Grey nomads and other campers have been cautiously returning to the reopened Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area campsites following the ‘sinkhole’ drama there earlier this year.
The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service recently authorised the campsites’ re-opening, while also establishing a ‘no camping’ buffer zone and a ‘no-drive zone’ along sections of beach in high-risk areas.
Back in September, a massive sinkhole ‘swallowed’ a car, a caravan and camper trailer at MV Beagle Campground, north of Queensland’s Rainbow Beach, and hundreds of campers had to be evacuated.
For safety reasons, the M.V. Beagle camping area and the eastern section of the M.V. Sarawak camping area were closed but – with Christmas fast approaching – the campers are now being welocmed back.
“We’ve kept ‘lost’ campsites to a minimum and reopened the two campgrounds, while keeping safety as the priority,” said National Parks Minister, Dr Steven Miles. “QPWS now has a temporary barrier in place defining the buffer zone, and expects to have installed a permanent low fence, as well as safety, regulatory and interpretive signage, by Christmas.”
The re-opening follows a report by geotechnical experts into the potential risk of similar events occurring in the future.
“QPWS has now received and considered the report, and has worked with the consultant to establish the ‘no camping’ buffer zone in susceptible areas along the shoreline,” said Dr Miles. “In front of that buffer zone we have also temporarily closed high-risk beach areas where people should not drive or park, pending further public consultation.”
He said that people will still be able to walk along that section of beach, and that keeping it free of vehicle traffic will also improve visitor safety.
“Rainbow Beach is well known to Queenslanders as the gateway to some of the most amazing natural attractions to be found anywhere in the world,” said Dr Miles. “I can assure visitors and local businesses that there will be plenty of capacity at Inskip right across summer, and also plenty of space for campers at nearby Teewah Beach and Fraser Island.”