Cheers to preserving history through good design

This is thanks to a collaborative approach between Sunshine Coast Council, popular boutique brewery Matso’s and architects Five Mile Radius to preserve more than 130 years of pub history in Eumundi.


Picture Sunshine Coast

More than 130 years of pub history continues to flow at Matso’s Eumundi.

This is thanks to a collaborative approach between Sunshine Coast Council, popular boutique brewery Matso’s and architects Five Mile Radius to preserve the pub’s history.

The opening of Matso's Sunshine Coast Brewery, in the hotel formerly known as Joe's Waterhole, is the latest chapter in the long history of the hotel, which was originally opened by E.H. Arundell as the Railway Hotel in 1891.

During the 1900s the Railway Hotel underwent a makeover and adopted the new name Commercial Hotel. These first few decades saw the local pub survive through many tough times, including drought and a fire that destroyed the then two-storey pub, which was replaced with a new building a year later in 1925.


Most recently known as Joe’s Waterhole, the pub has a long and rich history in the local Eumundi community as a place that became a hub of laughter and good times.

The classic Queensland pub’s most recent renovation has focussed on retaining its heritage while showcasing the unique Matso’s identity.

Architects Five Mile Radius worked closely with the Sunshine Coast Council Urban Design and Architecture team to honour and retain the historic pub’s heritage while breathing new life into the venue.


Aussie pubs = Cultural icons

Did you know that the Sunshine Coast has nine heritage pubs dotted across the region?

The Aussie pub is not only a cultural icon. For decades pubs played an important role in contributing to the local character and look and feel of our townships.

The people of the Sunshine Coast greatly value that our region is a ‘community of communities’ or a collection of townships, and the old pubs have, since the settlement of the region, continued to play a historic role.

One thing that may often be overlooked is that the pubs have been used for all sorts of social events and often had halls attached for dances, meetings and functions. These associations of gatherings at the pub still remain today.

The original pubs were made from timber milled in the local area and often served as boarding houses for people on the way to Gympie to prospect for gold or to feed local workers and pioneering business people.

Today, the heritage pubs play a very important role in placemaking. The community holds dear the often-prominent old buildings in the main streets of our country towns. These buildings play an essential role in establishing the local character of the town.

Council’s Placemaking Team works closely with communities going through the process of co-creating a refreshed look and feel for our towns and villages. As we redesign and reinvigorate our old towns and villages, we are mindful of respecting country character and any remaining heritage value in the towns.

As more people choose to live on the Sunshine Coast, as our economy grows and our climate changes, we need to protect the things we value about our region today so they may continue to be available to future generations.


What is Sunshine Coast Design?

Council’s Sunshine Coast Design book has been developed to inspire and encourage quality place-based design on the Sunshine Coast into the future.

Sunshine Coast Design is a resource to help plan and design homes, buildings, parks, public spaces, streets and neighbourhoods on the Sunshine Coast. It achieves this by using a set of simple and accessible values and design principles.

To find out more and discover how the Sunshine Coast Design Strategy was developed, check out our video on Council’s YouTube channel by searching “Sunshine Coast Design Strategy” or visit our website.

Sunshine Coast Council’s architects welcome the opportunity to work with the region’s hotel owners and others who manage or own historic or iconic buildings on the Sunshine Coast.

Our aim is to assist with the design process and help ensure heritage values are respected, enhanced and maintained where possible.

Make a free appointment with Council’s Senior Architect to discuss your project by emailing [email protected]

More useful resources

Need help with your home design or renovation? Visit the Sunshine Coast Design website.



Sunshine Coast Council acknowledges the Sunshine Coast Country, home of the Kabi Kabi peoples and the Jinibara peoples, the Traditional Custodians, whose lands and waters we all now share. We wish to pay respect to their Elders – past, present and emerging, and acknowledge the important role First Nations people continue to play within the Sunshine Coast community.

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