Backpacking in Australia: Sunset at Drummoyne, Sydney

Backpacking in Australia: Sunset at Drummoyne, Sydney

The district or area of Drummoyne sounds so Northern Irish I was convinced it would be some kind of Irish quarter of Sydney. In fact it’s basically just a picturesque inner suburb of Sydney, nestled nicely by the Parramatta River.

I had known about it for a brave while, since arriving in Sydney in October 2009. Mainly because the pub I work in (PJ Gallagher’s at Parramatta) has a “sister” pub there, known as PJ Gallagher’s Drummoyne. As was told to me before by Angela at work, the pub is modelled on The Crown Bar in Belfast. Intrigued, and definitely somewhere I had to visit. Even better that I got to go there and work.

I got the call on a Wednesday night in July 2010 from my manager Corky to ask if I could work there on Saturday night. Well of course I said yes, I’m not one to turn down a shift! And work was a little thin that week at the time in the pub near my house – the one in Parramatta.

I had a quick check on the internet (gosh kids, life is too easy these days…) and right enough there was a bus direct from Parramatta to Drummoyne, which made it easy for me to get there for the start of my shift (and a wee bit of time for a quick bit of sightseeing and checking out Drummoyne). Getting home to Parramatta at the end of my shift would prove a bit harder though, the nightbuses don’t go that way…

So with my shift due to start at 6 pm, I thought I would get there early and do a spot of sightseeing. The bus route was not a familiar one to me – Sydney is a vast metropolis and there are so many parts I have never even heard of. The bus went through Rydalmere, but that’s all I remember. Over the first main bridge and I spied the main street in Drummoyne, Victoria Road. I got off around 4pm, which was time enough to see around. 

On exiting the bus on the left hand side (heading towards Sydney), there was my place of work sitting pretty and obvious on a prominent corner. The elegant PJ Gallagher’s Pub in Drummoyne. It looked the part of an Irish Pub alright…

At the time I hadn’t thought that it may be my only shift there, so I didn’t bring my actual camera, just had my old UK mobile phone on me, which is also a camera, if a lesser quality one and one that is shit in the dark. I’m glad I had it thought, as without it the memory would fail to be visual. A few months down the line, and I’ve been very busy working away in Parramatta so haven’t worked in Drummoyne since.

I took a wee diversion off Victoria Road though, and decided to relax down by the river. 

On the walk down there I went through a few different housing areas. All with excellent middle class typical Australian dwellings.

The road down to the river.

More Drummoyne housing.

Parramatta River looking down to Sydney.

Again looking down towards Sydney from the edge of Drummoyne.

More Drummoyne housing on the hill back up to work.

Oh to have had an excellent zoomed camera – class shots of Sydney Harbour Bridge could be seen.

After a nice wee brisk walk in the winter sunshine, it was time to head to work.

The view down the hill from the Sydney side of PJ Gallagher’s, Drummoyne.

The Irish style entrance.

The Emblem of PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub. Wish you could buy them as an iron on patch…

The view from the front of the Drummoyne PJs.

The “Bottle Shop” – I’ll translate that down under speak into Northern Irish Ulster – “Offy & Carryouts”. In the Republic of Ireland – “Drink”.

The main bar at PJ’s Drummoyne!

I got inside and it was busy enough – typical sort of Irish pub atmosphere and was just after the “football crowd” time from back home. It would have fitted in well to Belfast. And it was like the Crown Bar – without the booths, the Harp Lager and the soup on tap. By the way that photo, and this next one were not taken by me. I found them online.

The main bar at PJ’s Drummoyne.

I started work at 6 pm (had time for a quick look around, study the menu (so I knew what our menu was like for the customers) and enjoy a lemon squash – the joys of working in a bar in a hot climate. 

I was working behind the main bar with Claire, Jade and Craig. They were all very friendly and welcoming. Believe me, I have worked with some absolutely rude and miserable people in life, and it does nothing for your confidence and desire to be happy at work. The atmosphere at Drummoyne echoed that of Parramatta – great place to work. Fantastic staff.

Although it was dark I got Claire to take a photo of me behind the bar there.

It was a well laid out pub, with the gaming room just in behind, the TAB (Australian betting) just to the right of the entrance, and the Bottle Shop in a separate room – all accessible from the main bar. I worked in all three sections on the night which was great.

Me in the Gaming Room. All bars in Australia have a Gaming Room, often called the VIP Lounge. Customers play the “fruities” (or in Australia, “pokies”).

It was slightly different to PJ Gallagher’s in Parramatta. Glass was served all night (in Parramatta it’s changed over to plastic drinking vessels at 10.30 pm). Pints were served all night (we don’t currently serve pints in Parramatta – only Schooners and Middys). We had Bundy and Cokes on tap (and for only $3.30 a Middy!). We had a wider range of draught beer, including VB and James Squires. The food menu was slightly different (I got used to it very quickly though). 

We even had Bushmills bottles behind the bar – which we don’t stock in Parramatta. It was great fun!

After my shift, I went to get the bus, had to get the N50 into Sydney but there was only one every hour, so I went into the local 24 hour McDonalds, took that excellent night time photo of PJ Gallagher’s Drummoyne, and caught a night bus to central, before catching another night bus back out west to Parramatta.

Great place to work. Pop in for a drink some time. It has fantastic decor, an authentic Irish feel and some nice staff including a few new friends of mine.

Staff I worked with – Angela, Claire, Ella, Dan, Shaun, Michael, Mark, Jade, Tiana, Craig.

Website – PJ Gallagher’s Drummoyne

Drummoyne –,_New_South_Wales

Me Just Before Starting My Shift in PJ Gallagher’s in Drummoyne:

PJ’s Drummoyne:

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