Former driver and wife popular hosts at NT roadhouse

popular host

Former driver Peter ‘Spud’ Murphy, 76, and his wife Judy know how to look after truck drivers at their Stuarts Well Roadhouse in the Northern Territory.

Spud has become a legend for many drivers and is well known around the country.

The couple have been there for 11 years and previously ran the family roadhouse at Pimba in South Australia between 1966 and 1989.

A lot of drivers have told Spy that they love stopping at Stuarts Well which is located beside the Stuart Highway, 90km south of Alice Springs.

The roadhouse has clean toilets and showers, provides meals at a reasonable price and is open from 6am to 8pm.

Drivers can fuel up during opening hours with closing time often extending to 9pm depending on how busy it is.

South Australian driver Lynton Bruce told Spy the service was always good.

“When I am in the area I stop there and it has been top class,” Lynton said.

Spud told me that while the number of trucks vary on a daily basis, it would total more than 150 a week.

“A triple just pulled up out the front here and some days just five or six stop and other days it can be between 30 and 40,” said Spud, who knows most of the truckies on a first name basis.

“I was a truck driver myself for many years since I was young and know what they want. In general roadhouses are a dying race.

“We serve up good home meals at reasonable prices and they come back. Many drivers get sick and tired of preparing their own meals on those gas cookers and like good service from friendly faces.

“They all get a free cuppa coffee when they buy a meal and appreciate it.”

The roadhouse employs eight staff. I spoke to one of them by phone recently.

Her name was Ailey – she hails from Vietnam and is one of the cooks.

“I have been working here for two years and love it. Lots of trucks stopping here are doing the Adelaide to Darwin run. The favourite meal they order is rump steak with veggies, chips and salad,” Ailey said.

Spud was glowing in his praise of Ailey who he said cooked excellent meals which tantalise the taste buds.

I phoned a day later and another staff member said two cattle trucks has just pulled up.

Judy is an integral part of the roadhouse operation and was in Alice Springs picking up supplies from a supermarket when I spoke to her.

“We get many trucks stopping and we never can tell how many on a day,” Judy said.

As a bonus for drivers, copies of Big Rigs are delivered there every fortnight.

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