Signs are good for drive
NAMING the scenic route to Port Douglas the Great Barrier Reef Drive could be only months away, and it is set to bring a new wave of selfdrive tourists.
The proposal to brand the iconic section of Captain Cook Highway from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas – which could rival the Great Ocean Road – has been on the radar of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Doug Ryan since 2012.
He hopes directional signage and informative plaques at lookouts and parking stops will be erected before he stands aside from his position in June.
‘‘We have been talking with the Wet Tropics Management Authority and we’re hoping to have a meeting fairly shortly to chat about signage,’’ Mr Ryan said.
The proposal would need State Government funding, however Member for Cook David Kempton has previously supported the move, which is tipped to boost tourism.
Douglas Mayor Julia Leu has also backed the intended branding and said the plan was back on the table following the re-formation of Douglas Shire Council last month.
‘‘The road is a spectacular drive and there is enormous potential to promote this locally and for the region overall,’’ Cr Leu said.
‘‘Tourism is the life blood of Douglas and there is untapped potential in naming it. A lot of people who come to the area for the first time are really blown away at how the beautiful the drive is.’’
Cr Julia Leu said the new council would need to be briefed and they would seek financial assistance if councillors approved the idea.
‘‘We are making our way through a whole raft of issues (as a new council). This is on our agenda.
‘‘It’s a fabulous opportunity for the promotion of ecological, cultural and Aboriginal values.’’
Stakeholders are also planning to secure funding for interpretive signs on the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown.
The 40km stretch is reportedly rated one of the top five drives in Australia.
WHAT A DRIVE: Grubs Trike Tours take a breather at the Rex Lookout