Australia’s Cape region braces itself for a bustling tourist season, even with recent road closures and potential rain during the Easter holiday.
According to a report by Cape York Weekly, local businesses, including campground owners and tour operators, eagerly anticipate a successful season, as the self-drive market consistently provides an annual influx of bookings.
Dave Hartwell of Seisia-based Cape York Adventures shares his optimism, stating, “It’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty busy season.” He also believes that the investments made by people in cars, camper trailers, and caravans will keep the region bustling for years to come.
Weipa Camping Ground Owner Brooke Quartermaine echoes this sentiment, saying, “We’re really looking forward to a strong season and can’t wait for it to start.”
She acknowledges that recent flooding and natural disasters in Burketown and the Kimberley may steer some clientele their way while also expressing sympathy for the affected regions.
The impact of weather and road conditions on the tourist season is significant. Leslyn Auchterlonie at Cooktown Caravan Park notes that she was fully booked for the Easter weekend but expected cancellations if it rained.
“Weather pending, Easter is always a really good start to the busy season. We’re booked out, and I’m confident the weather is going to remain fantastic,” said Auchterlonie.
After experiencing its quietest off-season in two years, likely due to rain and misconceptions about road accessibility, Cooktown eagerly awaits the arrival of visitors. Ms. Auchterlonie said she thinks the town is going to be welcoming an early start to the season.
The opening of the Peninsula Developmental Road is crucial to Cooktown’s busy season.
“Our busy season kicks off about a week before the road opens, and if it doesn’t open, we have a slow start. But this time of year, we’re all aware that it could be a month or more before it opens,” said Auchterlonie.
Holidaymakers Mick Brandt and Paula Clancy, spending their Easter between Cooktown and the Lion’s Den Hotel at Helenvale, share their love for the area.
Brandt said, “It’s our fifth time up here; we love coming up for a weekend and just chilling out.” The couple enjoys various activities such as golf, massages, fishing, exploring the markets, and walking during their stay in the region.
With local businesses’ optimism and a robust self-drive market, the Cape region is gearing up for what promises to be another thriving tourist season, despite the challenges posed by weather and road conditions.