Covid Australia: Queensland summer vacation hot spots booked as state dodges two new cases

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Lockdown-weary Australians, desperate to take a break from the hustle and bustle at home, are snapping up every last summer vacation booking on the Great Barrier Reef.

Hamilton Island is almost fully booked in December and January after the Queensland government finally reopened its borders to travelers.

The rush for the school holidays was sparked by the state’s announcement that restrictions would be relaxed entirely for fully vaccinated Christmas travelers.

From November 19, unless you are coming from a hotspot, vaccinated travelers will be able to enter Queensland without quarantine.

And from December 17, even those in hotspots will be able to enter the state as long as they are vaccinated and tested negative within 72 hours of arrival.

Lockdown-weary Australians, desperate to take a break from the hustle and bustle at home, snatch up every last summer vacation booking on the Great Barrier Reef (Photo by holidaymaker watching the Whitsundays)

Now Australians across the country are reserving their summer slice of heaven after nearly two years of Covid hell.

And the Sydneysiders with cabin fever head the line for a tropical Christmas.

“We had a surge of bookings from New South Wales following the announcement of the reopening of the Queensland border,” Hamilton Island managing director Glenn Bourke told the Courier-Mail.

“With international tourism restricted, Australians have fallen back in love with their own backyards and there is no backyard like Hamilton Island.”

While Hamilton Island is nearly complete, the state still has other island getaways for sun worshipers, including the five-star luxury resort Hayman Island, pictured here

While Hamilton Island is nearly complete, the state still has other island getaways for sun worshipers, including the five-star luxury resort Hayman Island, pictured here

Queensland’s plan to reopen is based on vaccination rates, with the first easing starting when the state is expected to hit 70% and then easing further a month later once the state hits 80%.

Queensland is lagging behind almost every other state in Australia in rolling out its vaccines, having just passed the 60% double-dose mark this weekend and single doses still below 75%.

Only Western Australia has a rate below 59.3%, with the national figure now 73% fully vaccinated and single doses almost 87%.

Queensland managed to maintain a zero Covid case tally on Sunday despite the discovery of two cars full of travelers who had squeezed across the border.

Queensland managed to maintain a zero Covid case tally on Sunday despite the discovery of two cars laden with travelers that had squeezed across the border, Deputy State Premier Steven Miles revealed, seen here

Queensland managed to maintain a zero Covid case tally on Sunday despite the discovery of two cars full of travelers that had squeezed across the border, Deputy State Premier Steven Miles revealed, seen here

They had traveled to several communities in the Queensland hinterland before being deported from the state, and two of them later tested positive when they returned to New South Wales.

This has now triggered an alert for remote townships in Queensland including Cunnamulla, Quilpie, Thargomindah and Charleville.

“It really underscores how close this virus is to our border,” Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

Vacationers have been urged to book early if they want a place in a tropical paradise for their 2022 vacation.

While Hamilton Island is nearly full, the state still has other island getaways for sun worshipers, including Daydream Island, Great Keppel Island, and Magnetic Island.

But for those with big budgets, the Hayman and Bedarra Islands might be the ultimate destinations.

Holidaymakers across Australia are now urged to book early if they want a spot in a tropical paradise for their 2022 vacation. (Pictured are surfers at dawn in Queensland)

Holidaymakers across Australia are now urged to book early if they want a spot in a tropical paradise for their 2022 vacation. (Pictured are surfers at dawn in Queensland)

Hayman is a single resort island accessible only by helicopter, luxury yacht, or seaplane and offers five-star luxury with a giant pool that you can dive into directly from select rooms.

The lesser-known Bedarra – an all-inclusive resort with luxury rentals and a spectacular villa – is arguably the most elite hideaway.

“When you just don’t want to be found, when you need to escape and relax, there is no better place to disappear than Bedarra,” her website boasts.

“Bedarra is an all-inclusive private tropical haven – Australia’s most unique resort and the ultimate in barefoot luxury.

Prices start at $ 1,390 a night and go all the way up to $ 2,790 a night … and the simple helicopter transfer from Cairns airport to the resort will set you back an extra $ 2,500 each.

Even at these prices, you can book the most expensive Point villa on the island for a week at the earliest in January 2023.


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