Who knew a beach holiday could be so affordable? According to the latest figures from the Roy Morgan Holiday Tracking Survey, the average cost per night of a domestic holiday is $151 per person**. Yet many of Australia’s famed coastal destinations come in well below that – from the idyllic Far North Coast of NSW to Victoria’s stunning Great Ocean Road region and the Great Barrier Reef’s Magnetic Island.
Topping the list for affordability is World Heritage-listed Fraser Island in Queensland. Celebrated for its rainforest, freshwater lakes and, of course, phenomenal beaches, this island paradise costs on average $94 per person per night. Many visitors to the island choose to stay in the nearby Hervey Bay/Maryborough area, which also happens to be one of Queensland’s more affordable coastal destinations. Much further north, the aforementioned Magnetic Island averages $132 per person per night.
The Yorke Peninsula in South Australia is another coastal destination that should be on the radar of budget-holiday fans, costing on average $102 per person per night. The Dongara/ Geraldton/Kalbarri region in Western Australia won’t break the bank either ($107); nor will Tasmania’s Bay of Fires ($113).
Most affordable (and costliest) coastal destinations by state (capital cities not included)
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Aust), July 2014-June 2016, n=20,518 Base: Australian holiday-goers 14+
In New South Wales, the North Coast (Forster/Port Macquarie/Coffs Harbour/Taree/Port Stephens) heads that state’s list for affordable coastal holiday spots, at an average $120 per person per night, ahead of the South Coast (Gerringong/Merimbula/Nowra) at $122. In contrast, Lord Howe Island is more suited to higher-end travellers, at an average cost of $341 per person per night.
Other seaside destinations around the country that tend towards the pricier end of the spectrum include two Queensland holiday icons—glamorous Port Douglas (averaging $245 per person per night) and the heavenly Whitsunday Islands ($220) —as well as northern WA’s gem, Broome ($234).