Highway van park ‘hub’ a sign of things to come?

Published: July 15, 2021
Brigalow village square for grey nomads

In what may end up being be a blueprint for similar developments along country highways, a vibrant community hub – which will include a caravan park – is set to be built in a quiet Queensland town.

The Courier-Mail reports that plans for the new development at Brigalow along the Warrego Highway has been approved by the Western Downs Regional Council.

Located on just over one hectare of prime real estate, the new hub will include a truck driver friendly fuel station, an eatery, retail shops …
and a caravan park.

Avanti Commercial executive consultant Chris Fort told the Courier-Mail that the massive development was set to put Brigalow on the map.

“Not that it isn’t already, but realistically it will be the largest and most significant development in the town in (decades),” he said. “It will create over 100 jobs during the construction phase… and employ 16 to 20 staff once completed.”

Mr Fort said in a perfect world the six to eight-week construction period may start at the end of 2021.

The Brigalow Village Square project will be designed to fit in with its country surroundings, featuring a 1940s-1950s style diner, with state-of-the-art fuel bowsers enclosed in a vintage outer-shell.

The Courier-Mail reports that the site plans to showcase a range of artisan shops which may include a bakery, cafe, deli, dress shop, gifts, antiques, specialty lolly shop, home wares, butcher, gift ware and a garden centre shop.

  • Do you think this sort of ‘one-stop shop’ along our country highways area good idea, and should be replicated elsewhere? Would you stop there? Comment below.
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Ric Moffet
6 months ago

Yes good Idea, this is needed a lot more all over the country, the go would be though to have EV charging as well.

Keith W Jarrett
6 months ago
Reply to  Ric Moffet

For the less than 2% of EV’s on the road in Australia doesn’t make economic or business sense

6 months ago

I would have no reason to stop. Unless short of fuel. Pity no freedom camping included in the proposal

Arthur Bugden
6 months ago
Reply to  AlanP

Why would anyone expect a multi million dollar business proposal to provide free camping? If I were investing in this sort of deal I would expect a return on my money.

Andrew waddington
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur Bugden

Well said.

Peter C
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur Bugden

“…expect a return money…” That is a reason I would not go there. As price gouging is likely. I would avoid

Brouss Chambers
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter C

Absolutely, Peter. Maybe the novelty of a fifties style eatery would tempt us to eat, but our own kitchen is usually more than adequate.
And what pleasure is there in ‘camping’ packed in like sardines?
All we really want is to fill up with fuel then back on the Wallaby..

6 months ago
Reply to  AlanP

Free – any chance you can move on from the word “free”. I wonder how many investments you’ve had over the years where you were happy to reduce your return to keep people happy.

Gary Seen
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony

I have a laugh to myself when the word free is used
Not one off these people would have worked for anyone for free
But they seem to want it

Gordon Schultz
6 months ago
Reply to  AlanP

yes move on from the freedom camping you have to pay eventually

6 months ago
Reply to  AlanP

I agree with you, the price gouging is killing the industry, I’ve just had to end my Grey Nomad lifestyle due to price gouging of most of the sites nun by the two top park clubs, the shires are being pressured by these clubs to close existing free camps and not to open new one’s, once most of the Grey Nomads have stopped full time travel I think the caravan camp sites will only be open in peak times, this what happened to the tavern industry, they put their prices up that much as people could only afford to go out once or twice a week, the caravanning way of life used to be cheap, but not now

6 months ago

Nothing is for nothing. That’s the way of the world. I am sure you wouldn’t work for free, unless you are retired & volunteering. People have to earn a living. If they invest in property they need a decent return.

6 months ago
Reply to  Jude

I just love this proposal, can’t wait to go see, and stay . I do hope there’s more throughout the country in time . If they can keep the camping fees to a reasonable rate, there will be an influx of tourists. But I truly do feel sad , our beautiful country , we cant camp for a few days, no more free country ? We spend our money in towns, fish relax , without people going mad at Nomads . we spend money on Medical, Groceries of all places butchers etc. banks chemists , the odd beer gas petrol and much more . We need where we have increased nomads so much no amount of caravan park could take us all. Dams lakes etc are wonderful. If service stations hotels farmers have the few needs we need, then increase and diversify your businesses and maybe get some workers . Badly needed.

And no more rubbish Dumping on our country , no matter where you are. Most of us pick up , after people , lots of locals make a mess to in parks etc and blame goes to tourists and nomads . I’d like to think , there a very few by ratio making this mess.
So Councils, Governments need to think of places we can go park , toilets showers bins and let this money go into there towns , how many people have stopped and bought a place because they loved it there, otherwise you have nowhere to stay , made feel unwanted . We move on.
So maybe reasonable fees and then we be all happy

Andrew waddington
6 months ago
Reply to  AlanP

You sort of people complain no matter what. You seem to want everything for free. (Nosuch thing incidentally- someone always pays. Whilst a free camper keeps self I am happy that new development site includes news of a new park. Not the normal one of another closing due to too many free loaders.

6 months ago

Yep. No worries at all. Being a truck stop as well could mean a bit of extra noise but it’s not like you’d be there for a week. Our van is well insulated against outside noise anyway. It would be good for the town and any other little town that takes up the idea.

John Walker
6 months ago

Yes we would. We have already enjoyed several great free/low fee campsites in this RV friendly region. The WDRC are doing a great job.

6 months ago

I would stay for $25 a night with water & power and 10c a litre off diesel and free donut with my coffee as part of the package.

6 months ago

Far from a new idea. Packsaddle NSW has pub, shop, cafe, caravan park all in the one spot. Been there for ages.

Barry Nicol
6 months ago

Great idea. Should be more.

6 months ago

This is a great example of positive forward thinking. I would be happy to enjoy this and other similar facilities during future travels.

6 months ago

Great idea.

6 months ago

That sounds like a small country town to me. The only part that is new is the financing of it and the appearance.

Robin Gray
6 months ago

Not enough information here to enable an informed comment. e.g.what effect will this proposed new development have on existing businesses in the town? Will it lead to the closure of small independent businesses that have served the local people for years (as has happened in multiple towns when a Woolies or Bunnings opened up nearby – no small shop owner can compete with big business!!). I’d also like to know what the local people think about it (the ones not seduced by the promise of riches (jobs etc).

Sharon TP
5 months ago
Reply to  Robin Gray

You make a good point Robin, and it would be interesting to know what the local perspective is about the prospect of this centre being built.
I would be on board, if it helped the local community, but not if is detrimental to local people and their businesses.

Graham W
6 months ago

Looking after the truckies and those of us willing to pay for service and good facilities should be well supported., I have no sympathy for those folk who want a free ride . Time to go home/

Mark B
6 months ago

Welcome to the McRoad where you’re guaranteed the same experience at every hub or your rewards points back.
I thought the whole point of grey nomading was to experience the variety of characters and places on offer, so you can compare all their quirks and imperfections with your own.
This type of development will offer convenience, dependability and high prices, of course. But if that’s all I wanted I’d never leave the big smoke.
If it gets a foothold you can wave goodbye to the authentic ‘road’ experience.

Les . Bishop
6 months ago

As Robin has out lined . What happens when they have forced all other businesses in town to close . Won’t be worth stopping then .

William Frost
6 months ago

The return on investment comes from the visitors that stay a while. THEY SPEND while they are there, the longer they stay the more that is spent.
Even if the overnighters get a spot for free, it is still an invitation to spend.
Same as “free delivery” etc, etc. Part of the package. these business people are a lot smarter than you think. Come in and get your fuel, stay overnight for a small fee, have dinner, brekkie, afternoon coffee at the roadhouse. Bloody good idea in my book.

6 months ago

As with all things there are winners & loosers. I suppose the local Gen Store PO operator will need to adjust their business model, perhaps even have to relocate, but then they will have to do the same when the local Coal mine closes & the CSG is shut down. Even now it may be a day to day proposition with around 170 locals & not much reason for travelers to stop & buy.
I prefer the range of old country towns & sometimes quirky businesses but SWMBO prefers the more modern set ups. So we would stop off & have a coffee rather than just do our normal town circuit & self catered morning tea or whatever.
I would like to see them establish a mini tavern/wine bar & bottleO. Perhaps serving some finger food/sampler platters with an emphasis on ‘Traditional’ ingredients. Now here’s a business opportunity for someone. LOL All in all, I would support it’s establishment.

6 months ago

Yes ! yes ! yes I would certainly support this type of facility, mainly because it is not in a major town. We always support small towns when travelling. Being bushies ourselves, realise that if the small towns are not supported they die.So many small towns have gone that way already due to lack of support by both locals & travellers

Jason of Como
6 months ago

Its about convenience. No one wants to drag a caravan or take a truck motorhome through a big complex busy town where parking is almost impossible and the risks of an accident go up dramatically. A highway located, drive in drive out stop sounds perfect to me. A coffee break, stretch the legs, buy a few provisions, fuel up and be on the way.

Guy Williams
6 months ago

It would be handy. I would use it.


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