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Whitsundays Cyclone Debbie Tourism Recovery Fund

After Cyclone Debbie, 9 infrastructure projects and two feasibility studies were supported under the fund in the Whitsundays.

About the fund

The Whitsundays Cyclone Debbie Tourism Recovery Fund was part of a joint commitment by the Queensland and Australian Governments under the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure program, to aid recovery and create new tourism experiences and infrastructure.

Nine infrastructure projects and two feasibility studies supported under the fund.

Bougainvillea Marquee Auditorium

Known as the Beach Pavilion, the auditorium replaced the former temporary marquee at the Bougainvillea Pool and provides event and wedding facilities for the Whitsunday Region.

Bowen Visitor Information Centre

Creation and installation of a digital interpretive space. The content focuses on key visitor experiences across the Whitsunday Region and is visually enriching visitors’ enquiries at the centre, including increased engagement and interaction with family groups. A cardboard version is used as gifts for trade partners.

Island short walks

The project delivered all-weather walking trails with interpretive panels on Border, Langford and Haslewood Islands.

The Border Island short walk is 1.2 kilometres, takes one hour to complete and includes a steep ascent. The walk travels along the island’s native grassland and has views from each of the lookouts.

The Langford Island short track is about 300 metres with a gentle incline and some stone steps. The track is best suited to walkers with moderate fitness and bushwalking experience.

The Haslewood Island 20-minute, uphill short walk is 300 metres one way to the island’s rocky headland.

Coral gardening edu-tourism

The project delivered a propagation facility located on Daydream Island which gives visitors the opportunity to learn about coral propagation. Visitors are also able to view coral growth at Lovers Cove, Manta Ray Bay and Blue Pearl Bay.

The coral restoration sites have planted coral fragments on spider frames. As of January 2022, 1,500 coral colonies have been outplanted at Lovers Cove.

Hill Inlet lookout upgrade and expansion

The funding delivered new and upgraded infrastructure to support land and water-based tourism activities at Hill Inlet. Works included extension of existing viewing platforms, construction of new viewing platforms, all-weather hardened circuit track, shaded rest areas, interpretation panels and improved access to Tongue Point.

Queens Beach Tourist Village

This inclusive family friendly water play attraction saw the creation of a fully accessible resort pool with a shallow entry area and wheelchair accessible ramp, a water slide, and flush fitting water play facilities for guests of all abilities.

Peter Faust Dam

Delivery of new tourism infrastructure at Peter Faust Dam (Lake Proserpine) to support new tourism experiences in the region.

As a result of the upgrades and new facilities, the area has been highly activated and well used.

Whitsundays underwater tourism

The project included the design, creation and installation of six sculptures across four locations in the Whitsunday-Bowen region. The sculptures educate visitors about reef ecology and encourage marine rehabilitation, while offering an in-water recreational experience.

The sculptures include a:

  • Mauri wrasse at Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island, by Adriaan Vanderlugt.
  • Manta ray with indigenous markings at Manta Ray Bay off Hook Island, by artist Adriaan Vanderlugt.
  • Manta ray sculpture at Manta Ray Bay off Hook Island, by Brian Robinson.
  • Sculpture title Bywa depicting a Dreamtime story about the reef located at Horseshoe Bay, by artist Brian Robinson.
  • Turtle at Langford Bird Reef, by artist Col Henry.
  • 20,000 times size sculpture of a single coral polyp at Blue Pearl Bay called Anthozoa, by Jessa Lloyd.

Flagstaff Hill Cultural and Conference Centre

The centre was funded by Whitsunday Regional Council, the Queensland Government's Building Our Regions program and the jointly funded Queensland and Australian Governments’ Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure program.

Boasting a café space, giftshop, outdoor amphitheatre, native flora landscaping and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, Flagstaff Hill offers a premier event and Indigenous tourism venue for the northern Whitsundays.

The tourism venue supports the delivery of Indigenous tourism activities, festivals, functions, conferences, and showcase the area’s natural beauty.

Last updated: 07 Jul 2022