The Rock Roadhouse, built nearly 30 years ago by 1970s TV duo The Leyland Brothers as part of a theme park north of Newcastle is no more after being destroyed by fire overnight.
A crime scene has been established after an iconic service station was destroyed by fire in the Mid-North Coast.
Police say emergency services were called to the Pacific Highway site at around 7.30pm to find the service station well alight. The local Rural Fire Service sent 18 trucks to bring the blaze under control and prevent the fire spreading to the fuel storage area, but the building was destroyed.
Employees escaped the blaze uninjured.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined and police are investigating.
18 fire trucks from the #NSWRFS and #FRNSW are fighting a fire at ‘The Rock’ Roadhouse at North Arm Cove on the Pacific Highway (Mid Coast) The structure is completely alight & crews are protecting fuel storage facilities on site. There have been no reported injuries. pic.twitter.com/sgdgGbW48Y
— NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) July 31, 2018
The 1/40th scale replica of Uluru, then known as Ayers Rock, was built as part of a theme park with amusement rides, and a bush camp on a 40-hectare property at North Arm Cove, by Mike and Mal Leyland in the late 80s.
The pair brought the Australian outback to TV views throughout the 70s and 80s in a series called Leyland Brothers’ World, which followed their family travels across the nation.
But their theme park development was hampered by bad weather during construction and 27% interest rates during Paul Keating’s “recession we had to have” and the business failed in 1992.
The roadhouse survived, along with the student education centre, the Great Aussie Bush Camp.
Mike Leyland died from Parkinson’s disease in 2009. His brother Mal continues to write about travel and make documentary films.
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