The parts of Fraser Island you can visit from today
Struggling tourism operators who have been bleeding cash are hoping the reopening of Fraser Island's tourist icons today will bring a wave of last-minute Christmas bookings and resurrect their hopes of a tourist season.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is set to reopen Fraser Island today, allowing access to some of the island's key tourism destinations after a recent downpour helped crews control the catastrophic bushfire that had been burning on the island.
Much-loved sites that will reopen include Lake McKenzie, Pile Valley, Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek and Eurong Beach, while access along the eastern beach will allow visitors to travel to all townships, resorts, private accommodation and island businesses.
The reopening has ignited hope for embattled operators who'd lost up to 60 per cent of their bookings due to fire closures that they can redeem the tourist season.
Cathedrals on Fraser manager Michelle Worcester said she hoped the certainty of reopening would bring last minute bookings, with the campsite just 40 per cent booked this week.
"We did a lot of refunding, there were a lot of cancellations … with the uncertainty of knowing whether this would be open, they cancelled and booked elsewhere," she said.
"If anyone's looking for a last minute Christmas plan, we've got room for them."
Jane Needham - whose business Fraser Dingo 4WD has lost about $50,000 amid the island's closures - said the reopening came at a critical time.
"We are fully booked out for Christmas and new year, but a lot of our customers were sitting on the fence," she said.
"They didn't know whether they can go to the sites."
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said the Christmas period was a key period for operators both in terms of earning and reservations.
"They take bookings that run through for the next six months," he said.
"It's a godsend the rain came, the bookings will flow through and things will get back to normal."
The island's tourism powerhouse Kingfisher Bay Resort will reopen on Saturday.
Wabby Point, Dundubara and Wathumba campgrounds will open tomorrow, as well as a number of beach camp zones.
However other tourist drawcards, like Eli Creek and the Great Walk, will remain closed pending "hazard assessments".
Mr Simons said the further reopening of icons would be crucial to the region's tourism potential.
OPEN FROM TODAY
- Beach access along the eastern beach allowing visitors to travel to K'gari's townships, resorts, private accommodation and island businesses.
- Kingfisher Bay Resort and Village, Lake McKenzie, Pile Valley, Central Station, Wanggoolba Creek and Eurong - via Eurong (or Dilli Village in the south).
-The Wanggoolba creek to Eurong Road is open providing access to the River Heads/-Wanggoolba Creek barge service.
-Lake Birrabeen, Lake Boomanjin through to Dilli Village
-Lake Wabby walking track and toilet facilities.
-The Champagne Pools (Middle Rocks) and associated carparks and toilet facilities.
-Wathumba Creek via the Wathumba-Orchid Beach track.
Beach camping zones 1, 2 & 3.
Beach Camp Zones 6, 7 & 8.
Waddy Point beachfront camping.
Waddy Point campground.
Originally published as The parts of Fraser Island you can visit from today