Rally fever builds in Coffs Coast
RALLY fever is well and truly gripping the Coffs Coast.
Tickets to the World Rally Championship event are said to be selling well and the rush is now on for many out-of-towners to secure accommodation for the second week of September.
Rally Australia has welcomed the latest booking information from local tourism body Coffs Coast Marketing, the Coffs Coast Visitor Information Centre and Tourism NSW.
With 29 days until the world's best rally drivers roar into action, it's still possible to book a bed and a place trackside, however, Coffs Harbour's resorts are just about fully booked.
"The intensity of the rally hype has really begun to build locally over the past three to four weeks and Rally Australia has been buoyed by the latest tourism information on accommodation inquiries and bookings," Rally Australia general manager Michael Masi said.
"We have been told the big resorts in Coffs Harbour, the likes of Opal Cove, Novotel Pacific Bay Resort and Aanuka, are almost booked to capacity.
"In the general Coffs Harbour area, around 80% of the self-contained apartments available have been booked and there are indications that around 50% of the city's motel rooms have also been booked at this point."
Another popular option for visiting motor sport fans may also be the city's "tent city".
The Rotary Club of Sawtell plans to run a campground based around the Coffs Harbour Leagues Club, offering 200 tent sites and a further 400 campsites.
"We have found that accommodation bookings have exceeded ticket bookings, suggesting that people are finding accommodation first with plans to book tickets closer to the rally or when they arrive in town," Mr Masi said.
He said outlying centres should receive greater accommodation activity once Coffs Harbour's facilities begin to fill.
The 2009 Rally Australia on the Tweed reportedly attracted 20,000 visitors to the Far North Coast.