Great Keppel Island Hideaway.
Great Keppel Island Hideaway. Glenn Adamus

Australia Day long weekend sizzles

THE Capricornia district was overflowing with patriotic Aussies, with many events packed to the brim for the Australia Day Long Weekend.

Caravan parks and family units had been inundated with bookings across Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast.

Three major events on last weekend were Yeppoon's Great Australia Day Beach Party, Great Keppel Island and Great Australia Day Bites on Quay Street Rockhampton.

Great Keppel Island Hideaway - which accommodates 200 people - was fully booked on Friday and Saturday nights, with only a handful of vacancies left for Thursday and Sunday.

The island's smaller accommodations as well as Sail Capricornia were also at capacity with hundreds expected to join Freedom Fastcats on a day trip or cruise to the island over the long weekend.

Major attractions including the Koorana Crocodile Farm, Capricorn Caves, Botanic Gardens/Zoo, Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary were also set to bring in hundreds of visitors for celebrations.

Capricorn Enterprise chief executive officer Mary Carroll said "even impending rain” wouldn't dampen the weekend.

"Whilst Rockhampton's accommodation is strong during the week with corporate visitors and traditionally quietens down over long weekends, pro-active operators have offered local deals to encourage visitors to enjoy a shopping weekend and the Quay street Australia Day Bites event in the city,” Ms Carroll said.

"Our Annual Summer multi-media campaign ($70,000 cash and in-kind) which focused on the Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton region was a huge success, with a number of operators reporting double the visitation during the same time as last year (Great Keppel Island, Koorana Crocodile Farm, Capricorn Caves to name a few). 

"Major events in Rocky (Busby Marou's One Hot Night, Rockin' Rocky at the Great Western and NYE Fireworks) boosted what is normally a low season in the Beef Capital which added to the already increased numbers on the Capricorn Coast this summer.

"We are thrilled with these results and it sets the scene for a very exiting year for tourism and economic development.”

The Capricorn Enterprise team is already working on the region's next big visitor draw card.

The team is currently working with operators and stakeholders on preparations for the Annual Winter Campaign.

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