Scenic Rim camping enthusiasts can enjoy the great outdoors again

CHILLED: Megan Radloff cools off and chills out in the clear waters of the creek at Mount Barney Lodge in January.
CHILLED: Megan Radloff cools off and chills out in the clear waters of the creek at Mount Barney Lodge in January.

FROM today, Queenslanders can book and enjoy a camping getaway in the state's National Parks, forests and recreation areas, following the Chief Health Officer's approval of the necessary COVID-19 plan.

In the Scenic Rim, this means camping is back on the agenda at Lake Moogerah and the Seqwater-managed sites at Wyaralong have also reopened.

Maroon Dam camping grounds remain closed today but Mount Barney Lodges co-owner Tracey Larkin said they had already welcomed their first campers this week.

"We are fully booked for the next five weekends and we are already at full capacity for the school holidays," she said.

Ms Larkin said staff at Mount Barney Lodges had spent the down time preparing ensuring the property met the COVID-19 safety criteria and had been inundated with calls since restrictions were eased.

She said people were keen to get out of their homes and enjoy a getaway in a picturesque environment.

"The days are still warm and the creek is running nicely," she said.

"People who can't holiday overseas or interstate are booking in but there is no reason locals need miss out," she said.

"All our activities including guided hikes are open to day trippers but we do suggest calling ahead to make sure we have the space.

"And for anyone making holiday plans for later in the year, I would suggest booking in sooner rather than later."

Environment and Science Minister Leeanne Enoch said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service managed campgrounds, which were closed due to COVID-19, were once again open to the public with camping set to recommence from today.

Ms Enoch said bookings were essential to ensure visitors have the appropriate permits.

"Under Queensland's plan for recovery, we're easing intrastate travel restrictions," the Minister said.

"It's the perfect time for a winter camping escape.

"We want to support tourism through Queensland's recovery plan: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs and driving and camping holidays are a terrific way to support tourism.

"But, as has always been the case, make sure you go online to get the right camping and vehicle access permits.

"Along with the reopening of camping and recreation areas, facilities such as picnic tables and barbecues that service the camping facilities will also re-open.

"Public shower facilities will remain closed.

"And capacity in some locations may be reduced to maintain appropriate numbers for social distancing in the interests of community health and in line with Queensland Health directions.

"Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers are working hard to ensure that Queenslanders are kept safe when visiting our world class national parks and state forests."

Ms Enoch thanked Queenslanders for their patience while measures were put in place to reopen campgrounds and booking systems.

"Queenslanders love a camping holiday. We have some of the most beautiful national parks in the world and it's great to see so much enthusiasm from people to get out and support local tourism and businesses," she said.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife said visitor numbers would be restricted in the Cooloola and Bribie Island recreation areas where a specific COVID-19 Access Authority would be required to enter these locations.

COVID-19 Access Authorities would be available online for no additional cost to the normal requirements of purchasing vehicle access and camping permits and are a mandatory requirement for access to these four-wheel-drive recreation areas.

Queenslanders should check the park alerts website before leaving home to ensure they are equipped with up-to-date information.

For bookings, visit qld.gov.au/camping and for park alerts see parks.des.qld.gov.au

This story Camping is back on the agenda first appeared on Beaudesert Times.