The Hunter Coast region has been experiencing an influx in tourists looking to enjoy the warm weather, the sand and the surf. The Christmas and New Year period saw some impressive occupancy for accommodations which is showing no signs of relenting even into the Australia Day extended weekend.
Sheridan Ferrier, Tourism Hunter Executive Manager said that the areas around the coast and the riverbanks are the most popular among tourists and that occupancy is picking up ahead of the forthcoming long weekend.
Warmer weather is the perfect setting for enjoying a variety of water sports and the Hunter Coast region offers everything from a wide selection of water sports to a number of choices in accommodation including camping, caravanning, luxury hotels and cheaper bed & breakfasts. Visitors of all budgets are lapping up this opportunity to spend some time away from routine.
During the New Year period occupancy in the Newcastle region was up by 8% when compared to the same period last year. Accommodation owners struggled to meet the demand from tourists and were almost full with restaurants too brimming with customers. The Australia Day bookings are yet to reach full capacity, but accommodation operators are hopeful of last minute bookings especially from tourists coming in from local Sydney and NSW region. Tourists from these areas routinely book at the last minute for tours, eating outs and to watch the Australia Day Maritime Festival.
Lake Macquarie is yet another destination which is mostly visited during the school holidays in summer. During the Christmas and the New Year period occupancy was near full and the trend is expected to continue during the long Australia Day weekend as well. Visitors are expected to enjoy the surf and the sand as hiring boats and hitting the water are some of the favourite activities of tourists. This year’s special attraction at the Lake Macquarie is the Australia Day cruise onboard the Solar Sailor and an Aussie BBQ.
Port Stephens is yet another destination which has witnessed a lot of interest this year with tourists coming in to beat the heat and enjoy some time out. It is one of the busiest destinations with occupancy predictively reaching 100% during the New Year period. Tourists flock here for a wide variety of activities including dolphin cruises and parasailing. Visitors planning to visit Port Stephens should book early as there is a huge rush and a lot of activities are planned for the Australia Day celebrations.
Barrington Tops is a favourite among families as one of the best places to do a camping vacation. There are a number of suitable locations along the river for camping and the Visitors Information Centre is buzzing with enquiries and activities in anticipation of the forthcoming long weekend. Not to be left behind in proper accommodation there are a number hotels, bed & breakfasts and other options for tourists of all budgets. This area will also hold a number of events centred on the Australia Day celebrations with the Special Olympics Dance Performance Group serving as brand ambassadors and taking part in a number of those events.