Crowds flocked to our many wineries, taverns and hotels over the Easter break.
Crowds flocked to our many wineries, taverns and hotels over the Easter break.

Tourist numbers strong

THE Easter long weekend brought large numbers of tourists through the South Burnett.

Bernie and Judy Cooper, from Crane Wines, were booked out.

"We're very busy," Mr Cooper said.

"It's been flat strap."

The winery had a mix of both locals and tourists.

"One group drove all the way from Rainbow Beach to just to visit us: we were very impressed with them," Mr Cooper said.

"Then we had lots of people from Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and a couple of people from Argentina and Thailand."

The Easter influx brought a welcome start to the 2017 tourism season that is due to slowly build through the winter months.

"It kicks off our tourism year and is the first time to have good numbers through and give us a lift to start our busy season," he said.

Out at Dusty Hill Miranda Prendergast said they had a record breaking weekend.

"We've almost done about 500 covers, we broke our record on Saturday for the most amount of meals," Mrs Prendergast said.

A fair chunk of Dusty Hill's trade comes from locals bringing their visiting relatives out for dinner.

They also pull good numbers from the nearby Bjelke-Petersen Dam.

Up at the Bunya Mountains Wayne Kratzmann saw a record number of cars and visitors.

"The weekend was astonishing, we'd be up almost 50%," he said.

He said visitors were chasing the laid back tranquillity of the mountains.

"More people are looking for a family destination and somewhere to escape the enormous number people in Brisbane and Sunshine Coast," Mr Kratzmann said.

Having Easter at the end of the school holidays may have played a part.

The Bunyas had an initial influx of visitors at the beginning of the break followed by the traditionally strong numbers over Easter.

South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell said the strong numbers were the result of hard work.

"The support the South Burnett has received from tourist and visitors emphasises the importance of tourism to our region and there has to be accolades expressed to both the tourism operator and those that put on events."