BARELY any accommodation centres across the Bellarine or Surf Coast have been booked out two weeks from the start of the peak summer season, according to an Independent survey.

Online agencies such as wotif.com and lastminute.com have hundreds of units, hotel rooms, cottages and other venues available from Portarlington, Queenscliff and Barwon Heads to Torquay, Lorne and Apollo Bay.

Rooms for two adults and two children are freely available at no less than 30 sites, from modest apartments to top-line hotels and resorts.

Torquay venues such as Beachfront Resort Torquay, Golf Retreats Torquay, OnShore Torquay, Whitewater Apartments and Coast Retreats Victoria have vacancies listed all through January. Peppers, Torquay Holiday Park, Tropicana and Bells Estate Great Ocean Road Cottages have vacancies from the first week of January onward.

Lorne has numerous vacancies throughout the second half of January at venues including the Cumberland, Lornebeach Apartments, Mantra, Anchorage, Grand Pacific, Comfort Inn, Great Ocean Road Cottages and Lorne Cottages. Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove have vacancies right through December and January at Barwon Heads Resort at 13th Beach. Seahaven Village, Riverside Ocean Grove and Ocean Grove Holiday park have vacancies from mid-January.

At Barwon Heads/Ocean Grove, vacancies right through December and January are available at Barwon Heads resort at 13th Beach, while Seahaven Village, Riverside Ocean Grove and Ocean Grove Holiday park can be readily booked from mid-January on.

Even prestigious Queenscliff has vacancies across the Christmas-New Year period and right through January at peak venues such as Athelstane House, Queenscliff Inn and Big4 Queenscliff Beacon Resort.

Apollo Bay has vacancies all through January at sites including Beacon Point, Whitecrest, The Apollo, Dolphin and Seafarers Getaway.

Anglesea and Aireys Inlet face the same situation, with accommodation readily available right through January at venues such as Great Ocean Road Resort, Anglesea River Apartments, Inlet Beach Apartments and others.

Geelong Bellarine Tourism boss Roger Grant said the trend was a concern but reflected shorter breaks rather than lengthy holidays taken by increasingly digital-savvy visitors who kept a close eye on the weather.

“We’ve seen more and more in the last couple years very late, last-minute bookings,” he said.

“It’s has a lot to do with the fact people are taking short breaks of two or three days rather than traditional three or four-week holidays.

“That’s the grim reality of what we’re facing in this digital world … that’s the state of play.”

Local industry figures told the Independent the downturn in bookings was “unusual”.

A drop-off in tourism had “certainly” been noted in the region, they said. One noted the “lousy” weather but stressed a need “to look at ways to encourage and facilitate” more visitors to the region.

Others again queried the charges levied by some tourist venues, referring to one motel which raised its tariff from $185 pre-Christmas to $600 afterwards as “gouging” and “pricing themselves out of the market”.

The vacancies remain as State Government unveils a regional strategy to stimulate the industry and “share the economic benefits of the growing tourism market”.



One Response to “Tourist bookings wide open as Xmas nears”

  1. Michael Moss

    Abolishing geelong -otway tourism is the answer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Or post a comment using your email

More News

Sexual Crimes Squad detectives are hunting for a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Geelong on 13 September. The 41-year-old woman told p...

Thieves punched and kicked a teenager in a Torquay robbery this weekend, according to police reports. Crime Investigation Unit detectives alleged the ...

Geelong Crime Investigation Unit detectives have charged a Corio man following an aggravated burglary at Hamlyn Heights on 22 August. The victim was i...

Entrance fees, tolls and parking meters could help cover funding shortfalls for Great Ocean Road works, a tourism body has revealed. “I think everyt...

In these days of digital communications, some still prefer the relatively quaint tradition of talking by phone. Unfortunately, it’s not always possi...

City Hall’s new membership of “advocacy group” Committee for Geelong is good value for $20,000, according to its chief executive officer. Re-joi...

Latest Sport

A grounded approach to life, enjoyment of a challenge and determination to get the best out of herself are hallmarks of Galaxy United’s Caitlin Pick...

On the Bite, by Chris Pitman Corio Bay hosted some excellent snapper fishing again over the past week. Matthew Kirby and dad Alistair enjoyed an excep...

Its fans asked ‘make us dream’ and North Geelong Warriors answered in emphatic fashion with a 4-0 victory in an NPL1 promotion playoff against Ric...


A Ceres theatre group will take on the Russian classic the Three Sisters at its historic sandstone hall next month. Local actress Stacey Carmichael, w...

Geelong’s young acting talent will hit the stage this weekend in the unique ‘song cycle’ play Edges. The play will feature Geelong Society of Op...