My wife Lucie and I were in Cairns from late February until early March, just before the chaos struck. To be honest, I didn’t think much of it back then – I don’t think many of us did. We returned to Nusa Island around the 8th of March and that’s when the world started getting funky. We had one large (and last) group of surfing guests here who I had to break the bad news to: they would have to quarantine upon returning to Australia. This information was based on both official and unofficial sources, so it was a tricky thing to communicate.
The weeks that followed consisted of waiting around to see what would happen next – there really wasn’t much else we could do to respond to the madness besides sit back and watch it all unfold!
We closed Nusa Island Retreat down during the months of April and May, due to domestic flight restrictions. We used this time to renovate the kitchen, which was always a near-impossible task to tackle while operating normally, pre-Covid. There was also an array of other small maintenance projects that we kept ourselves and our staff busy with during this time. We were able to re-open in June, after Air Niugini eased up with some of the domestic restrictions. Since then, we have been non-stop! The domestic market has been great to us. This trade also meant that we were able to achieve our main goal: ensuring that we did not let one staff member go during the pandemic, which I’m proud to say we managed to do.
From here, it will be business as usual, with the necessary precautions to make travellers feel at ease. We definitely miss the international surf market and look forward to seeing the regular faces again, as well as new visitors once borders re-open. So until then, folks!