Big and bold, and truckies love it too

A major Coles Express anchors a motorway service centre on the M1 at Nudgee, Queensland.

David Burton.

Families, tradies and truckies are just some of the 40,000-plus road users that pass the Nudgee service centre daily. Situated on the M1 motorway 13km north of Brisbane, it has plenty to offer the ordinary vehicle owner and also features a truckies’ lounge.

The complex has ample parking space for passenger vehicles and a separate area for long-haul trucks beyond a major set of fuel pumps that accommodate up to seven big rigs side by side.

The usual array of Shell fuels can be found here, including V-Power, and there is also a large AdBlue dispenser unit to make life easier for those hauling goods along this major route.

The Coles Express has a typical shop offer but also connects to the food outlets in the centre’s food court through a rear walk-through.

Inside the food court, plenty of choice is offered for dining and snacking options. These range from typical quick-service restaurant offers such as McDonald’s and Red Rooster, to Krispy Kreme and a Coolabah Express Café serving a mean coffee to take away or enjoy while taking a break.

Ancillary services include truck-wash and adjacent dog-wash facilities, using a simple coin-operated system.

At the time of Convenience World’s visit, the parking spots out front were at a premium, so a space was found beyond the resting place for large trucks. We entered the centre from the truckies’ lounge, rather than the main entrance or via Coles Express as everyday motorists would do.

The lounge is self-contained and an ideal place to rest but it is connected to the food court through a passageway, allowing drivers to freshen up in the lounge before grabbing a meal in the food court.

With the appropriate fuel available at accessible pumps, the site is everything long-haul drivers need to make their stop comfortable as well as efficient.

The truckies’ lounge

Complete with TV, toilets and showers plus comfortable seats to lounge on, this area provides an ideal spot for a quick stop or somewhere to spend a mandated break.

At the time Convenience World dropped in, there were five people happily chatting away at the outdoor table, enjoying the Queensland sunshine. They included a long-haul driver out of Victoria, a local fruit-and-veg delivery driver and others that were heading as far up the coast as Mackay and Townsville.

The drivers were all regulars at the Gateway Service Centre’s truckies’ lounge and had differing opinions on the food offer. For some, the standard fare of ‘Macca’s’ was all they wanted, while others were into a healthy lunch option and appreciated the fact that all tastes were catered for.

According to the operator, Brisbane Truck Wash at Nudgee is a fully automatic wash facility capable of handling a two-tonne van through to B Double configurations, cranes and other machinery. It takes eight to 12 minutes to get through the operation.

It can wash fully loaded carriers with the driver inside the vehicle and will cater for most vehicles.

Drivers do not even have to leave their vehicle after payment by cash or card at the automatic pay station.

Convenience World observed an eight-tonne van go through the wash with the driver remaining in the vehicle.

The food options

Coles Express has all the drinks, snacks, chips and takeaway food that would be expected. It would be possible to just fill up the tank and obtain sustenance here.

Just through the open walkway from Coles Express stands the Coolabah Express Café – a small outlet offering cakes, pastries, wraps and great coffee. We tried it and recommend it.

Just beyond the Coolabah is the food court and tables. National majors McDonald’s and Red Rooster sit side by side, while further along at a right angle is Ali Baba Kebabs & Wraps and the ShushiMi sushi and grill bar, both offering healthy options.

For those not counting calories, as is the case on the best road trips, Krispy Kreme is there to tempt the tastebuds. We sampled here as well.

Add the washrooms, ATM and an electronic scale – for weighing motorists concerned about their road trip, perhaps – and the Gateway Service Centre with its large-scale Coles Express offer is the ideal pit stop on the Gateway Motorway.

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