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A stone's throw from Qld, border brigade find perfect spot to quarantine

Statewide

Tourists from Victoria trying to follow coronavirus travel rules are spending a fortnight just south of the outback Queensland border, according to a local caravan park owner.

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Tourists from Victoria trying to follow coronavirus travel rules are camping for 14 days just south of the outback Queensland border, according to a caravan park owner in northern New South Wales.

People from Victoria, or anyone who has visited the state in the past fortnight, are barred from entering Queensland except for returning residents or if an exemption has been granted.

The owner of the Bush Tucker Inn, south of the border in Barringun, said some visitors were waiting out the 14-day period at his caravan park until they could enter Queensland.

“They had to get over the [NSW-Victoria] border before it closed, and they had to have proof they’ve been here for 14 days,” Darryl Pierpoint said.

“I’ve got an old fellow here who has been camped here for nearly 14 days, and I’ve got to sign him off today so he can get over the border.”

Outback tourism season extended

Further west in Birdsville, tourist numbers have been growing since Queensland reopened to interstate visitors last Friday.

“We got some big numbers through on Friday,” said Diamantina Shire Council’s community sustainability manager, Stephen Schwer.

“There was about an hour-and-a-half period where immediately after midday there were quite a number of people coming across.

“It slowed to a bit of a trickle in the afternoon but then ramped up again yesterday.

“We had quite a solid weekend; last night in the tourist park was the biggest night we’ve had so far this year.”

Winter is western Queensland’s peak tourist season, with visitor numbers usually drying up by the end of September.

Accommodation facilities in Birdsville, however, were receiving booking enquiries until as late as November, Mr Schwer said.

“We’re getting a lot of forward enquiries and particularly for a bit later this year than we would normally expect to see visitors.

“People are thinking, ‘OK, well, I might be able to travel a bit later this year, I would normally be travelling now but I might leave that first rush alone and I’ll come a bit later’.”

– ABC / Ellie Grounds and Dan Prosser

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