Australian motels for sale: Eight of the best to bring back holiday memoriesMotor hotels, or motels, have been around since the 1920s. Photo: Getty Images/iStockPhoto

Australian motels for sale: Eight of the best to bring back holiday memories

There’s nothing quite like a motel to bring back fond memories of childhood holidays.

The long, boring hours spent in the back seat of the car looking out the window at the never-ending vista as mum and dad took turns behind the wheel. Fighting with siblings, eating Minties and asking repetitively “when do we get there?”

As the daylight faded, driving into a motel was a welcome relief for all. A night of comfort – and a swim, if you were lucky – before hopping in the car the next morning to do it all again.

The Pink Poodle Motel is no more but its heritage-listed sign lives on in Surfers Paradise. Photo: Andrea Black The Gold Coast’s Pink Poodle Motel was demolished in 2004 but its heritage-listed sign lives on. Photo: Andrea Black

The word motel is derived from the phrase “motor hotel” – a hotel for people with cars.

The first known motel was built in California in 1925 and the motel concept evolved as highway systems developed and more people started driving for longer distances, needing a convenient place to rest overnight.

Thanks to films and television shows, especially those featuring the famous American Route 66, the popular image of a motel is a neon sign rising above a stark landscape – or even the notorious Bates Motel from the 1960 movie Psycho.

A vintage motel sign in America. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto The neon signs of vintage motels are a familiar sight on the big and small screen. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Generally, a motel is a single low-rise building, often L- or U-shaped, comprising basic accommodation rooms that face a carpark so guests can park at their door.

Inside the rooms, exposed brick is common and the facilities usually include a bar fridge, toaster, kettle, microwave, air-conditioner and TV.

In Australia motels remain well-known landmarks, many with an arch over the driveway at the reception, a flashy sign to show whether there are vacancies and a secure box to drop off the room key before hitting the road again before dawn.

Here are 10 motels that are sure to bring back memories – and they’re all on the market.

Mareeba, Queensland

Mareeba Lodge motel. Photo: Supplied Mareeba Lodge motel. Photo: Supplied

Mareeba, which boasts 300 sunny days a year, is a 45-minute drive from the Cairns international airport. Mareeba Lodge’s 15 rooms have been refurbished and there is also a kitchen, guest laundry and and communal barbecue area.

We like: The vibrant green and orange exterior colour scheme and the roomy bathrooms.

Halls Gap, Victoria

Halls Gap Motel, Grampians Road. Photo: Supplied Halls Gap Motel. Photo: Supplied

Located at the foot of the Grampians, Halls Gap is a three-hour drive from Melbourne and enjoys a brisk tourism trade. The Halls Gap Motel has 10 ground-floor suites and a three-bedroom manager’s residence.

We like: Proximity to the Grampians National Park, the fresh interior decor and the kangaroos that visit the motel lawn.

Mackay, Queensland

Midcity Motor Inn, Mackay. Photo: Supplied Midcity Motor Inn, Mackay. Photo: Supplied

The 33 units at the two-storey Mackay Motel are on 3036 square metres of land facing the Pioneer River. There is a licensed restaurant for guests and many palm trees to add to the tropical atmosphere.

We like: The sparkling pool, the retro besser blocks above the reception area and the manicured lawns.

Warragul, Victoria

The Edinburgh Motor Inn, Warragul. Photo: Supplied The Edinburgh Motor Inn, Warragul. Photo: Supplied

The Warragul area is known for its gourmet produce and agricultural events, all helping to temporarily boost the population of around 16,700. The Edinburgh Motor Inn hosts many visitors, offering boutique accommodation in its 16 renovated rooms plus conference facilities.

We like: The welcoming red doors, the feature stone walls and the allocated parking spaces.

Busselton, WA

Motel for sale in Busselton, WA. Photo: Supplied The Amaroo Motel, West Busselton. Photo: Supplied

There are 40 units at the family-friendly Amaroo Motel in West Busselton, with superior and standard room options. The motel is a three-hour drive from Perth and close to the Margaret River wine region.

We like: Proximity to the beach and the famous Busselton Jetty, car parking for visitors and the barbecue and picnic facilities.

Beaumaris, Tasmania

Surfside Motel, Beaumaris, Tasmania. Photo: Supplied Surfside Motel, Beaumaris, Tasmania. Photo: Supplied

As you’d expect, the beach is almost on the doorstep of the Surfside Motel, on Tasmania’s east coast about 150 kilometres from Launceston. There are 11 units, a dining room and bar plus a manager’s flat. Further development on the 1.27 hectares of land is also a possibility.

We like: The deck outside the bar, the wide open spaces and the potential for developing new revenue streams.

Motel for sale in Casino, NSW. Photo: Supplied The Squatters Homestead Motel in Casino, NSW. Photo: Supplied

Casino is about 726 kilometres north of Sydney and about 230 kilometres south of Brisbane. The Squatters Homestead Motel has 10 rooms, all on the ground floor, with car parking at the door. There is also a three-bedroom owners’ residence upstairs.

We like: Accessible rooms, flexible bedding configurations and its dinky-di Aussie name.

Hamilton, Queensland

Motel for sale in Riverview Terrace, Hamilton, Queensland. Photo: Supplied The Riverview Motel, Hamilton, Queensland. Photo: Supplied

The Riverview Motel has a tropical holiday feel but is close to Brisbane city and the airport. There are 27 years remaining on the current lease and there are 14 rooms for singles, twin-shares and families.

We like: The rows of palm trees along the building, the car storage service and adjoining rooms.

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