MACKAY TOURISM LTD. PUBLIC INFORMATION PACKAGE
RE: AMENDMENTS TO THE SUNRISE WITH THE WALLABIES EXPERIENCE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING A SUBMISSION
All comments and submissions to:
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Assessment and Approvals Northern Marine
PO Box 5332
Airlie Beach QLD 4802
We now seek any public comment under s71 of the Marine Parks Regulations 2017 (QLD). Public submission will be considered by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in making a decision on this variation application to our existing Commercial Activity Agreement.
Why the change?
Over the past two years, the Cape Hillsborough “Sunrise with the Wallaby Experience” has increased visitation to the area from 2000, to 23,000 people per year. This has placed pressure on the wallabies, as interaction between humans and animals has dramatically increased. Mackay Tourism implemented a management structure in May 2018 to protect the wallabies and ensure the long-term sustainability of the experience for the tourism industry. During the past year there have been days of up to 200 people present on the beach, placing extreme pressure on the animals and management structure.
Therefore, Mackay Tourism is requesting exclusive use of the area for the experience to be delivered daily for a trial period of six (6) months. This will be capped to 100 people per day and monitored daily to ensure the welfare of the wallabies and guests. Having an area of exclusive use will not impact other users of the park with the boat ramp, lookouts and bushwalks still accessible during this time.
We want locals to own the experience, offering those locals living within 100km from Cape Hillsborough the experience for free by showing ID, and half price tickets to guests within a 400km driving range of Cape Hillsborough.
What are the changes?
A cordoned off area 2000m2 on Cape Hillsborough Beach, toward the southern end of the beach will be utilised daily (see map for reference); the GPS coordinates for the most north-western point of the experience site are S -20.92500°, E 149.04968° to the most south western point at S -20.92522 ° E 149.05000°. The Sunrise with the Wallabies Experience will run for 1.5 hours around sunrise each day. It will commence 1 hour before and finish 30 minutes after sunrise.
The current site of the Sunrise with the Wallaby Experience is at the base of one of the entry pathways into the Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park. To maximize the site with the high tides, and to minimize any confusion or issues arising from potentially impacting access to and from Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park guests, the site will be shifted slightly south along the beach, to the other side of the small rock wall at the back of the beach (see map for reference).
All guests will need to show their pre-purchased ticket, or purchase a ticket upon arrival to participate.
There will be a ‘locals offer’ implemented using ID to determine degree of locality using associated postcodes. Guests who live within a 100km drive radius of Cape Hillsborough will be able to enjoy the Sunrise with the Wallabies experience for free. Guests who live within a 400km drive radius of Cape Hillsborough will receive a 50% discount for the experience. For guests outside of these areas a full fee structure will be in place.
Where will the restricted area be?
A 2000m2 cordoned off area on Cape Hillsborough Beach, toward the southern end of the beach will be utilised daily (see map for reference); the GPS coordinates for the most north-western point of the experience site are S -20.92500°, E 149.04968° to the most south western point at S -20.92522 ° E 149.05000°. The experience site will be marked by temporary signs on three sides of the site, and small sport cones to separate the areas for humans and animals.
Having an exclusive use area for the Sunrise with the Wallabies experience will not impact other users of the park with the boat ramp, lookouts and bushwalks still fully accessible during this time.
Beach access will remain available to the public between the exclusive use area and the tree line during the prescribed tour times.
Click Here to see the Map of the Area including exclusion zones.
When will the restricted area be enforced?
The Sunrise with the Wallabies Experience will run for 1.5 hours around sunrise each day. It will commence 1 hour before and finish 30 minutes after sunrise.
How will the restricted area be monitored?
Changes to the current structure of the tour include the addition of temporary infrastructure and extra guides to ensure the natural environment is not being negatively impacted, and the safety of all guests and animals is not being compromised.
Temporary signs will be placed on three sides of the experience (see map for reference) and one will be placed near the base of the boat ramp. These signs will include information including, but not limited to the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of the experience, pricing structure, brief safety rules in relation to the wildlife, and contact details for any complaints or issues.
Small sport cones will be used to create a barrier between humans and animals during the experience to minimize the interactions between them and ensure safety is kept a priority.