Barring any Covid spread disasters, north Queensland is gearing up for a massive influx of grey nomads and other travellers over the coming weeks.
Last year, the iconic Cape York region was a veritable ghost town as it was put under a biosecurity declaration to protect its remote communities.
The ABC reports that the region has just reopened after wet season and tourists are already flooding in.
Less than a month after the arterial Peninsula Development Road opened, the manager of the campground at Weipa, Brooke Quartermaine, says things are pretty busy.
“I think this will be the biggest season we’ve ever witnessed in the 10 years that we’ve been here,” she told the ABC. “Already our bookings are quite solid, even right now we’re sort of sitting at around 80% … generally at this time of year we’re around about 60% occupancy.”
The Department of Environment says some national park campgrounds across the Cape are already booked at 75% capacity over the next three months.
While many of the grey nomads heading to the Tip are veterans of the road, some other travellers are new to camping … having decided to hit the road in lieu of an overseas holiday this year.
Cape York mechanic Sam Nolan told the ABC that the trip is not suitable for the overconfident or the under prepared, and that he had already two cars totalled this year due to flooded engines.
“We’ve got two cars behind me that have already drowned, and a lot of repairs we’ve done,” Mr Nolan said. “It’s starting to get busy.”
He told the ABC that those travellers needing rescues were generally making some fundamental errors.
“Probably over confidence, not driving to conditions, driving too fast, driving in people’s dust, just generally a lack of experience I think,” he said. “Slow down, stay out of other people’s dust, be courteous, it’s not a race … take your time.”