Holiday hot spots fully booked for long weekend
The state's sleepy beachside towns will surge to full capacity in just over a week's time as cashed-up Sydneysiders explore NSW.
Holiday hot spots of Byron Bay, Port Macquarie and Yamba are effectively at capacity for the October long weekend, with less than one per cent of available holiday homes still available for rent, according to bookings platform Stayz.
It comes as caravan parks in the northern parts of the state have recorded a surge in bookings for the upcoming school holidays compared to the same time last year.
Fire-ravaged communities are also reaping the benefits of moneyed city slickers who normally jet off to Europe for their holidays, with towns like Pambula Beach recording a 300 per cent rise in holiday home bookings compared to the same time last year.
Stayz head of marketing Simone Scoppa said because Easter holiday plans had been ruined this year because of coronavirus restrictions, September school holidays and the October period were busier than usual.
"The upcoming school holidays are looking like business back to usual for regional towns that have been missing the much-needed tourism dollar for so many months," she said.
"The bushfire affected coastline from Pambula, Merimbula and Eden have seen significant year-on-year increases in bookings for the upcoming October long weekend, with Pambula seeing a 300 per cent increase."
Jervis Bay has less than one per cent of its 1282 holiday houses left available to rent for the upcoming long weekend, while Nelson Bay in Port Stephens has less than 2 per cent of its 1345 homes still vacant.
Those chasing a last-minute booking should consider the Snowy Mountains region, where there are still a significant number of lake and mountain homes for rent.
Discovery Holiday Parks and G'day Parks chief executive Grant Wilkins said bookings in the 40 parks his company operates in NSW were up, with northern NSW bookings almost double what they were this time last year.
"I think caravan parks are regarded as a safe environment, where you're not walking through corridors and shared airconditioning," he said.
While parks in the state's north were in demand, he said those on the state's south coast, including at Pambula Beach, still had plenty of vacancies because of the lack of Victorian tourists who normally frequent them.
"The biggest challenge is the border parks - Pambula Beach is 400 metres of oceanfront - it is an amazing holiday but it historically has been more (popular with people from) Melbourne."
Originally published as Holiday hot spots fully booked for long weekend