Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary will swing open its doors again in just over a fortnight, with hopes other Gold Coast tourist icons might not be far behind.
The popular attraction will reopen on June 26, just in time for school holidays, after having its COVID-safe plan approved by health officials.
The forced closure due to coronavirus is the first time in 72 years that the sanctuary has shut its doors.
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Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary General Manager Mike Kelly says they’re excited to be able to open again.
“Our animals and our staff are really looking forward to welcome people back to the sanctuary,” Mr Kelly said.
“Our sanctuary will look very different when we reopen. We will have a very detailed COVID-safe plan so that means part of our sanctuary may be different to what they’ve experienced before.”
Despite being unable to have any guests through the gates, staff have worked tirelessly over the last 10 weeks caring for the animals and maintaining the sanctuary.
Mr Kelly said the closure hit them hard.
“Financially this was devastating for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, but it was also a sad place to be.
“Special places like Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary need people to bring them to life which is why we are so excited about our re-opening on the 26 June.”
Mr Kelly is ensuring guests that it will be safe to visit.
“Here at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, we have have 27 hectares of sub-tropical rainforest and bushland for people to explore and wander through so we believe our guests have suitable space to social distance appropriately and we’ll put other measures in place to ensure that everyone has a fantastic time here whilst maintaining the appropriate social distancing.
The reopening of the sanctuary has raised hopes that other Gold Coast theme parks will follow.
The Chief Health Officer is currently assessing COVID-safe plans submitted by park operators Village Roadshow and Ardent Leisure.
Sea World is hoping to be the next in line for a restricted reopening, possibly as early as next month.
Dreamworld says it is unable to confirm a re-opening date just yet but is looking forward to welcome guests back as soon as possible.
“We have submitted our Site Specific COVID SAFE Plan to government and are working with them to ensure we’re able to re-open with attendance levels that allow us to create both a positive guest experience and a safe environment for our team members and guests.”