'There's a lot of unforeseen things you don't see'
KARL Belzner first wanted to buy a mining claim in Mount Morgan. Instead he purchased one of the town's remaining watering holes.
The former Lockyer Valley man and his family packed up their bags earlier this year in search of a location with a "slower pace”.
Mr Belzner had been looking to buy a gold mine lease somewhere affordable, before he pounced on the opportunity to reside in Mount Morgan.
"I fell (in love with) Mount Morgan. I had been here before on one of my travels,” he said.
After coming across the then-available Leichhardt Hotel in the town's CBD, the former transport operator wanted to "have a crack at it”.
Karl sold off his trucks from his Brisbane-based racehorse transport business Horse Trans and shifted to the golden mount in February.
He has since been given a rave reception once he re-opened the popular pub.
For the past six months, he's enjoyed the quieter lifestyle among the hills and been given a chance to spend more time with his family.
"I never got that before, it was just driving (in a truck) for six or seven days a week,” he said.
"I came from a large racing community at Eagle Farm, and they were just one big family. Mount Morgan's one big family too.
"Moving from transport driving in Brisbane, not knowing your neighbours, (there's a) big difference.”
Across the span of a decade, Karl plans to renovate the pub and restore its heritage.
"There's a 10-year restoration plan, it's already a nice looking building from the street, there's a lot of unforeseen things you don't see,” he said.
"The building hasn't had a lot of love in decades.
"It's going back to the way it was.”
While there's three other hotels in the historic town, Karl doesn't look upon it as competition, rather uniqueness between venues.
"I strongly believe every hotel in Mount Morgan has its unique attraction.”
"We want to give you the same experience every time you visit,” he said.
Visit the Leichhardt Hotel on the corner of Morgan and East Sts in Mount Morgan.
Phone (07) 4938 1416.