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18 May, 2020

Camping back on the menu

Camping spots across Far North Queensland are starting to book out in the lead-up to eased lockdown restrictions.

By Phil Brandel

Camping spots across Far North Queensland are starting to book out in the lead-up to eased lockdown restrictions.

Stage 2 restrictions are set to be lifted, at 11.59pm on Friday, June 12.  This means Queensland residents will be able to drive up 250 kilometres and we could also see interstate travel resume.

Caravan parks and camping grounds could be reopening to guests and with the school holidays starting on June 26, the best camping spots are already starting to fill up.

Former Mareeba Shire Council Deputy Mayor Alan Pedersen says that bookings have already started to flood in for camping at his Karma Waters Station.

“Once the nod came through that restrictions would start to be lifted on May 12, we started getting bookings straight away,” he said

“We are booked out for all of June and for half of July.”

Mr Pedersen said that people were sitting tight and waiting for the green light before booking anything.

“We have a lot of regulars who have been locked up for the past few months, so they need to get out of their house and as soon as word got out they just started booking,” he said

“Over Easter, we had nobody here during the lockdown, we lost Easter and the school holidays which is normally our busiest season.

“We are also nearly booked out for the September/October School Holidays.”

Atherton Gas & Camping owner Mike Wadley said sales had been slow during the lockdown.

“We were selling a lot of charcoal and briquettes for the low and slow and BBQ”

“Things like smokers have had a bit of resurgence, people are stuck at home with time on their hands and they were practising their BBQ techniques.”

Since the PM announced that camping will be lifted come June 12, Mike admits there’s been a slow increase in camping sales.

“We are still not as busy as last year but people are starting to think about it at the moment.’ he said

“Compared to 12 months ago Easter was non-existent, normally it’s our busiest time of the year when it comes to camping,

“It is slowly starting to pick up now. People are getting prepared, people want to go camping, they’re just not sure where they can go.”

Alan and Karen Pedersen from Karma Waters Station

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