Nearly 13,000 people pitched a tent or unrolled a swag in Queensland’s national parks and state forests over the ANZAC weekend, providing a massive tourism boost to regional areas.
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson said campers were finding it easier to take advantage of the state’s natural assets, thanks to the Newman Government’s commitment to allow better access to protected areas.
“Following on from the bumper Easter numbers across the state, campers and day-trippers flocked to parks to enjoy more great weather in the last long weekend before June,” Mr Dickson said.
“We are making good on our election promise to grow tourism as one of the four pillars of the economy and it’s fantastic to see Queenslanders embracing their own backyard.
“Over the four nights from Thursday, 12,944 people camped, and 20,614 vehicle access permits were issued.
“On the Sunshine Coast, people enjoyed the coastal and inland parks, with mostly good behaviour, while Rangers were kept busy in Cooloola with plenty of visitors.
“In the Gold Coast hinterland, Springbrook and Lamington national park campgrounds were full and the parks were busy with day-trippers. Further west in central Queensland, the major parks were busy, with most campgrounds booked out.
“After weeks of rain following Tropical Cyclone Ita, the clouds parted over north Queensland on Saturday and visitors and locals took the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the beach and forests. Thousands watched the mountain bike events at Atherton and Smithfield.”
Mr Dickson said Queensland’s autumn and winter were perfect times to get outdoors.
“The new Parks Discovery site, at www.nationalparks.queensland.com, will inspire people to visit new locations and try out new activities for their next outdoor adventure” he said.
“Easter is the start of the visitor season in Queensland’s outback and tourism is a big part of the outback economy.
“Queensland has more than 200 national parks with more than 470 camping areas and more than 2,000 kilometres of walking tracks, so make this the year you discover all our state has to offer.”
Popular parks and forests:
Danbulla (Tinaroo, near Atherton) – 566 people (1,612 camper nights)
Cooloola (Great Sandy National Park) – 2,195 people (5,869 camper nights)
Fraser Island (Great Sandy National Park) – 1690 people (7,962 camper nights)
Inskip Peninsula (near Rainbow Beach) – 1,524 people (5,312 camper nights)
Moreton Island – 755 people (3,006 camper nights)
Bribie Island – 589 people (1,480 camper nights)
Girraween (near Stanthorpe) – 503 people (1,299 camper nights)