Free ferry travel extended to neighbouring regions
Smart cards entitling holders to free use of the Daintree River ferry during the summer will be made available to residents of the Cairns, Cassowary Coast and Tablelands Regional Council areas later this month.
The cards can be used from November 1 until February 28 to gain access to the vehicle ferry that allows motorists to visit the oldest rainforest on Earth, north of the Daintree River.
“There have been some successful trial periods, during which businesses have reported a spike in visitation,” Mayor Bob Manning said.
“Following the success of these two trials, we have now introduced an annual Smart Card free ferry travel period.
“The free ferry travel provides an incentive for local residents to explore their own region. And by extending the invitation to our neighbouring local government areas, new marketing opportunities will be created.”
A total of 1638 Smart Cards have been issued under two trial periods, resulting in 1226 recorded crossings.
It is estimated that Smart Card users injected almost $100,000 into the local economy during the trial periods.
Division 10 Council Julia Leu said this summer would be an ideal time to explore the northern extremities of the Cairns region.
“The Daintree rainforest is in all its glory in the wet season,” Cr Leu said.
“There tends to be less tourists at that time of year, which means a more relaxed pace for locals to explore their own backyard.
“The businesses in the Daintree Village and north of the Daintree River would love to share their part of the world with visitors from their neighbouring regions.”
Under the new program, the summer free travel period will be offered annually to Smart Card holders.
Smart cards are expected to be available from October 22 and existing cards will be activated from November 1.
A brochure featuring discount vouchers for businesses in the Daintree area will be made available only to Smart Card holders.
Once cards become available, they can be obtained in person by visiting one of Council’s administration centres at Cairns or Mossman with photo identification, or by downloading a form from Council’s website and mailing with a copy of relevant identification showing place of residence.