Burke and Wills Roadhouse changes hands

Burke and Wills Roadhouse changes hands


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Owen Rankine hands over the keys to the Burke and Wills Roadhouse to Ben and Cheri Stanger. Photo supplied.

Owen Rankine hands over the keys to the Burke and Wills Roadhouse to Ben and Cheri Stanger. Photo supplied.

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A remote business in Outback Queensland will experience a new lease of life.

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A remote business in North West Queensland will experience a new lease of life with the sale of the Burke and Wills Roadhouse.

Strategically located halfway between Cloncurry and the Gulf the roadhouse is a vital stop for travellers at the Four Ways.

Ben and Cheri Stanger of Cowan Downs Station purchased the business on Saturday May 11 from long-term owner Owen Rankine.

The roadhouse has served the district for half a century and Owen owned it for the last 12 years keeping travellers and locals fed and fueled up with a friendly smile.

When they heard he was ready to move on, the Stangers approached Owen to purchase the roadhouse.

"We have lived up here for nine years, living 40km north of Burke and Wills. So we have been in and out of the roadhouse many times," Ms Stanger said.

"It's a great little destination and an iconic little roadhouse and we always thought how nice it would be to own it."

Growing up on cattle stations, this is the Stangers' first business venture outside the agriculture industry.

"At the moment I am feeling like I might be slightly mad for taking it on," Ms Stanger said.

"My husband Ben and I grew up on cattle stations so we are comfortable with cattle and horses and different facets of running a cattle station, but throw us into the roadhouse environment and we are totally out of our depth."

But hopefully not for too long.

"I mean it is really good to get out of your comfort zone and throw yourself in the deep end and learn new skills and adapt and that's what we are doing," she said.

"We are learning a lot. We are really excited it has been a few good days so far."

The new owners have been busy organising a fresh new look and atmosphere for the roadhouse.

A new feature wall freshly painted at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Photo supplied.

A new feature wall freshly painted at the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Photo supplied.

"At the moment we painting it and giving it a fresh new start, we will add some new furniture and add stock new items including cosmetics," Ms Stanger said.

"We are going to continue on with the business while developing the caravan park a little and adding to the social environment.

"We want to have a few nights for the locals, so we are looking to run some pool competitions and host footy nights."

Ms Stanger said the roadhouse was a vital necessity to outback Queensland

"Due to the vast remoteness out here it is an essential stop," she said.

"It is not a town here it is just a roadhouse. It's 200km north of Cloncurry, the same south of Normanton, 250km from Julia Creek and 180km to Gregory, it's a great distance to break up any journey.

"Its the perfect spot to break a trip up, have a break, a cold drink, a bite to eat and fuel up and we look forward to welcoming everyone here."

The North West Star

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