It's been a tough couple of years for those in the tourism industry, suffering through a pandemic and lockdowns, but it's been floods and record-breaking fuel prices that have caused issues for the community of Dirranbandi this year.
Between December 2021 and May this year, Dirranbandi had been cut off in all directions four times due to flooding in the Balonne river.
Owner of the Dirranbandi Retreat and Caravan Park Nikki Pulfer said that there had been very few visitors to the park so far this year, with business only starting to pick up in mid June, post floods.
Ms Pulfer said that the significant rise in fuel prices was also a contributing factor for businesses struggling this year.
"For the first six months of the year, there was nothing, we had nobody, and everybody's figures have been down," she said.
"The cost of fuel meant no one was coming through and then the roads being blocked, the flooding did impact a lot of businesses massively.
"Normally our season starts really well in March, but we didn't have anyone through until mid June.
"Financially we're all pretty buggered, everyone's used all their savings just to stay afloat, some people are well behind with their power bills and things like that because there was just no one here.
"There's some businesses like the servo and things like that they've done well, but they should have done exceptionally well.
"I think that's probably the biggest difference is we're all surviving, but we're not thriving."
Having missed out on several months of business, Ms Pulfer said the effects of the floods are felt long after the water has subsided and that come summer, they will be definitely be feeling the pinch.
"We allow for the fact that November to February is pretty much a write off because it's just so hot, but you rely on that money from the start of March to keep you afloat," she said.
"I think the biggest impact for us will be felt in November, December and January, when there's nothing in the bank because you've lost at least three good months of trade.
"So I think that's going to be really, really tough for a lot of the businesses here in town. The unfortunate thing is by that stage, most folks will have forgotten about it."
Despite the struggles, Ms Pulfer said she loves running the tourism business, particularly meeting visitors from all walks of life.
While staying at the park, visitors are welcomed to communal dinners in the camp kitchen, which Ms Pulfer said creates a community atmosphere and allows travellers to form connections with others that they might bump into again throughout their journey,
Ms Pulfer and her husband took over the caravan park three and a half years ago, after making the move from the Sunshine Coast to Dirranbandi.
Having worked as a school and hospital chaplain, Ms Pulfer said it was the old convent and chapel at the caravan park that drew her to the business.
"I was given a house here four and a half years ago, and we really noticed the hospitality and the kindness of the folks in town, and the fact that we always felt really included whenever we came out to work on the house," she said.
"Then when I found out that this was for sale, it was literally a no brainer."
Since taking on the run-down building, Ms Pulfer has completely transformed the chapel, often with the help of visitors who come to stay at the caravan park.
Visitors will be able to check out the new attraction on the 6th of August when Elvis comes to town, hosting a vowel renewal ceremony for local couples or travellers at Dirranbandi's own 'chapel of love.'
"It would be lovely if the chapel brought people into the caravan park, but even if it just brought them into the town and gave them a reason to stop a little longer," Ms Pulfer said.
"It's just something else that folks can stay for and connect with in Dirranbandi, that's what I'm hoping for."
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