The Great Barrier Reef Drive
In October 2015 the media reported that the road from Cairns to Cape
Tribulation was to be officially named the Great Barrier Reef Drive,
this was exciting news for the Daintree tourism industry, just imagine
having a Great Ocean Road type tourist attraction to bring tourists
to the area!
The picturesque drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation will soon
be know as the Great Barrier Reef Drive after getting the nod from
The idea to brand the 140km section of the Captain Cook and Cape
Tribulation Road has been three years in the making and is set to
rival Victoria's Great Ocean Road.
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said
an agreement has been reached between the tourism body, Tourism
Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ), Douglas Shire Council, Main Roads
and Wet Tropics Management Authority to start marketing the drive.
"We are not changing the name of it (the highway), but rebranding
it from Cairns to Cape Tribulation," Miss Bennett said
the Cairns Post article here.
Spectacular scenery to rival the Great Ocean Road
A study had been done and a report written up by Queensland State Development
which has a long list of recommendations on how to make this concept
work. of which so far none have materialized.
the report here.
Along the spectacular coastal road from Cairns to Port Douglas you see
above is a place where many tourists stop and balance rocks on eachother,
it has turned in to a very popular and photogenic stop.
This is exactly the sort of place where recommendations should have been
followed up with some infrastructure and speed limit reduction so tourists
can enjoy this beautiful spot safely, but all that has happened is that
newspapers report the place is an accident waiting to happen and police
will be watching to hand out tickets to tourists crossing double white
The balancing rocks, an under utilized tourist attraction on the Great
Barrier Reef Drive
If the government had followed recommendations from its own study then
the rocks would be a safe and fun tourist attraction now
Since the announcement of the official naming of the Great Barrier
Reef Drive nothing happened, the Qld Labor govt does not seem to
understand the enormous economic benefits that this drive could
bring the state and the far north region, the Great Ocean Road generates
billions in tourism revenue.
Or more likely is that they DO understand but the Queensland Premier
has blocked support when she realised that this was going to bring traffic
and economic benefit to the Daintree, in the state’s FNQ
Regional Plan you can clearly read that the ferry must remain as a
traffic limiter and a hand brake on any economic progress in the Daintree
so of course she is not going to support a plan that will bring extra
tourists up there.
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree and various other tourism organisations
are trying to make it happen and promote it but without state support
it is hard work, and even when you market it if there are no signs
on the highway to tell tourists that they are actually on the GBRD
then it is just not going to work.
This is how they do it in Victoria
I Know Just The Place...
Queensland Government proudly announced in a media
statement in November 2016 that they were spending $90 million on
the "I know just the place" tourism campaign.
It encourages tourists to go to lots of places in Queensland but I had
to use the Search function on the site www.queensland.com
to find Cape Tribulation getting a mention, nothing about the Daintree
containing the oldest World Heritage Listed rain forest in the world,
and the Great Barrier Reef Drive not mentioned at all!
So is the Queensland government not investing money in tourism? Yes,
they are, according to this media
statement that includes:
$3 billion Queen’s Wharf development
$1 billion Jewel development
$600 million Lindeman Island upgrade
$2 billion Laguna Whitsundays upgrade
$50 million Cairns Aquarium
$100 million Brisbane International Cruise Terminal
But no money for a couple of signs to let tourists know they are on the
Great Barrier Reef Drive....
And then in July 2017 Queensland.com tried to hijack
the Great Barrier Reef Drive concept from far north Queensland and
tried to change it from just Cairns to Cape Tribulation in to Bundaberg
to Cape York!!!!
This is a screenshot from the Queensland.com website which shows
a lot of Queensland drives but not the GBRD.
Note the loop around the Daintree.
The Great Barrier Reef Drive had disappeared...
See webpage here
Click to download the guide