Fast fuel, good food, clean show­ers – and truck­ies don’t have to queue be­hind tourists to or­der a meal. Ta­mara Whitsed vis­its the BP Bar­nawartha and came away im­pressed

Owner Driver - - Owner / Driver -

AN­DREW RATABUA is just about to bite into a chicken burger with the lot when

Owner//Driver in­ter­rupts his lunch at BP Bar­nawartha to take his pho­to­graph.

He is one of three truck­ies sit­ting in the truck­ies’ lounge, watch­ing TV and read­ing news­pa­pers while they eat. An­drew says the burger is “fan­tas­tic”. He vis­its BP Bar­nawartha be­cause of the clean show­ers, good food and help­ful staff.

Opened by Spargo Group in 2014, BP Bar­nawartha is 15km south of Wodonga at the Logic Cen­tre on the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way, just off the Hume High­way.

It is near Wool­worths’ dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre and SCT Lo­gis­tics’ new rail hub. The North­ern Vic­to­ria Live­stock Ex­change (NVLX) is just up the road.

BP Bar­nawartha boasts easy ac­cess for B-dou­bles and large trucks, ul­tra-high-flow diesel pumps, park­ing for 45 trucks, an 18-bay trailer ex­change and a weigh­bridge.

“We have wa­ter and air at each fuel bay,” says site man­ager Char­lie Cur­cu­ruto. “And we have a plat­form lad­der at each fuel bay so they can climb up and do their wind­shields.”

Char­lie says most truck­ies who fuel there stay for a meal. Some grab some­thing quick from Hun­gry Jack’s, but most go to Café One which of­fers cooked meals 24/7. Café One’s menu ranges from sand­wiches to rump steaks and its pop­u­lar all-day big break­fasts.

There are quick op­tions too – Owner//Driver grabbed a toasted sand­wich from Café One’s bain-marie.

“Ev­ery­one re­alises truck­ies are our main busi­ness and we’re fo­cused on ser­vic­ing the truck­ies first,” Char­lie says. There is no need to queue up be­hind tourists be­cause there is a servery in the truck­ies’ lounge.

Nes­tled in a quiet area away from the pub­lic, the truck­ies’ lounge is a re­lax­ing place to wind down be­fore climb­ing back into the truck for a sleep. Or if you want to stay alert, you have the op­tion of watch­ing tele­vi­sion in a sun­lit shared area just out­side the truck­ies’ lounge. “You’ve got the full wall of glass. It’s full of sun­shine,” Char­lie says. En­joy­ing fresh air in the out­side din­ing area can also help com­bat fa­tigue.

The beauty of BP Bar­nawartha is that you have so many op­tions. It re­ally is a truck stop with the lot. We’ve asked around. Some driv­ers say the clean show­ers are the main rea­son they stop at there. If you’ve for­got­ten your towel or toi­letries, the con­ve­nience store’s wide range in­cludes the ne­ces­si­ties.

Truck driv­ers can wash and dry their clothes in the laun­dry dur­ing their long breaks.

“We’re build­ing a good rap­port with the truck­ing com­mu­nity,” Char­lie says. “As site man­ager, I al­ways have my breaks in the truck­ies’ lounge to talk to the truck­ies and ask if there’s any­thing we can im­prove. I’m work­ing with the truck­ies to try to make it bet­ter all the time.” BP Bar­nawartha gets a big thumbs up from

Owner//Driver. Truck driv­ers de­serve more truck stops with this stan­dard of amenity and ser­vice.

Site man­ager Char­lie Cur­cu­ruto and Café One man­ager Mar­i­lyn Howes-Car­pen­ter at Café One

Re­lax­ing in the truck­ies’ lounge, An­drew Ratabua rec­om­mends the chicken burger with the lot

For­got your toi­letries? Stock up at the con­ve­nience store.

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