Assistant Editor’s Note: The following update is from Tourism Australia, released January 18th.
Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Agnes Water, 1770, Whitsundays, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are accessible and tourism operations are normal.
All Queensland airports with the exception of Rockhampton, are currently open and operating normally.
The Bruce Highway, the main road link from Brisbane to Cairns, is now open. Brisbane, the Darling Downs, Southern Downs and Granite Belt and Capricorn Coast are now recovering with most tourism operations open and affected tourism operations returning to normal as quickly as possible. There are however still some local road closures in some areas. Visit http://131940.qld.gov.au/ for the latest road conditions.
Parts of Central Queensland, Queensland’s Outback, Western Downs and the Lockyer Valley continue to be affected and access to these areas is restricted.
Please contact your travel agent, accommodation, attraction or tour provider directly for latest conditions or with concerns about any current or upcoming bookings you may have.
For the latest travel information visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au For the latest conditions Tourism Queensland recommends visiting the Queensland Government’s official Queensland floods webpage: http://www.qld.gov.au/floods/ or visit the Bureau of Meteorology http://www.bom.gov.au/ to check weather forecasts for your holiday destination. Visit http://131940.qld.gov.au/ for the latest road conditions.
How can you help?
You can help Queensland recover by taking a holiday in Queensland – in the areas that haven’t been affected by floodwaters, and in the affected areas once they are up and running again.
If you already have a Queensland holiday booked – don’t cancel as most tourism regions and operations are now up and running.
If you don’t have a Queensland holiday booked, book one!
Queensland’s tourism industry has the welcome mat rolled out ready to receive visitors, so come see us!
People wishing to directly help flood victims can donate to the Queensland Government Flood Assistance Appeal at www.qld.gov.au/floods
What damage will the floods have on the Great Barrier Reef?
• There have been recent media reports concerning possible damage to Great Barrier Reef as a result of floodwaters transferring from the river systems into the oceans around Central Queensland.
• Tourism Queensland is not a scientific expert qualified to speak on the health of the Great Barrier Reef, however our understanding is that the effects of the flood waters on reef systems is currently unknown. However, fresh water runoffs are a natural part of the ecosystem and some plant and marine life actually thrive in these situations.
• The Great Barrier Reef is 2300km along with thousands of reefs, coral cays and islands. The vast majority of these are likely to remain unaffected.
• Currently tourism operations along the Great Barrier Reef including the Southern Great Barrier Reef,Whitsundays, Townsville and Cairns and Tropical North Queensland are operating normally, including dive operators, sailing operators and daytrip operators.
• Anyone concerned about a Great Barrier Reef booking an individual operator, should check with the accommodation provider, tour operator or attraction for the latest conditions.
• Refer to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for further information.