A RENEWED push to increase regional visitation to the Douglas Shire is on for the next four months.
Douglas Shire Council’s popular Douglas Card promotion kicks off tomorrow (November 1), giving Far Northerners a variety of great incentives to visit the region.
Unlimited free Daintree Ferry trips and a free entry to the Mossman Gorge swimming hole headline the annual promotion, which also taps into the lure of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Drive.
The usual return ferry fee of $30 has been scrapped for local residents until February 29 next year.
Local is classed as residents from Cardwell to Cooktown, including the Atherton Tablelands.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the free ferry trip was the best incentive for local residents to get out and visit one of the world’s most enchanted places.
“The free travel really gives residents from our neighbouring shires a reason come up and explore our little pocket of paradise,” she said.
“It also encourages them to go beyond Port Douglas and get right up to Cape Tribulation.
“Why not make it a Douglas weekend getaway and see all that our beautiful region has to offer?”
Council has issued 4217 cards since the promotion started in 2014.
The cable-powered ferry near the end of the Daintree River is the continuation of the Great Barrier Reef Drive, a 140km long road, which stretches the coastline from the Northern Beaches of Cairns through to Cape Tribulation.
The card also provides discounts to local attractions including two free adult tickets for the Mossman Gorge shuttle bus.
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Chief Executive Officer Tara Bennett said the Daintree ferry crossing was the gateway to the ancient Daintree Rainforest, incredible wildlife and pristine landscapes that encompass two World Heritage sites.
“Although the Daintree is admired for its beauty and isolation, it also has amazing tourism ventures through activities, more than 40 places to stay, as well as numerous restaurants and cafes to choose from,” she said.
“Visitors are spoilt for choice with the Great Barrier Reef and revelling in the lush rainforest and gorgeous coastline that make up this exceptional area.”
Douglas Shire Council offers the Douglas Card to locals residing in Douglas Shire Council. Mareeba Shire Council, Cairns Regional Council, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council, Tablelands Regional Council, Cook Shire Council, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council and Cassowary Coast Regional Council.
Use of the Douglas Card on the Daintree Ferry is restricted to fare categories Motor Car and Utilities (private use), Pedestrians and Bicycles and Motor Bikes.
To obtain a free Douglas Card, applicants need to provide photographic identification and additional proof of residency with their application to confirm local status at any one of the above local government areas.
Application forms are available, here.