Queensland News: 22/05
As Queensland slowly eases coronavirus restrictions, we’re one step closer to resuming life on the other side.
Queenslanders can now dine in restaurants, pubs and cafes again for up to 10 of you at a time (we can hear your tummies rumbling for your favourite dishes from here) — providing the COVID SAFE checklist is followed.
Or, if you’re keen to connect with nature again, we can now travel up to 150km for recreational day trips (500kms for the those who live in the Outback), meaning you’re free again to sink your toes into a walk on the beach, hike your way up to a waterfall, or have a picturesque picnic in the country.
With so much to see and do in Queensland, we’ve helped you out by compiling some of the best day trip options from Cairns, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. We’d love to see what you’re getting up to, so don’t forget to tag your Instagram snaps with #thisisqueensland.
Here’s to spreading our wings safely to explore Queensland once again.
Read on for the latest good news stories in Queensland.
World Turtle Day
World Turtle Day is coming up on Saturday 23 May and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to raise awareness about the dangers facing sea turtles in the world.
Sea Life Sunshine Coast has recently introduced hatchling Dodge to its Turtle Rehabilitation Centre after he was found malnourished and missing an eye. Watch this behind-the-scenes video to learn more about how Dodge is being looked after before he’s released back into the ocean in the not too distant future.
This is a timely reminder that we can all try to better protect turtles – don’t litter, say no to plastic and hold onto those helium balloons. To learn more about Queensland’s sea turtle population, here are 15 facts about sea turtles.
Tree Kangaroo Awareness Week
In the spirit of sharing knowledge, this week is also Tree Kangaroo Awareness Week which puts a spotlight on one of Australia’s most elusive and unique marsupials. Largely found in the Wet Tropics region, this furry friend looks like a blend of kangaroo and lemur.
Tree kangaroos are classified as near threatened in Queensland (mostly due to deforestation) which the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation is helping to protect.
To support the team in their conservation efforts, you can make a donation, adopt a tree kangaroo or when the park is open again, join in on fundraising activities.
Hit the Road: Queensland Accommodation
In light of the good news that tourism accommodation can re-open from 12 June as part of Stage 2, many hotels and resorts are gearing up to welcome Queenslanders again.
As we begin to emerge, now’s the perfect time to start planning where you’d like to spend a few days in our beautiful backyard.
- From 19 June, both Fraser Island resort properties — Kingfisher Bay Resort and Eurong Beach Resort — will be re-opening for recreational stays, touring and ranger-guided activities.
- From 12 June, enjoy spectacular views of the Hinterland at luxury Mapleton Springs on the Sunshine Coast.
- Also from 12 June, stay in any of the O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat accommodation options to experience the wonders of World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park.
- From 13 June, you can wake up to panoramic views of the Great Barrier Reef. Both Heron Island and Wilson Island will open to overnight guests for travel within 250km of the flight departure point in Gladstone.
- Mount Barney Lodge in the Scenic Rim is reopening on 13 June which means we can once again get cosy in its rustic cabins. Plus, they have a brand new website so you can plan your trip with ease.
The People’s Long Weekend
To help support Queensland’s tourism industry, it’s officially been announced that Brisbane City’s Ekka public holiday will move from Wednesday 12 August to Friday 14 August this year, giving Brisbanites a lovely long weekend.
South-east Queenslanders are encouraged to hit the road, explore, and see the very best of what Queensland has to offer. With 12 weeks to go, it’s time to start planning your August long weekend! In keeping with the Ekka farm-life theme, take a look at 30 weekend country getaways from Brisbane.
Ride a Wave
To celebrate the best surfers on the world’s biggest waves, tune into Channel Nine on Sunday 24 May at 12pm for the 2020 Australian Surfing Awards.
The awards will be presented in an exciting new TV show format and will include a Queensland-focused content series, featuring a top-five countdown to Queensland surfing breaks. What better way is there to see the best of Queensland while cheering on some amazing surfers, photographers and videographers?
Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.
Drink Queensland Cellar Door
Between hail, fires, the drought and now COVID-19, some places in Queensland have had it particularly tough these past few years, yet perseverance always shines through. One of which is the Granite Belt and its wineries, so while Brisbane folk can’t travel to this wine region just yet, producers are bringing the cellar door to you.
On Saturday 23 May, City Winery invites wine lovers across Brisbane to pay a socially-distanced visit to its pop-up event Drink Queensland Cellar Door in Newstead (think old warehouse vibes) between 12- 6pm. Meet the makers, win lucky door prizes, and know that your visit will help to support five amazing wineries from the Granite Belt – just by buying a bottle or two.
Paniyiri Greek Festival Goes Online
Although large social gatherings are on hold right now, celebrating always finds a way. On Sunday 24 May, Brisbane’s famous Paniyiri Greek Festival is going online to commemorate all things Greek.
From 2-4pm on Facebook Live, get your hit of halloumi and honey puffs, learn how to dance the Zorba, and tour the stunning Greek Orthodox Church of St George. Plus, Nostimo Restaurant in South Brisbane is observing Paniyiri with delicious takeaway specials all weekend. Opa!
Here Comes the Sun
When Amamoor Creek stopped running last year, John sadly lost 80 trees to drought. However, the recent rain saved his avocado crop so John spent a day giving away hundreds of single sunflowers to spread some happiness in the local community.
If you’re feeling inspired to add a sea of yellow into your future adventures, here’s everything you need to know about sunflower fields in Queensland.
The Bee’s Knees
If we can take a silver living from the coronavirus lockdown, it would be Queensland’s renewed sense of adaptability and passion to not only survive, but to create a more self-sufficient and grounded lifestyle.
Ahead of World Bee Day on Wednesday 20 May, we celebrate the many innovative ways Queensland’s tourism operators embrace bees and their golden nectar.
From Australia Zoo using beeswax and resin to help injured sea turtles, to Burleigh Pavilion on the Gold Coast dishing up desserts drizzled with honey harvested from its rooftop hive, there is a lot to be excited about.
More of our favourite initiatives include:
- The heritage West Village precinct in Brisbane has created a buzzing online hub dedicated to all things bees, butterflies and nature.
- Little Bee in the Scenic Rim runs kids and adult workshops on native bees in its Secret Garden.
- Honey House Kuranda provides a beginners beekeeping course to learn firsthand what it takes to manage and care for your hive of important little pollinators.
Read our previous good news stories around Queensland here.