With the tourist season in full swing, the BP Bamaga Roadhouse now employs about 25 workers and 90 per cent are local Indigenous men and women.
The popular roadhouse services locals living in the sister communities of Bamaga, Injinoo, Umagico, New Mapoon and Seisia and has the largest fuel tanks in the Northern Peninsula Area.
Reports have been received by Big Rigs that the staff are amongst the friendliest you would meet and always try and please customers.
General manager Tom Kelly said there were also a lot of visitors from as far away as Cairns, 950km south, who patronise the business.
“There is a lot of construction work going on up here and the trucks come from south and we also get council vehicles and tourist buses here,” Kelly said.
“We have fuel tanks with the biggest capacity and stock more than we need to but want to be sure we have enough at all times.”
Many of the staff have worked there for long periods including roadhouse manager Bewan Idai.
“Bewan has been here for 10 years and the roadhouse has been around for 15 years. The staff are well known to locals,” Kelly said.
Being under the BP banner, that is also of great benefit to staff who receive the latest online training, which Kelly says assists greatly.
The roadhouse has a café and mini mart restaurant which serves up tasty food and some is also cooked at the nearby lodge run by Bamaga Enterprises.
“We serve up fresh food as much as we can and try to keep it as healthy as possible. The staff often do health kicks,” Kelly said.
It is open between 6.30am and 8pm daily.
Customers take advantage of 24/7 services and re-fuel around the clock with a 24-hour outdoor payment terminal, offering unleaded petrol, premium unleaded and diesel.
A 24-hour ATM is also on site so you can top up on cash at your convenience.
The café offers hot take-away food ranging from dim sims and hot dogs to daily specials including hot and spicy chicken, and crab claws.
Some of the other favourites include burgers, fish and chips, pizzas and sandwiches, which mostly sell out daily.
Whilst a lot of supplies are road transported to Bamaga along mostly red corrugated roads six months of the year, in the wet season it has to come by sea.
I asked Kelly his thoughts on why the roadhouse was so popular.
“It’s like being in a successful football team, you want to be part of it,” he said.
Gavan Roy, operations manager for Weipa based Rob Roy Earthmoving also praised the roadhouse.
“It is where we fuel our trucks when we’re up that way and it is a great roadhouse,” Roy said.