours.

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Proudly Independently Owned

Being a popular destination for short stays due to our close proximity from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, we’ve met many repeat visitors who make the hotel their homebase when exploring the region for fun and adventure, or simply stopping by to enjoy a well-cooked pub meal. An area admired for hot air ballooning, birdwatchers, bushwalkers and even rodeo participants, there’s lots to see and do around here!

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So, whatever you’re looking for, we think you’ll find it with us at Canungra Hotel.
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