Quickfix saves lives and sanity with good coffee
THERE are truck drivers blowing their horns, tourists taking photos and a steady crowd gathered chewing on scones and coffee.
It's not the Clarence Valley's latest tourist attraction, but 5km north of the Iluka turnoff, a little blue caravan hidden in a rest area is stopping traffic.
Ray and Edwina Cameron have been running their Quickfix Coffee stop out of the caravan for over a year now, and said it was their experience travelling highways that inspired the business in the rest area.
"We travel between here and Longreach quite regularly and always said you could never find a decent coffee anywhere," Edwina said.
"And now more and more towns are being bypassed, it's even further off the road for people to have a decent break."
After obtaining approvals from the local council and the RMS on the placement of the site, the little blue caravan opened on Australia Day last year, and one year on it is going strong.
Stocked with pies from Iluka bakery, Botero coffee and an assortment of homemade cakes, biscuits and scones, people often make the stop on the highway journey.
"I've become known as the scone lady for my baking, which is funny because I never really thought as myself as some kind of chef," Edwina laughed.
"We have a good bunch of regulars and followers that stop in here now and grab something on the way through."
Sitting on the side of the highway, they say they see people of all ages, and with all different modes of transportation.
"We see people quite often doing journeys walking or cycling up the highway for various charities that always stop in and say hello," Edwina said.
"We even had one man in a 1930 Rolls Royce limousine, and he took me for a quick spin up the road in it."
We even had one man in a 1930 Rolls Royce limousine, and he took me for a quick spin up the road in it.
What is common to almost all the people they see however, is the need for them to take a break.
"We have a lot of people come in and tell us 'Thank God you're here' - and tell us of how they've had micro sleeps on the highway, or just really needed a break," Edwina said.
"And they can come to the window quite angry and agitated but we'll get them a coffee, have a talk to them and watch them calm down."
And it's this aspect of their work they say makes the hours on the isolated stretch of road worthwhile.
"I don't think we're changing the world, but I think it's a good thing to do," Edwina said.
"We will talk to absolutely everyone that comes through here, and I think people really appreciate the interaction and the break and leave here in a lot better place.
Quickfix Coffee van is open from 8.30am-3.30pm Monday to Friday just north of the Iluka turnoff in the southbound lane at Beekeepers Rest Area.
They are available on Facebook under Quickfix Coffee and on Instagram under quickfixcoffee or at http://www.quickfixcoffee.com.au.