Attention beach campers and four-wheel drivers – don’t start your holidays without a booking and a permit.
Minister for Environment Leeanne Enoch has reminded anyone planning on camping in national parks these school holidays, to ensure they have camping permits and the correct vehicle access authority before heading to their favourite recreation areas.
“Queensland is Good to Go and camping holidays are the perfect way to support tourism and regional jobs, which is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan for economic recovery,” Ms Enoch said.
“As has always been the case, campers in national parks must have the appropriate permits and book online prior to starting their trip.
“During COVID-19 restrictions, limits have been in place for the number of people able to visit national parks in locations like Bribie Island and Cooloola Recreation Areas.
In line with the Stage 3 easing of restrictions, the number of four-wheel-drive permits will increase to 500 for day trips to these recreation areas, which is great news for Queenslanders wanting to spend the day on these beautiful beaches.
Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said it’s wonderful to have people planning holidays again.
“We are thrilled people are looking to spend money locally and support small business right here in Noosa and in Queensland,” Ms Anderson said.
“Tourism is the biggest economic driver for the Noosa region and our tourism operators have been hit hard over the past few months since the bushfires and then COVID-19.
“Our operators are resilient and they are so pleased to welcome visitors back to Noosa. If people are camping in the nearby Great Sandy National Park or just booking accommodation in Noosa, we encourage you to book early.”
Cooloola and Bribie’s beaches are restricted access areas under the Chief Health Officer’s approved Industry COVID Safe Plan for QPWS Campgrounds.
A person can only enter these restricted areas when they hold both an authority to enter the restricted access area and a valid vehicle access permit.
“Access authorities cost nothing on top of the vehicle access permits, however you must obtain one and reserve your visit to avoid being turned around at the gate or risking a fine,” Ms Enoch said.
“Even existing vehicle permit holders with an annual pass still require an access authority for the days they intend to visit these recreation areas, however legitimate vehicle access exemption holders are unaffected.
“Our message is clear, do all your research before you leave home and be prepared,” she said.
Over on K’gari (Fraser Island), both campers and dingoes are being kept safe with a $500,000 fencing project which has also been completed in some campgrounds.
Minister Enoch said that more than 400,000 people visit K’gari annually, and the majority of negative interactions with dingoes and campers are a result of visitors not following QPWS safety messaging.
“The Cornwells and Wongai campgrounds are complete and will be available for bookings over these school holidays.
“The One Tree Rocks and Eli camping areas are expected to be completed shortly.
“While the new fenced campgrounds will help keep people safe, they are still required to follow the QPWS dingo-safe messaging and not feed or approach dingoes.”
The Department of Environment and Science is working closely with the Chief Health Officer to increase capacity at campgrounds.