With international travel forbidden in the foreseeable future, the federal government is urging the nearly 10 million Australians who travelled overseas last year to look at their own backyards.
The more than $65 billion spent in foreign destinations would go a long way to helping domestic tourism operators reeling from the pandemic.
After enduring months of forced closure, some of the Sunshine Coast’s popular attractions are opening their doors in time for the June/July holidays.
Earlier this month, the Australian government fast-tracked easing of restrictions to allow more people into venues.
In Queensland as of July 10, the 100-person cap on indoor venues will be scrapped. Until then, venues must follow strict guidelines and adhere to a COVID-safe plan.
To view COVID policies, visit the venues individual websites.
The Ginger Factory
The iconic Ginger Factory is reopening its doors and to celebrate, the first 200 children into the centre on Saturday, June 26 and Sunday, June 27 will receive a free ice-cream voucher as a welcome back present.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be opening our doors again,” says tourism manager Brenda Bailey.
“We’ve been busy making the Ginger Factory even better during the closure and we can’t wait to share all the changes with everyone.”
Those changes include a brand-new shop fitout, a new cafe menu and Moreton the train back on the tracks.
Re-opening on June 26, The Ginger Factory is open 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm. 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina, gingerfactory.com.au
This popular indoor attraction is home to the region’s only colony of Little Blue Penguins, and if you haven’t had the chance to view the little guys in action, now is the time.
For those looking to take their knowledge of penguins to the next level, you can also step inside the Little Blue Penguins’ habitat for a Penguin Encounter. The exciting experience allows guests aged five and over the chance to meet the charming little birds up close, hand feed them a fishy feast, go on a behind-the-scenes tour and discover how the dedicated team of keepers care for each of the penguins. Places are limited, so book in early.
SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast gives guests the opportunity to discover the weird and wonderful world of sea creatures of all shapes and sizes, including sharks and seals. During the Queensland school holidays, SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast will be open seven days a week. All visitors must pre-book their tickets online in advance.
Visit sealifesunshinecoast.com.au for updates, tickets, opening hours and health and safety information.
Mary Valley Rattler
Calling all superheroes – jump on board the Rattler these school holidays for an experience like no other.
On July 11, to coincide with the Mary Valley Rattler’s first steam train service since the easing of restrictions, there will be a special superheroes event where kids will have the chance to meet Steam Man.
“Our volunteers can’t wait to get back to doing what they love, welcoming guests to the Rattler,” says general manager Mike Green. “This will be a great day out for the whole family to reconnect. For all those who have been restricted to their homes, a journey through the stunning Mary Valley, with its open spaces and natural beauty, is a really great opportunity to enjoy a relaxing, unhurried family outing on the Mary Valley Rattler.”
For train schedules and bookings visit maryvalleyrattler.com.au. Due to limited capacity, advanced bookings are required.
Held in Bulcock Street, the Caloundra Street Fair is on 8am-1pm every Sunday morning and features more than 100 stalls. The food-oriented Currimundi Lake Twilight Market is on the third Friday of the month between 4-8pm. Boasting brilliant sunsets, the Caloundra Twilight Market along Bulcock Beach will be held every Friday during the holidays, 5-9pm. You’ll also spot the giant Ferris Wheel in nearby Happy Valley so be sure to give it a go! Set to reopen on July 11, the Original Eumundi Markets are one of the biggest and best artisan markets in Australia. Open from 7am-2pm.
There is nothing quite like a healthy dose of fresh air. The kids will love the opportunity to pull on their gumboots, grab a basket and hit the fields to pick some of the freshest strawberries in the region. This Sunshine Coast farm gives you the opportunity to pick your own strawberries from the fields. The farm has been run by the Carmichael family since 1980 and is open all year. While you are there, indulge in a decadent treat in the cafe. We recommend the pancakes!
Open 8am to 4.30pm. 133 Laxton Road, Palmview, strawberryfields.com.au
The Queensland government has provided the following advice to ensure families know the rules, and stay healthy, these school holidays.
Can we go and visit relatives?
Yes, you can visit relatives and friends in Queensland. Up to 20 people, including adults and children, can be in one house at one time, as long as they are able to practise social distancing. You should be careful when visiting grandparents and other elderly relatives, or people with pre-existing health conditions that might put them at higher risk of serious illness if they were to get COVID-19.
Can my child have friends over?
Your child is allowed to have friends over these school holidays and they can have sleepovers. You may have up to 20 people at your house at one time, including children and adults, and need to consider how to make space for everyone to practise social distancing. You should encourage children to practise good hygiene.
What will be open these holidays?
With restrictions on numbers (for most, up to 20 people at a time), these venues will be open:
- Public spaces and lagoons
- Pools and community sports clubs
- Museums, art galleries, historic sites, libraries
- Parks, playground equipment, skate parks
- Hiking, camping and other recreational activity areas in national and state parks
- Caravan parks
- Dining in at restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs, RSL clubs, hotels and casinos
- Indoor cinemas
- Outdoor amusement parks, tourism experiences, zoos and arcades
- Concert venues, theatres, arenas and stadiums.
Because social distancing measures must be enforced at these venues, it’s wise to call ahead or visit the venue’s website to check whether you need to book.
Will WE need to quarantine when we get home from holidays?
No quarantine period applies if you haven’t left Queensland, unless you come into contact with someone who has the virus. At this time, it is not recommended to leave Queensland except for essential reasons.
Before, during and after school holidays, you should:
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms
- Stay at home if you’re sick
- Wash your hands properly and often
- Cover coughs and sneezes and don’t touch your face
- Social distance by following the 1.5 metre rule
- Stay away from sick people
- Avoid large crowds
- Keep an alcohol-based sanitiser in the car, so you can keep hands clean on the go
- If you’re staying in accommodation overnight, keep benches and other surfaces clean.