Everyone loves a summer beach break, but some of Australia’s top beach holiday destinations can break the bank in peak season, especially if you’re travelling with a family. Here we reveal five of the country’s best value beach holiday destinations. Book your stay now with Choice Hotels to secure the best possible deal.
1. Soak up the tropical vibe for less in Townsville
Queensland’s heavy holiday hitters like Port Douglas, the Whitsundays, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast tend to get most of the attention from holidaymakers, but the North Queensland city of Townsville has so much to offer, and at a fraction of the price you’ll pay visiting its high profile cousins in summer. Townsville is a great destination for families or couples. Stroll along the gorgeous Strand (with its free family waterpark), while Magnetic Island beckons dreamily from across Cleveland Bay. The island offers oodles of things to see and do. Horse ride, swim and snorkel in safe swimming enclosures, spot koalas, and the list goes on. In the evening, head for any of Townsville’s awesome dining options. Style it up or go casual. The choice is yours!
Need a place to stay? Check out these two awesome Townsville accommodation options. The stylish and sophisticated Clarion Hotel Townsville is located in the heart of the CBD – just a short walk from cafes and restaurants.
2. Enjoy the cost-effective coastal beauty of Albany
Pristine white sand and turquoise blue water generally come with a hefty holiday price tag, but not in Albany on Western Australia’s southern coast. OK, it takes a bit of effort to get to this destination, but once you’re there, wow, you’ll have access to some seriously exquisite beaches and mind-blowing coastal scenery – and at a very reasonable nightly rate. Middleton Beach is Albany’s most popular swimming and surf beach (and offers great views out to King George Sound), but there are plenty of others within easy reach. You will need a car, so hiring one in Perth and cruising down to Albany by road is a good value way to go.
Need a place to stay? Plan your Albany getaway at the Quality Apartments Banksia Gardens, which is centrally located and an easy drive from everything the city and wider region have to offer. All rooms have kitchenette facilities and BG’s Kitchen serves breakfast and dinner daily. Climb to the nearby Mount Melville Parklands lookout for superb coastal views.
3. Have some value summer fun in Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay on Queensland’s Fraser Coast is world famous for two things: its whale watching opportunities, and Fraser Island – the largest sand island in the world. Visitors flock here during whale season (July to November), which drives accommodation prices up. Once the whales move on, prices drop just in time for summer and this laid-back coastal centre makes a great, reasonably priced family holiday option. Enjoy the local beaches and fabulous WetSide Water Park, which is open daily throughout summer. A day cruise out to Fraser is a cost-effective way to see the island and experience its undeniable beauty. Check out the beach and BBQ cruise offered by Whalesong Cruises.
Need a place to stay? Located just a ten-minute stroll from the beach, Comfort Inn on Main Hervey Bay offers affordable, family-friendly accommodation and close proximity to Hervey Bay’s key attractions. There are 28 newly renovated rooms to choose from. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and a tropical-style pool.
4. Save on a seaside getaway in Geelong
When you’re thinking Victorian seaside destinations, Geelong may not immediately spring to mind – but it should. A sublime position on Corio Bay in Port Phillip, a beautifully maintained waterfront precinct, and a rapidly regenerating CBD mean there’s a whole lot to love about a summer holiday here – and the price in summer will definitely be right! Spend time following the quirky bollard trail, enjoy a splash in the sea baths at Eastern Beach, or just relax on the sand at Point Lonsdale, Barwon Heads or Thirteenth Beach. Do a day trip to Melbourne or explore the Bellarine Peninsula’s wonderful food and wine scene. The possibilities here are endless!
Need a place to stay? Quality Hotel Bayside Geelong is located right on the Esplanade and offers amazing water views. If you’re travelling with a family, the hotel’s superior family rooms have a king bed in the main bedroom and two single beds in the second bedroom. Guests can walk to all of the city’s waterfront attractions with ease or take advantage of the complimentary bike hire.
5. Hit the budget-friendly beaches in Ballina
Ballina in Northern NSW is generally regarded as the gateway to super-fashionable Byron Bay (located 40-minutes’ drive north of the city), but savvy holidaymakers can save big dollars in summer by simply staying put once they get off the plane. Ballina offers access to 32 kilometres of magnificent coastline, amazing weather, farm-fresh produce, and you can do day trips to Byron and other regional must-sees at your leisure – all without paying a premium for the ‘Byron factor’. Top beaches to enjoy around Ballina include Lennox Point, Lighthouse Beach and South Ballina Beach. Swim, surf, fish and cycle the waterfront. Certain beaches allow 4WD vehicle access and horse riding.
Need a place to stay? Choice Hotels has two great holiday accommodation options in Ballina. Set in three acres of lush tropical gardens, Quality Hotel Ballina is a tranquil retreat that will have you in holiday mode from the get-go. Comfort Inn All Seasons is located just a short walk from the riverfront and caters specifically for families. Enjoy the fabulous tropical pool and outdoor recreation area.
About the writer
Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.