Armchair Traveller

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Australian crawl: Race around the nation's best bars

Canvas, 16b Logan Road, Woolloongabba
Canvas, cocktail list of the year
Paul Stock

A list of 20 bars in three states isn't the most conventional weekend travel itinerary. But putting aside the OHS issues, a 48-hour interstate pub crawl is probably the most ruthlessly efficient way to explore the best of Australia's nightlife.

At least, that's the task I set myself even before the winners of 2012's Australian Bar Awards were announced in late September. The rules for the crawl were simple: Escape the office on Friday afternoon, visit all the winners and be back at work on Monday without taking sick leave. It was exactly the kind of genius idea you have when you probably spend too much time in bars anyway.

My tour unofficially started at 4.45pm with after-work drinks at Cafe Chicane (Shop 2/20 Bond Street, Sydney). It mightn't have won an award but I rather romantically like to think of Chicane as the Reform Club to my Phileas Fogg. Okay, it's just where I revealed my plan to some of my senior colleagues. "Don't lose the camera," was all my editor-in-chief said. No mention of my dignity.

Take the journey without the risk of dehydration and blisters with our tour of the 2012 Bar Awards winners.

Crawl around the best bars in Australia

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