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Friday, December 3, 2021

Wildcat to pounce on Mackay tourism market

The pristine islands of the South Cumberland Group are set to open up for tourists from next month when a new day cruise venture starts operating out of Mackay.

A specially designed, catamaran, for taking visitors to these secret pristine Islands will go through its paces in Moreton Bay and on the Brisbane River today ahead of its voyage north.

The distinctive red and yellow, 17m ‘Wildcat’ will operate out of the north Queensland coastal city for day tours around the South Cumberland Group and destinations such as Keswick or Brampton Island.

The start-up of the new ‘Wildcat’ offshore tour by the multi-national award-winning company Red Cat Adventures will raise Mackay’s tourism profile and further boost the regions visitor economy.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said ‘Wildcat’ was made possible by the $25 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

‘The Palaszczuk Government has invested $950,000 to get Wildcat into the water to deliver a new visitor experience for Mackay to rebuild better for the future,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Wildcat is made in Queensland for Queensland. 

“Built for up to 50 guests, the catamaran is a one-of-a-kind vessel, purpose designed for Mackay and built at the Lumark shipyard at the Gold Coast City Marina.

“Wildcat joins the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Bellingham Maze, Macadamias Australia, TreeTop Junior Adventure Park and Lady Musgrave Island Pontoon in creating jobs and new and enhanced tourist infrastructure.           

“We’re helping Wildcat to pounce on a tourism opportunity that has been missing in Mackay.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said ‘Wildcat’ would make Mackay the ideal destination this Christmas- New Year period supporting local jobs and the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan for the region.

“Wildcat’s arrival has been the talk of Mackay,” Ms Gilbert said.

“It’s predicted Wildcat could bring an extra 5,600 passengers into Mackay, adding another $2 million a year to our visitor economy.

“Wildcat will open up access to Mackay’s island experiences like never before with visitors set to discover untouched beaches and be able to snorkel vibrant reefs from a catamaran custom designed for local conditions.”

Red Cat Adventures Director Julie Telford is confident its brand new Wildcat catamaran is going to give locals and tourists a ‘Pure Escape’ experience.

‘They’ll venture out to visit and enjoy some of the unique, pristine islands off the Mackay Coast in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

“Day tour destinations like Cockermouth, Brampton, Keswick, St Bees, and Scawfell Islands as well as some secluded unexplored spots are all within comfortable reach of Mackay’s new fast cat,” Julie Telford said.

The launch of Wildcat Mackay is significant in raising Mackay’s tourism profile and presents a unique opportunity to reposition Mackay as the go-to destination for regional and international travellers.

Mackay Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Tas Webber said the launch of Wildcat Mackay was exciting for the local industry.

“Mackay Tourism’s goal is to attract more tourists especially in off-peak seasons to serve as a catalyst for other tourism events and also foster a positive destination image to pump up visitation numbers,” Mr Webber said.

Wildcat is expected to make its Mackay debut on 01 December.  

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