Our History

Welcome to the Hurley Hotel Group – We are a family owned business established and operating in South Australia for over 40 years.

Our journey began when Peter Hurley purchased the Wudinna Hotel in 1975, with Peter leaving behind a career in teaching. At the Wudinna Hotel, Peter met the new local nursing sister Jenny Pengelly. Peter sold a share of the Wudinna Hotel to his brother Brian & sister-in-law Robyn in January 1978 when he purchased the lease of the Spencer Hotel in Whyalla. Peter married Jenny in July 1979.

In December 1979 Peter & Jenny purchased the lease of the Hotel Royal at Torrensville, their first suburban hotel, where they resided upstairs. In those days, the SA Brewing Company owned over 100 SA Hotel Freeholds, including the Royal, and leased them on considerably shorter leases compared to the present day.

In 1984, Peter & Jenny purchased the lease of another SA Brewing Hotel, the Marion Hotel at Mitchell Park. It had been operated by the same family since being built in the late ‘60’s and was one of the larger suburban hotel within the working class neighbourhood. Through hard work and high volumes, the hotel resulted in profitable outcomes for the Hurleys.

In 1991, the iconic Arkaba Hotel was in the hands of receivers, amongst the background of the worst recession since the Second World War. Peter had a vision to reinvigorate the run down hotel and after a long wait for approvals from the bank, they finally owned their first Freehold Hotel. Peter’s brother, Tony Hurley took the reins of the bottle shop and has established a remarkable retail liquor business at the site.

In 1994 SA brewing Company was in the hands of an international company, and made the decision to sell the Hotel Freeholds. With Peters assistance, a plan was conceived where the current tenants would have the option to purchase their Freeholds in 2 halves, the first in 1994 and the balance in 1999. Based on the plan, Peter & Jenny decided to purchase the freehold of the Hotel Royal, Marion and Torrens Arms Hotels. This was one of the most important business decisions they have made.

At the same time, gaming machines were introduced to SA changing the nature of the pub business by increasing profitability and led to major renovations and expansion within the Hurley Hotels.

More hotels were subsequently purchased by the Hurleys  with other partners. The Tonsley Hotel in 1997, The Alma Tavern in 2000 with Adelaide Crows legends Mark Ricciuto and Simon Goodwin, the Kensington Hotel, the Hackney Hotel and the Pretoria Hotel at Mannum.

In 2007, the impressive Port Lincoln Hotel opened, which included 111 accommodation rooms. The property was built by Sime "Sam" Sarin, a Port Lincoln based fisherman. Peter & Jenny, together with Mark Ricciuto and Simon Goodwin completed a $10m fit out of the property, and oversaw the creation of a regional success story.

Today, the Hurley Hotel Group operates 10 hotels across SA, in addition to having shares in the Golden Grove Tavern at Surrey Downs, and the Murray Bridge Hotel.

Early in 2019, the Hurleys also purchased their first hotel interstate, acquiring the Ivory Tavern and Marina in Tweed Heads NSW. Shortly after the purchase, Peter's daughter Samantha and husband Scott Oakley moved to the state to take over management of the hotel. 

Other significant investments under the Hurley umbrella include:

•             Arkaba Village Shopping Centre

•             Surrey Downs Shopping Centre (in partnership)

•             Gifford Hill Property Development at Murray Bridge (in partnership)

•             Aruma River Resort, Walker Flat (in partnership)

Peter & Jenny believe a good team is essential to the success of a large company. The Hurley Hotel Group employs over 600 staff, with many of them long term employees. Peter & Jenny’s children, Nick, Samantha & Anna have all worked within the business, with Anna currently holding position as Marion Hotel Manager.