10 May 2023

New tourism venture to launch on the east coast of Cape

| Sarah Martin
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Mim Bauman and Neale Dahl are planning to launch a campground at Cape Weymouth on the east coast next year. They are located near Chilli Beach.

VISITORS to Cape York could wake up to one of the most spectacular views on the Peninsula, with Cape Weymouth Camping and Cabins planned to be open for the 2023 tourist season.

A development application for the venture, the brainchild of Neale Dahl and Mim Bauman, was approved by Cook Shire Council in September, with the first stage for self-contained camping hoped to be up and running in early 2023.

“It’s going to be a staged development,” Mr Dahl told Cape York Weekly.

“First, we’re going to develop some campsites, which will require fairly low capital, and progressively build accommodation units and see how they go.”

The demand was obvious, with the nearby Chilli Beach campground, managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, regularly booked out during peak season.

“I’m sure our venture will be popular because it’s a beautiful area with limited accommodation available and I don’t think tourist numbers are going to reduce,” Mr Dahl said.

“As the Peninsula Developmental Road gets better, there’s going to be more people travelling who aren’t hardcore campers and want a little bit better accommodation.

“It’s a really nice spot, with views to the hills on one side and views to the ocean on the other.”

The couple has been approved to host more than 70 people at the site between their campsites and 10 cabins planned for construction in the development’s second and third stages.

Mr Dahl, who has lived on the Cape since the 1980s and has been at Cape Weymouth for 15 years, said there was a bigger market for the accommodation.

“Our region is very popular with birdwatchers as well, which the units could be used for in the wet season.”

Mr Dahl said the development application process had been onerous, with numerous state government requirements to be complied with.

“It has been very complex and we spent a lot of money before we’ve even turned a sod of dirt, but we stuck with it and, hopefully, it will be open for business for camping next year.”

The next challenge for the couple will be construction of the second and third stages in such a remote location, with the nearest hardware store in Weipa.

“You can’t just go down to the hardware and get a fitting, everything has to be planned in advance,” Mr Dahl said.

“If you need something, you have to pre-order it. But people come here for the remoteness, there are no neighbours.

“I think it’s a nice place to just enjoy the surrounds and the environment.”

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