Tourism to take big loss as Easter season approaches
"I CAN'T think of a better place in the world to be isolated and stranded than the Bunya Mountains."
Wayne Kratzmann is staying positive despite the huge hit South Burnett tourism has had since coronavirus travel restrictions were introduced.
"We're trying to stay safe like everyone else, we're the lucky ones."
He is the owner of The Bunyas, a set of accommodation units, coffee shop, tavern and a general store at the Bunya Mountains.
"We've been decimated, we've lost 90 per cent of accommodation," Mr Kratzmann said.
"We've only got workers at the moment who are on a contract doing the walks up."
To comply with social distancing laws, they have shut up their tavern and coffee shop and offering takeaway meals and coffee through the general store.
"We can still do coffee for everybody, we just can't chat to them for very long," he said.
Mr Kratzmann said they were also struggling to get supplies for the general store which caters for the Bunya Mountains community.
"We can't actually go and buy in bulk at IGA and Woolies due to limited numbers," he said.
"People think you're hoarding, but we're just trying to buy supplies for people at the Bunyas."
They have managed to keep the essentials in stock though.
The Dandabah camping area next door was also temporarily closed when the Queensland Government ordered all national park camping groups to be closed.
The Bunya Mountains walking tracks however, remain open for locals to use for exercise despite several tracks being closed across the state on Friday.
The business sees 4000 to 5000 people every Easter, but won't this year due to these temporary closures.
"People are being told not to travel, we're not getting day trippers," Mr Kratzmann said.
However, there might be a silver lining for the tourism industry at the Bunya Mountains and across the South Burnett.
"Domestic tourism will get back on its feet really quickly, if we can survive this," he said.
"I would hope to think regional Queensland might be able to contain things and might get back quicker than the cities."
Tourists may opt to travel to regional areas, rather than interstate or internationally, for a while after restrictions are lifted.
"The Bunyas is the perfect place to get away from everything," Mr Kratzmann said.