ON THE BEACH: Jennifer Parkhurst sent this picture of the Fraser Island traffic queue, with vehicles stretching in line up to and around Hook Point, as campers returned home via Rainbow Beach.
ON THE BEACH: Jennifer Parkhurst sent this picture of the Fraser Island traffic queue, with vehicles stretching in line up to and around Hook Point, as campers returned home via Rainbow Beach.

Fraser Is gateway's Easter traffic jam

IT TAKES more than disaster to keep people away from a Cooloola Coast Easter holiday.

Cyclone Debbie may have knocked the holiday spirit out of many regular Easter visitors, but numbers were still big and beautiful.

"You have to expect some impact when you have most of the state drought declared, until a girl called Debbie floods a fair bit of Queensland and New South Wales and then kicks New Zealand in the butt twice,” said seafood retailer Sandy Brosnan.

Pumping up tyres and topping up tanks as Easter crowds headed home.
Pumping up tyres and topping up tanks as Easter crowds headed home.

"But in saying that, we had a record Good Friday, which was lovely,” she said.

At the other end of town, another holiday spending barometer was Ruth Modin's Sea Salt @ Rainbow general store.

Strange as it may seem, Mrs Modin said it seemed beautiful weather may have kept people at their campsites and the beach, making for slower business in town.

"It was a good Easter, but not our biggest numbers,” she said.

Another factor the two well known Rainbow Beach businesswomen noted was that Easter this year fell at the wrong end of the school holidays. "Often it's at the beginning and people stay, but yesterday I couldn't count the cars heading home, trying desperately to beat the rush,” Mrs Brosnan said,

"A lot of campers left yesterday,” Mrs Modin confirmed.

"Dad's got to clean the car and Mum's got to get ready for school and it's too hard (at the last minute).”

Service stations were packed with returning holiday makers yesterday, pumping their tyres back up to road pressure after a weekend on the sand, and topping up the fuel tank for the trip home.

Rainbow Beach life savers and Tin Can Bay Coast Guard volunteers reported a busy time in and on the water, but "not busy for us, fortunately.”

Coast Guard Commander John Van der Heijde said there were "plenty of boats on the water but no emergencies.”

Life saver Kristy Reid also reported a busy beach but no emergencies.

Fraser Island barge operators on Monday were bracing for a rush of returning campers on the late afternoon low tide.

Gympie Times


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