Lappa Junction train station Cairns outback between Mareeba and Chillagoe
Lappa Junction train station and Espanol Hotel in the Cairns outback between Mareeba and Chillagoe

Lappa Junction

Outback North Queensland, Australia

Built in 1901, the Espanol Hotel has served travellers and locals for 114 years. Made from round bush timber and galvanised iron, the lappa byo bush pub remains as the only example of a once common mining town building. Restored with museum and byo bar, Lappa continues its century-old tradition of bush hospitality in the stark beauty of australia's outback.

The Espanol Hotel is owned and operated by Yappa from Lappa. Here's an article from ABC Far North about Yappa: The Yappa from Lappa. The Lappa Pub is an unlicensed 'BYO' pub. You are welcome to bring your own drinks and consume them in the historic bar.

The Espanol Hotel Lappa Junction in Australia's tropical outback west of Cairns
The Espanol Hotel is better known as the Lappa Pub. It doesn't have a liquor license, so you have to bring your own beer or plonk.

The Lappa Pub has its own facebook page: Friends of Lappa Junction.

The junction is where the line used to split to Chillagoe in one direction, and Mount Garnet in the other. Today, the line to Chillagoe is no longer operational.

History of Lappa

Lappa Junction around 1900
Lappa Junction around 1900.

Around 1893, John Moffat and Company of Irvinebank were starting to develop the mineral fields around Chillagoe. There was no railway or other infrastructure. Water at Lappa Lappa was an important resource for the camel trains and other animal transport teams used to transport goods and supplies to the mining camps and settlements in the region.

Lappa Junction station came into being in 1900, when the first section of the Mareeba to Chillagoe railway was completed. Although developed primarily for mining, on the inaugural journey, even the mining warden recognized the line's tourism potential.

Today, the Savannahlander departs Cairns once per week, stopping at Lappa Junction, and the trails from Irvinebank to Lappa, and Lappa to Mt Garnet are popular mountain biking trails

The Savannahlander train at Lappa Junction
The Savannahlander at Lappa Junction. A 1960s classic 'Silver Bullet' railmotor, does a 4 day return tour from Cairns to Forsayth weekly.

Lappa Junction Video