Can you believe it’s almost Christmas? If your year has gotten away from you like mine has, you might think you’ve left it too late to plan a Christmas or New-Year getaway (at least, without breaking the bank). But don’t worry! There are still plenty of bargains out there if you know where to look. To help, we’ve crunched the numbers and predicted the average daily rates of some of our most popular destinations over the holiday period. They’re all less than $250 a night*, so you can save your cash for more important things… like presents 😉
Average rate: $248 a night
Make the most of the holiday period by booking a trip to Melbourne at a time when the CBD workers and business travellers clear out. Enjoy incredible coffee, art, and grab a bargain at the Boxing Day sales. Admire beautiful 19th-century architecture, hang out in the newest cafes, and take your pick from exciting NYE parties happening all over the city.
Average rate: $229 a night
Sitting adjacent to two World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest – Port Douglas has long been an Aussie holiday favourite. The laid back beach lifestyle and trendy cafes will have you unwinding as soon as you check in.
Average rate: $220 a night
Located on the Victorian coast at the western end of the spectacular Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool is a great road-trip destination and well worth a few days of holiday time. Don’t miss the Warrnambool Art Gallery (one of Australia’s oldest) or Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village’s fascinating shipwreck museum.
Average rate: $138 a night
Slap on your wide-brimmed hat and leave the big city behind as you roll into Rockhampton, where Queensland’s outback meets the coastline. If you’re in town for New Year’s Eve, head to Queen’s Park on the Fitzroy River to watch the fireworks.
Average rate: $187 a night
Escape the chaos of Sydney and head a couple of hours north to Newcastle for excellent surf beaches, incredible views, and a vibrant arts, dining, and bar scene. Foodies will want to take an extra day for a side-trip to the Hunter Valley, just a 1hr drive away.
6. Glenelg, SA
Average rate: $241 a night
Just 20 minutes from the heart of Adelaide, Glenelg’s laid-back feel and beachy vibes will have you squishing sand between your toes in no time. Make sure you take your togs – Glenelg is one of the best places in Australia to swim with wild dolphins!
Average rate: $246 a night
Bateman’s Bay is perfect for relaxing coastal getaways. Unwind on a secluded beach, keep the kids busy with a day trip to a stunning national park, or learn about the region’s exciting gold-rush history at The Colony, a recreated gold-rush town and theme park.
Average rate: $165 a night
With its sparkling white sand, striking red rocks, and stunning turquoise water, Cable Beach is a real bucket-list destination. Watch the sunset over the beach from the back of a camel (a must), or hire a car and explore more of nearby Broome.
9. Cairns, QLD
Average rate: $178 a night
Take advantage of the great value on offer during the wet season and head north to Cairns. Grab some last-minute gifts at The Esplanade Markets (every Saturday, 8am – 4pm), or ring in the new year with the family at the Cairns Esplanade NYE celebrations, which include food stalls, rides, live music, and face-painting.
*Best-value destinations are based on the average daily rate for 3 – 5 star-rated and self-rated accommodation, and demand on Wotif.com in December 2016 for travel from 22 December 2016 to 2 January 2017 for the above destinations. Prices shown are in Australian dollars and may not be the same as the rates displayed on site. Rates are subject to accommodation selections made.