The current Conargo Hotel in the heart of Merino country started life as the Billabong Hotel in 1867 and was renamed the Conargo Hotel after the licensing board decided in 1917 that the township was not big enough for two licences.
The owner chose to keep the Billabong because it was in better condition than the original Conargo Hotel. In recent years the hotel has suffered some setbacks after being damaged by a cyclone in 1971 and then almost completely destroyed by fire in 2014. Only the facade remains but plans are currently underway to rebuild this iconic hotel maintaining the historic facade.
Over the years the hotel has been filled with many characters; some local, some famous, some just drovers passing through, many a story has been told within the walls and many pints consumed.