Hayden goes into bat
CRICKET legend Matthew Hayden knocked back a cold beer and a chicken burger at the Court House Hotel during his Operation Sunshine mission to boost tourism in the region last week.
Mr Hayden was in India when Cyclone Yasi struck the Far North in February and felt this was a way he help could lure tourists back to the Douglas region by spreading the message “Queensland is open for business”.
The passionate Queenslander is travelling to all the regions affected by recent natural disasters as part of his “Operation Sunshine”.
“Queensland has great locations and recreation activities that are to be enjoyed, wonderful travel and destination deals on offer, and inspiring stories to share with everyone,” he said.
Last Friday Mr Hayden jumped on a Skysafari helicopter and took a tour of the Mossman Gorge and the Great Barrier Reef and snorkelled with Reef Sprinter before having a delicious lunch at the Court House Hotel with the locals.
“There is a perception down south that business is closed and Queensland is one big huge disaster zone,” he said.
“What I’ve tried to do is help these regions who have been affected by this by working with tourism operators and business to show me what they have to offer so I can show everyone else that Queensland is open for business.
“I think Port Douglas is one of the greatest gateways in North Queensland because there is so much you can do here.
“Whether it’s going fishing, experiencing the Daintree Rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef it is all here on offer.
“It only took us 15 minutes to get to the reef, there are not too many places in the world where you can do that.”
To the rescue: Matthew Hayden is doing his bit to revive the local tourism industry