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19 June, 2020

Top attractions reopen

Some of the region’s top tourist attractions have recently reopened thanks to the recent lifting of stage two COVID restrictions.

By Phil Brandel

Some of the region’s top tourist attractions have recently reopened thanks to the recent lifting of stage two COVID restrictions.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld at Kuranda all reopened on Saturday, June 13.

Angela Freeman who is the Group Director of Sales and Marketing at Wildlife Tropical North Queensland said the reopening has been very exciting.

“As soon as we went into lockdown we did a complete renovation of the Kuranda Koala gardens entrance, so nobody has seen that. We also spent lockdown doing lots of cleaning and maintenance and the birds at Birdworld have been missing their daily visitors.’ She said

“We were able to keep the vast majority of our keepers on so this has meant we've had fulltime care for our animals over the past few months.”

Ms Freeman said during lockdown they had been lucky enough to have a few new additions to their wildlife parks.

“We have a few new additions including Macca the bearded dragon who has joined a harem of 4 lady bearded dragons. “ Ms Freeman said

“We also have our new Aussie Bush collection, which is our new multi-species exhibit that has koalas, potoroos and reptiles and we have a new baby koala that’s just starting to pop its head out of the pouch.

“We also have a new baby pademelon that was born during our lockdown.”

Since the COVID closures Ms Freeman says the company has had thousands of bookings cancelled mainly from overseas, this has run into hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost revenue.

“Since reopening, we have been getting steady inquires, but the border closure is really hurting us."

“We have so much enthusiasm from people in southern states that want to visit us, they are so keen on booking and they are so disappointed that they can’t come up.

“To miss out on the Easter trade and now the mid-year trade has cost us drastically. It’s going to be very hard for the next 12 – 18 months to get back on our feet”

Ms Freeman says during this uncertain time they really appreciate help from locals “We just need whatever support people can give if people have relatives coming up from down south send them this way,” she said

“If people have been spending the last couple of years going to Bali or Fiji now is the time to holiday and discover your own backyard, we really appreciate all the locals who have supported us and in return, we are offering a 20 per cent discount off the admission price for locals with ID.”







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