Beach boom continues for break

GOOD TIMES: Abbey and Tanya Rasmussen camping at Inskip point.
GOOD TIMES: Abbey and Tanya Rasmussen camping at Inskip point. Renee Albrecht

IT TAKES more than an underwater landslide - even if it is called a "sinkhole" - to sink the Cooloola Coast visitor economy, according to accommodation providers.

And Inskip Point campers said the much-feared subsidence had ironically given them a new safe kids' beach.

But not everyone is happy.

Rainbow Beach Holiday Village manager Annette Cochrane reported full cabins, campsites and caravan sites over the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

"We turned a lot away," she said.

"We could fill it twice over at Christmas and Easter."

Steve May of Tin Can Bay Tourist Park also reported a packed-out holiday season.

"They started coming in on Boxing Day and it's been full ever since," he said.

"Bookings are slower for Australia Day but with the park less crowded, we're back to being pet-friendly, so people can bring their dogs with them," he said.

But the good news was not evenly distributed and the "sinkhole" directly had an impact on Inskip-dependent businesses like Deans Ice Worx.

"Bad publicity and bad administrative decisions," Tony Dean said yesterday.

"Inskip was a total disaster for us. The numbers weren't there. They almost filled up on New Year's Eve, but instead of chockers at 2750, they might have capped out at 2400 for one night," he said.

That combined with a ban on all vehicles between the subsidence and the barge landing zone.

"They banned everyone from the beach, including us, so we didn't sell ice creams along there," Mr Dean said.

"But that (order) came from Brisbane, not our local officers.

"They could have banned through traffic, because they have a good road, but they could have allowed campers and us access to the beach," he said.

"They made everyone use the area near the barges and the traffic there would have been far more dangerous than letting people on to the beach from the camping areas.

"The south-easterlies blew out Teewah, where we also sell to campers, so we've got a lot of stock in rented cold rooms.

"We'll spend the rest of this month trying to sell it.

"Fraser Island went well, but Inskip never fired. We probably lost 25% of our turnover from selling ice creams and cold drinks.

"You have to prepare for a good season because you don't want to run out of stock, but we're sitting on a lot of stock now."

Meanwhile, holiday camp site bookings are picking up for the January season, including Australia Day, according to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service website.

Hinterland camping areas, private and government operated, continue to have space available for January, but sites are filling up for January from Fraser Island to Teewah, and bookings are advisable.

Gympie Times

Topics:  boom camping holiday outdoor-living rainbow beach

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