This post is a continuation of a series where I share accommodation tips from my travels around Australia.
As it was raining quite a bit, I didn’t really want to stay in a caravan park without any cover as getting in and out of the Teardrop when its raining is not the easiest thing to do without getting things wet inside and shoes have to stay outside in the rain. Not being able to afford motel accommodation and not particularly wanting to stay in a hostel, I thought I would try AirBnB for the first time. Really glad I did. For $50, I stayed in this wonderful place run by Peppe and Guilia. I could work on the balcony, it was quiet, bed was comfortable and it had a bath! I can recommend Peppes place in Suffolk Park. If you are thinking of trying out AirBnB, click here to receive $34AUD credit
I then stayed in the Discovery Caravan Park which I believe is the only one in the area where an unpowered site was less than $20.
You can get a fairly good meal for $9.90 at the Byron Brewery. You can get an even better meal at The Great Nothern Hotel (more expensive though) but in a town where most dining outlets are laid out to take advantage of the hotter weather, they are not so good to be in when its colder. However, when I stepped into The Great Nothern Hotel and felt the cosy warmth of the heaters and saw the powerpoints on the wall close to the tables, I quickly decided to stay and have a meal there where I could also work on my laptop. Also make sure you visit the Byron Bay Café which overlooks Byron Bay.
Deciding which caravan park to stay in takes some time and research. Need to find one with a camp kitchen (indoor preferably) or somewhere I can work on my laptop on a table out of the weather, near amenities, have to decide powered or unpowered and for a reasonable rate. Beginning to realise that all caravan parks on the Gold Coast were not going to be that cheap particularly on a Fri & Sat night. Eventually decided on the Tweed Billabong Caravan Park. I thought their camp kitchen they boasted about seemed like a nice place where I could work and out of the rain – OMG! What a Camp Kitchen. It really is like a restaurant.
I situated myself on a site near the Billabong where I could open my door in the morning and look straight out onto it. It seems to be quite a social caravan park too with quite a few organised activities.
Next it was onto Talebudgera Caravan Park near Coolangatta where I wanted to base myself for a few days to catch up with a friend. Had a lovely spot overlooking the river, paying a premium rate ($49 night for a powered site) but it was worth it as all caravan parks in the area seemed to be that rate anyway for a powered site.
Talebugera also had quite a lovely public golf course and very cheap. Finally these little babies got to see the light of day.
After a few days at Talebudgera thought I had better downgrade to save some money so moved to the Kirra Beach Caravan Park where I could book an unpowered site (not all caravan parks have unpowered sites) and I could get a night free if booking for 7 nights. It was a very peaceful quiet caravan park as not near any major roads. It also had quite a nice camp kitchen with gas burner stove tops (not all camp kitchens have these). Unfortunately I had quite a lot of food stolen from the shared camp kitchen. Made me think about whether there was an esky available anywhere you could lock that would fit in a fridge. Wouldn’t completely be full-proof but it might deter some. Hmm…perhaps that is another product idea…
Just down the road was the Kirra Sports Club which offered the best value meals I have ever seen. Not only were they cheap, they were good. Every night you could get a $8 meal special - one night I even had a good roast meal for $5!
I then attended the Gold Coast Caravan & Camping Show as an exhibitor and as I used the Teardrop on my site, I needed to find alternate accommodation arrangements. I used a fairly new app called Hotel Quickly. It's point of difference to other booking sites is that it really does offer cheaper last minute accommodation. It does this because it updates it's database 8am each morning for that day. For example I stayed at the Islander Hotel Resort and where other sites like booking.com had it for $99, I was able to book it with Hotel Quickly for $79. Worth having a look at and if you do, use my
invite code of JTREA to get $30AUD off your booking. Making my lunch particularly when exhibiting at shows saves me money. One thing I love with my plastic free silicone container is that I can fit a sandwich snugly in there and don't need any cling wrap.
After the Gold Coast Caravan & Camping Show I decided on the Gold Coast Holiday Park because it had a café where I thought I could plug in and work (didn’t turn out to be the case though) but the pool and spa also looked awesome. They were awesome but the park is near a main highway, constantly noisy, so make sure you don’t stay that side of the park. It was in a good location though being that a supermarket, food & coffee outlets, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and a pub were 400m down the road.
Next post, I'll be heading to the Sunshine Coast. Stay tuned.
Related Previous Post: Accommodation Tips from a Digital Nomad in Australia - Mildura to Lismore