Caravan parks in Queensland’s Capricorn Coast have reported a surge in bookings as concerns grow about the Covid outbreak in the southeast of the state.
The Courier-Mail reports that staff at the Island View park at Kinka Beach near Rockhampton stopped counting at ‘144 phone calls’ one day last week, long after they had filled the 10 remaining vacant spaces in the park.
“I think a lot of people are panicking and making the split-second decision to pack the family in a van and hit the highway without doing their homework,” said manager, Andrew Smits. “They don’t understand we’re always busy in winter so there’s nowhere for them to go.”
People who usually only stay two weeks in Central Queensland are deciding to stay for two months or more, extending park bookings into what would usually be the quiet season.
“No-one wants to go home,” Mr Smits told the Courier-Mail. “We’re already up to 78% full from the end of May through to the end of September, which is unheard of.”
The sheer number of travellers who can’t find a place to book in is fuelling concerns about whether the existing infrastructure can cope. There are already reports that people are camping illegally in car parks up and down the Capricorn Coast.
However, not all wannabe travellers have made it on to the open road. The Courier-Mail reports that some parks are disappointed that many of their regular ‘grey nomads’ won’t be able to join them this year as they enter lockdown in their southeast Queensland homes.
“We’ve had a lot of our regulars ring and say there were in quarantine,” said Murray McLay from Yeppoon’s Beachside Holiday Park. “We’re going to miss them… but those places are filling quickly.”