On Tuesday it was announced that Queensland’s borders will reopen next week to interstate travellers from all states except Victoria.
From midday 10 July, travellers from New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT can apply for a border pass, allowing them to travel into Queensland, so long as they haven’t visited Victoria in the previous two weeks.
The required documentation is simply an online border declaration verifying each traveller’s state of origin and confirming they have not been to any local government area in Victoria in the past 14 days. Anyone who has will need to undergo mandatory quarantine in a hotel at their own expense for two weeks. And hefty fines of up to $4000 apply for any false statements.
Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addressed that Victoria’s COVID-19 community transmission rate remains a point of concern, which is why these restrictions remain in place.
“Let me state from the outset, Queensland has very large concerns about the state of Victoria,” said Ms Palaszczuk. “Due to the current community transmission levels, the border with Victoria will remain closed.”
Meanwhile – for those who can enter Queensland – tourism operators in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef have been innovating and reinvigorating while their doors have been closed to create some exciting new experiences for travellers.
From the reef, the rainforest and the outback, here’s all the new activities tourists can get involved in:
Top tower view
If bungy jumping isn’t your thing, you can now tackle the new Tower Climb and Lookout instead and cheer your mates on. It’s a 196-step climb but at the top you’ll be rewarded with a top view of the Great Barrier Reef and the chance to photograph your friend’s expression as they take the plunge. ajhackett.com
Daintree Food Trail
Queensland’s northern-most mushroom farm, a goat farm and the effervescent Penelope Kefir Queen are among almost 30 producers and members of the newly launched Daintree Food Trail. Celebrating the diverse produce and farm gates on the Great Barrier Reef Drive between Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation, the tour can be done on your own with the downloadable map or with a chef as a guide. daintreefoodtrail.com
See stars underwater
Marine biologists at Reef Magic Cruises are installing Reef Stars at their Marine World Pontoon. These provide a stable base for coral to grow on with the aim of increasing coral cover. Guests will glide over the Reef Stars on the glass-bottom boat tour.
Taste the tropics
Taste locally grown wagyu beef and tropical delicacies at KUR-Cow Farm’s inaugural Taste of Tropical North Queensland on July 12. Breakfast, lunch, and sunset BBQ packages are available with ATV tours, a hayride and horse riding offering a cowboy experience at the Kuranda property.
Sip gin at the distillery
Rediscover the summer flavours of mango, finger lime and ruby grapefruit with the local Wolf Lane Distillery Tropical Gin at the cellar door. Three Wolves kickstarted Cairns city’s small bar scene when they opened their namesake bar in a laneway, followed by the below street-level Flamingo’s Tiki Bar, and have just opened the gin bar at the Wolf Lane Distillery.
Riley, a Crystalbrook Collection Resort
In response to Covid-19, Crystalbrook Collection group became Australia’s first cashless hospitality company. In Cairns, the Riley Resort will reopen with the group’s Mindfully Safe program which donates $5 from every direct booking to Beyond Blue. Guests can de-stress with relaxing Spotify playlists and meditations, as well as yoga, barre, pilates and art classes on the in-room iPad. Crystalbrook will also toast the return of its interstate guests with a $100 bar tab for every direct online booking from neighbouring states (excluding Victoria) made before July 17.
Introduce the kids to diving
Children aged from 8 to 11 who can’t wait until they turn 12 to learn to dive can try scuba diving for the first time with Divers Den’s PADI-endorsed program for kids. The dive is done in a pool where you can also snorkel and scoot about with an underwater scooter.
Awesome outback stay
Mt Mulligan Lodge is the only Australian property to make the Conde Nast Traveller 2020 Hot List. The Northern Escape Collection property is on a working cattle station beneath the awesome Mt Mulligan, a tabletop mountain that can be seen from miles away in the outback. It is reopening with the special rate of $800 per night, all-inclusive for two guests – a saving of $900 per night.
Follow the taste leader
Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures has launched tag-a-long tasting adventures from Cairns, the Northern Beaches and Port Douglas taking in the farm gates of the Atherton Tablelands. Try locally grown coffee, nuts, tropical fruits, cheese, fruit wines and spirits and listen to the commentary via CB radio.
Cooktown Expo reimagined
Cooktown will mark the 251st anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing in the Endeavour River as part of the Cooktown and Cape York Expo 2021 – The Rising Tide on June 11-20, 2021. The event will focus on reconciliation, regeneration and economic recovery to put the spotlight on the history, adventure, culture and natural beauty of Cooktown and Cape York.
Encore for film festival
The Port Shorts Virtual Film Festival hosted by Australian actor Stephen Curry will be held on October 16-17 in Port Douglas. The free festival will showcase the best of Port Shorts from the past five years.
Images: Supplied/Tourism Tropical North Queensland.
Feature Image: Tourism and Events Queensland