Free ferry travel for Easter
Residents of the Cairns Regional Council area will again have access to free travel over the Daintree River this coming Easter break.
Council today voted in support of a recommendation to provide free use of the Daintree River ferry to residents from March 30 to April 16.
A smart card will need to be shown at the ticket booth to gain free access to the ferry.
“More than 1000 people obtained smart cards when we offered free ferry travel for locals for two months over summer,” Mayor Val Schier said.
“Anyone who already has a card can hold on to it for use at Easter.”
Council has issued 1128 smart cards since November 2011, with 581 of those cards having been presented at the ferry ticket booth for a total of 813 return trips.
Data collected during the trial period has shown minimal impact on ferry revenue, suggesting those using the smart cards might not have otherwise visited area.
“The point of this exercise was to get more people to explore their own backyard here in the Cairns region and I think we have seen a level of success,” Cr Schier said.
Division 10 Councillor Julia Leu said she had received positive feedback from businesses north of the Daintree River, who had reported a spike in local tourism.
“The Daintree is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Australia and we are keen to see more locals explore and appreciate what is on their doorstep,” Cr Leu said.
“Many local businesses jumped on board by offering special promotions and prizes in conjunction with the smart cards
“I’m so pleased that businesses have been able to use this opportunity to promote themselves to Cairns region residents and show them that a holiday at home can be a fantastic option.”
Results of a survey conducted at the conclusion of the recent smart card trial are still being collated.
Smart cards are available to people residing within the Cairns Regional Council are from Council’s Spence Street and Mossman administration centres during business hours. Applications can be made in person only, as photo identification showing residential address must be presented.
Anyone who has previously obtained a card but has since disposed of it is welcome to apply for a new one.