Camping boom as family holiday makes massive comeback
A RESOUNDING resurgence in camping and glamping spurred on by glorious, festive sunshine has seen the region packed to the brim with families turning to traditional holidays.
By midday Tuesday the line of vehicles queued up to return to Inskip Point from Fraser Island stretched for kilometres, while campers have flocked to popular Cotton Tree Holiday Park, already booking it out for the Australia Day long weekend.
The family holiday renaissance has excited the region's tourism boss.
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford said it was clear the demand was rising for camping facilities across the region, as consumers demanded "authenticity" for their holidays.
He predicted the continued rise of technology and the pressures it placed on the population to spur on the camping boom as families looked to switch off and reconnect with each other.
"Regardless of the demographic, more and more people are saying 'let's go to Fraser Island, let's go to Cotton Tree and get back in touch with the family'," Mr Latchford said.
He believed Sunshine Coast Council could do well to invest in more camping facilities around the region.
"More and more people are getting back to the grass roots," he said.
"It's all about customer demand."
The 2017-18 council budget showed Sunshine Coast Holiday Parks generated more than $15.2 million worth of income in camping fees and charges.
Cotton Tree Holiday Park manager Natalie Hammill said they were full yet again this year right through until the end of the holidays.
She believed there was a couple of key factors driving the return to popularity of camping holidays.
"It's all about families," Ms Hammill said.
"If money's tight it's still affordable."
She agreed technology was another huge factor as parents sought ways to disconnect their kids from the digital world and reconnect with family and the outdoors.
The boom has taken a toll on some areas though, as masses of people flock to Double Island Point.
Surfrider Foundation Sunshine Coast president Craig Macintyre said earlier this week that busy days at Double Island left plenty of devastation behind, as tonnes of rubbish was left on beaches and dunes as well as marine debris.
He said makeshift toilets were also being flushed through the camp zone and onto the beach during heavy rain.
Davo's Tackle World Noosa manager Adam Neilson said they'd been doing an "absolutely awesome" trade this holidays, with business booming for two weeks prior to Christmas and throughout the festive period.
He said Noosa North Shore was proving as popular as ever and Teewah Beach "looked like a city" when he was up there one night recently.
"It was standing room only," he said.
Mr Neilson said they'd sold through masses of ice and "tonnes of bait" and the mackerel were biting hard for keen anglers.
He said the cracking holiday weather had delivered a boost to neighbouring business Davo's Boating and Outdoors, which was also revelling in the increased trade.
It's not just the beach which is proving popular, with Seqwater injecting up to $500,000 towards further upgrades of the popular Borumba Dam camping grounds.
Work will begin at the end of the month on refurbishment of the camp ground facilities with a new site office and upgrade of existing shower and toilet blocks to be carried out by local contractor Infraco.
The second stage of the Borumba Dam boat ramp upgrade was finished prior to the Christmas holidays for the camp site which attracted more than 97,000 people in the last financial year.