Mother Nature hit Queensland, Australia hard and Flooding was so bad that, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the recent flooding in Queensland the “worst natural disaster in our history”. Cyclone Yasi, one of the worst Cyclone’s in Australia’s recent history, left a trail of destruction. But other than one bridge that was closed due to flooding, the only sign I saw of any disaster was the lack of tourists. Queensland is open for business, but during my recent trip, it seemed that the message hasn’t yet gotten through to tourists. Apparently 25% of Australians cancelled or postponed trips due to flooding and other reports I’ve seen indicate that international travelers are postponing or cancelling their vacation plans too. My thoughts: go to Australia now. Visit the Great Barrier Reef Facts: With Infographic
Why Time to Travel to Queensland Australia now?
1. Everything is open and running normally. As I mentioned, there were really no obvious signs of the recent floods during my recent trip to Queensland.
2. The tour operators are happy to have you and may give you discounts. Given the lack of tourists, operators and resort managers are extra glad for any tourists and will likely go out of the way to ensure you have a pleasant stay. You may even be able to negotiate discounts at resorts, hotels, or on tours. It never hurts to ask.
3. There are fewer people. Crowds are never fun when traveling. And who doesn’t love it when the airplane seat next to them is open? Because tourism is down there are shorter lines, more open seats, and an overall more relaxed experience.
4. Enter the Million Dollar Memo contest. Tourism Queensland is currently sponsoring a contest with $1 million dollars of travel prizes. Check out the rules and how to enter at the Million Dollar Memo website.
5. Maybe you’ll see Royalty. In case you hadn’t heard, Price William and Kate Middleton are apparently considering Queensland as a potential honeymoon spot (along with loads of other destinations.)
As I mentioned in my post about Places to See in New Zealand, I think tourism is one of the best ways to help any recovery effort. Instead of (or in addition to) donating cash, book a trip to a recently affected destination that survives on tourism dollars. I can’t think of a better way to help than to sip a glass of Chardonnay and stare out at the wallaby hopping along the ocean side.
5 Activities I’m Looking forward to in Queensland, Australia
I head to Queensland, Australia this month for a press trip courtesy of Tourism Queensland. We just got our full itineraries and here are 5 activities and places I’m looking forward to on the trip.
Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef
Given that one of the primary purposes of the trip is to visit the Great Barrier Reef, we will be spending multiple days snorkeling. The best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced was in Belize and I have great expectations for the coral and fish in the Great Barrier Reef.
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa
Daintree Eco Lodge and Spa is in the world’s oldest living rainforest – The Daintree Rainforest. The resort has 15 villas and a spa relaxation center and won an award for Australia’s Leading Green Hotel.
Fitzroy Island is one of the most accessible islands on the Great Barrier Reef. It’s just a 45 minute ferry ride off the cost off Cairnes. The Island is a National Park and features rainforest, mangroves, and snorkeling.
Townsville Queensland hosts the Reef HQ, the world’s largest living reef aquarium. I’ll be happy to experience some of Australia’s many scary predators behind the safety of glass and not in the open water.
Magnetic Island is just off of the coast of Townsville and is partially a National Park. It is in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.