Tourists begin to trickle back into Prossie
PROSERPINE Tourist Park may not yet be the bustling hive of activity that it typically is at this time of year, but for the first time in months there was a line-up at the gate this week.
Manager of the park Shirley Long joked that it didn't matter that the queue was made up of two caravans as the park was doing "heaps better" with eased restrictions.
The number of visitors at Proserpine Tourist Park has slowly been increasing with an average of six travellers parking up every day.
However, Mrs Long said it would take the borders to reopen for the park to reach its usual winter occupancy.
"It's certainly down on normal for this time of the year because this time last year we were just about full capacity," she said.
"It's improving from what it was but it's nowhere near what it should be.
"This is our tourist season up here and Queenslanders can only do a small part of that."
Restrictions on travel eased on June 1 and allowed Queenslanders to travel freely within the state, although some limits remain in Far North Queensland.
However, there is not a definite date on when the state border will open to allow interstate travel.
Mrs Long said the border reopening would have a "huge" impact of visitation and estimated it would increase occupancy in the park by at least 50 per cent.
In the meantime, residents of southern states have been itching to escape the winter according to Mrs Long.
"I think people are starting to hope the borders are opening so we've had a few ringing in anticipation of that," she said.
"The southerners are the ones that travel for the warmth and some of them come and stay for a month.
"They're just chasing the sun, which I don't blame them for."
Mrs Long hoped the increased numbers in the park would also help boost the town's economy.
"We had one group stay an extra night so they could have a game of golf and look up the main street," she said.
"If we can get (tourists) into Prossie it makes a big difference."
Allan and Cath Roberts have been staying at the park and said they were happy when they heard it was reopening.
"This is an awesome tourist park, the managers fantastic and the staff are amazing," Mrs Roberts said.
"This region is the best in the world and we're very happy to be able to be here again."