Revealed: When Coast attraction will reopen
ONE of the Gold Coast's biggest tourist attractions will reopen just in time for the school holidays as it prepares to welcome back visitors to a post-coronavirus world.
Currumbin Sanctuary will today reveal it plans to reopen on June 26 as it works through the final stages of securing approval from the State Government for its COVID safe plan.
However, it will only be able to operate at a heavily reduced capacity while maintaining social distancing.
Final numbers are still being negotiated with Queensland Health but it is expected to allow for around 1500 people to pass through the gates a day, half of its usual 3000-per-day crowds.
Sanctuary general manager Michael Kelly said he was looking forward to welcoming the public back.
"We have our own COVID safe plan which is being reviewed by Queensland Health and based on this we have made the decision to reopen on June 26," he said.
"We are really excited by this because it will be right before the school holidays and people will be able to come into the sanctuary and enjoy the wide open spaces and have some good quality time with their families."
Currumbin Sanctuary, along with the Gold Coast's four theme parks, were forced to close on March 23 because of tight social distancing restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Even though the park will be reopening, things will not be the same as they were before the closure, with some exhibits, features and experiences unable to be safely done.
Mr Kelly said safety precautions were essential and would mean a visit to the sanctuary would be different.
"Obviously the sanctuary will look very different when it opens because our COVID safe plan focuses on the visitor experience and this means there will be thing which will not be operating the way they were before the shutdown," he said.
"Parts of the sanctuary may not be open and there will be limits to how many people will be allowed in the show areas.
"Paid animal experiences will be temporarily on hold
"Our animals have definitely been missing having guests around and while we have been trying to keep them company in the past few months, they are very keen to see people again."
Currumbin Sanctuary, which was founded by Dr Alex Griffiths in 1947, was given a significant boost yesterday when the State Government announced it would receive a share of $11 million in funding to allow it to keep paying its staff while awaiting a reopening date.
Both Ardent Leisure and Village Roadshow have submitted their COVID safe plans for their theme parks and are awaiting the green light to reopen.
Originally published as Revealed: When Coast attraction will reopen