10 May 2023

Tourism dollars starting to flow to Cape’s businesses

| Matt Nicholls
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Western Cape Eco Tours owner Mal Slack with his daughter Amelia.

A SLOW tourist season should spring to life in the coming weeks as travellers embark on their trip of a lifetime to Cape York.

“People still think Queensland is flooded,” said Bobby Woods, the manager of Hann River Roadhouse, who is hoping for a good tourist season.

“They might see the Brisbane floods on the news and think that is all of the state.”

Weipa Camping Ground owner Brooke Quartermaine said it was an issue trying to convince people that Cape York was open for business.

“It’s definitely not everyone but some people ring up and ask if they can get here,” she said.

“It didn’t help that we had some late rain in the wet season.”

Cape York Weekly drove the Peninsula Developmental Road last week and while it has seen better days, it was certainly in good enough condition for just about any roadworthy vehicle to get from Laura to Weipa.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads appears to have worked to get the road open first, with a view to fixing up washed out sections.

Drivers might need to pay a little bit more attention until those damaged sections are fixed.

The good news for motorists is there were very few corrugations and there were a number of road crews out and about, meaning the road should be in good condition for the June-July school holidays.

Ken Godfrey says Bramwell Station and the roadhouse are running as per usual, with some concerns voiced after the station was sold to the state government.

“Tourists won’t notice one change,” he said.

“The tourist park is running as per usual and we’ve got live entertainment every night.”

Mr Godfrey has arranged some great acts throughout the season, including Phil Cass, an award-winning comedy entertainer.

“The station talks and buffet are also back, which will keep the tourists happy,” he said.

In Weipa, the family-owned and operated Western Cape Eco Tours has a massive year ahead, with the combination of tour bus groups and general tourists filling their vessel.

“It’s going to be a busy year but we are looking forward to it,” said owner Mal Slack.

“The tourists really like that we are a locally owned and operated business.”

Weipa’s Mine and Town Tours started the season shakily after a critical break-down, but the bus is back on the road and is also set for a busy year.

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