Coffs on the list of top 10 best value holiday spots
COFFS Harbour, as one of Australia's favourite family holiday spots, has made Wotif.com's top 10 national list for best value destinations.
With the spring school holidays just weeks away, the popular holiday booking website has used 2016 booking figures, including a combination of popularity and price to come up with a list of affordable holiday spots.
Coffs was right up there in terms of offering reasonable accommodation (3 to 5 stars) that averaged less than $200 a night between September 1 and November 30 last year.
Wotif then looked at current bookings for 2017, for an overnight weekend right in the middle of spring from October 14-15, to get a fairish comparison on how much tourists are looking to spend this year.
Put them together, and you might be looking at the future of some of the most popular and best value spring getaways in Australia.
HERE'S THE BEST VALUE HOLIDAY LIST - TOP FIVE
1. Cairns, Queensland - $154 in 2016
Number one most popular and best value, according to Wotif. And were you expecting anything else? Australians love Cairns for a warm weather getaway, and Cairns loves Australians right back, by giving them great weather, great prices and lots to do.
It looks like 2017 will be more of the same. The only problem is that it seems to be filling up very fast, so actually getting its famously great value involves booking sooner, or settling for a less popular visiting time.
That's especially true if you want some of the hottest deals, like the Cairns Colonial Club Resort from only $98 for an overnight weekend escape.
2. Launceston, Tasmania - $135 in 2016
With an average cost of $135 for reasonable accommodation in spring 2016, Launceston delivers niceness at a good price. It seems to have remained similar in 2017, but it's looking like prices are skewing a little bit lower this year than last. This might be due to construction of new hotels, fewer visitors or just plain coincidence.
The city tends towards the bigger hotels, so grabbing a cozier stay like the Penny Royal Hotel Apartments (with prices almost exactly at 2016's $135 average) can be a nice way of seeing the island. And you can pick up some great digs for only a bit more than average. Country Club Villas, for example, has offerings for under $150 right now.
3. Apollo Bay, Victoria - $184 in 2016
A combination of ritzy and cheaper accommodations abound at this seaside escape, so there's plenty of space to find more-than-adequate rooms at less-than-painful prices. Or to pay a lot for a simply fantastic place if that's more your style. Wotif noticed this in 2016, and it seems like 2017 will be very similar, although it might be a little more popular this time around, especially for cheaper spots.
A great place to stay, like the Seafarer's Getaway might put you back $266 a night, but the value accommodations seem to be filling up faster, with hostels and budget motels selling out. The average price for 2016 is starting to look more like the lower-end of the price scale for 2017.
4. Coffs Harbour, New South Wales - $156 in 2016
There's no place quite like it. Travellers clearly agree, with Coffs Harbour looking to be at least as popular in 2017 as the previous year. It's hard to imagine finding a price as great as the 2016 average without booking nice and early, but there are still a fair few spots left.
The well known and loved Opal Cove Resort is booking out its rooms very quickly, and even wallet-friendly escapes like the Royal Palms Motor Inn are pushing the average 2016 price.
If Coffs Harbour was on your spring schedule, your rooms should have been booked yesterday.
5. Coolangatta, Queensland - $184 in 2016
You'll have to get up pretty early if you want to a great place at a great price in Coolangatta, or if you want to see the sunrise over the water on this beachside resort town.
It was near the upper end of the price scale for 2016, clocking in at the same usual cost as Apollo Bay, and 2017 seems to be no exception. But unlike Apollo Bay, it's Coolangatta's upper end of the price scale that might sell out first.
There are still plenty of very reasonable rooms at prices worth snagging, like at the Hotel Mantra where you might still find a place for around $160, but there might be a lot more competition for rooms, and less competition on price, at spots like Nirvana By the Sea.
It's almost impossible to say with any certainty whether 2017 is going to shape up the same as 2016 for bookings. But if one thing is clear, it's that Australia's most popular getaways are really quite popular indeed. If you're going somewhere good, book as early as possible.
Top 10 destinations predicted to be under $200 per night*
Cairns, QLD: $154
Launceston, TAS: $135
Apollo Bay, VIC: $184
Coffs Harbour, NSW: $156
Coolangatta, QLD: $184
Batemans Bay, NSW: $151
Scarborough Beach, WA: $173
Alice Springs, NT: $147
Yamba, NSW: $159
Fleurieu Peninsula, SA: $183
"While summer is the most popular season for Aussie workers to take a holiday, it's interesting to see that opting to go on a mini-break just a few months earlier, will not only likely save you money by travelling outside of peak summer periods, but will make you feel more refreshed on your return," Wotif Travel Specialist, Amanda Behre said.