The Mirabella Penthouse at Rae’s on Wategos at Byron Bay, that commands more than $1000 a night.
The Mirabella Penthouse at Rae’s on Wategos at Byron Bay, that commands more than $1000 a night.

Holiday havens on NSW North Coast

NO-VACANCY signs are beginning to pop up across the Far North Coast as holiday makers begin pouring into the region for Christmas.

Whether they come for the luxury of a $25,000 a week beachfront house or to pitch a tent on a free National Park site, the region continues to defy the national and international tourism downturn since the Global Financial Crisis, drawing visitors from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

Northern Rivers Tourism CEO Russell Mills said while some sections of the industry had experienced a leaner than usual couple of years, next year was looking bright.

“We ran a bit of a straw poll with tourism operators last week to see how businesses are shaping up over Christmas and January and it’s looking pretty good,” he said.

“The next few weeks will be important for the figures and it does depend to some degree on the weather.

“As a region we haven’t done too badly through the downturn with the statistics to September showing the Northern Rivers received nearly 1.8 million domestic overnight visitors which is up 8.4 per cent on the previous year.”

Rae’s on Wategos day-spa manager Marionne De Candia said her guests loved Byron Bay for its laid-back informality, even at $1250 a night.

“Guests say they feel really comfy here and I think that’s what it’s about – some places don’t let you put your feet up,” she said.

A few kilometres down the road at Flat Rock Tent Park guests are basically saying the same thing – but at $15 a night.

Meanwhile out at Casino Village RV Resort, the grey nomads keep rolling up with all the mod cons on-board and plug in for $24 a night.

EXTRAVAGANT XMAS ACCOMMODATION

$25,000/week – Luxury Byron beachfront house rental

$1250/night – Mirabella Penthouse, Rae’s on Wategos

$650/night – Delux Spa Suite, Byron at Byron Resort

$550/night – Ramada Penthouse, Ballina

$377/night – Ballina Manor Grand Suite

ECONOMICAL XMAS ACCOMMODATION

Free-$25/night – National Park camping site

$18/night – unpowered site at Casino Village RV Resort

$31/night – unpowered site, Silver Sands Holiday Park, Evans Head

$74/night – cabin, Lismore Lake Holiday Park

$85/night – Centrepoint Motel Lismore


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