AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays

Coolangatta

Why do we rate it?
The Gold Coast can assault the senses. If you want the attractions without the crowds, Coolangatta and the Southern Gold Coast is the best compromise. It’s the part that most resembles a sleepy seaside town.

Where is it?
It’s 100km south of Brisbane, or a 1hr 30min drive. The Gold Coast Airport is here.

Where to stay
The beauty of the GC is that there’s so much accommodation to choose from. The Komune is the pick for single females and the young at heart, offering everything from flashpacker dorms to two-bedroom apartments. There are four single beds in each shared apartment, so it’s not overcrowded. Even better, there are two women-only shared apartments that each sleep six. In the same beachfront block on Marine Pde you’ll find Points North Apartments’ Ocean Plaza Resort and the more upmarket Reflections Tower Two. Further back from the beach is Outrigger Twin Towns Resort.

How much is it?
The Komune’s shared rooms, unisex and girls-only, is a mere $35 a night. The six two-bedroom apartments are $300 a night and the penthouse is $330 – you get the top floor and two bathrooms instead of one. A two-bedroom Points North apartment is $357 a night with a five-night minimum, as is the Ocean Plaza two bedder. The Outrigger has one-bedders from $209 and two-bedders from $279. A Reflections Tower Two two-bedder is $370 and a three-bedroom apartment is $470. They all have a five-night minimum booking over Christmas.

Availability
Komune is totally laid-back. You should be able to, like, book it till the end of October, man. There is availability at Points North, Ocean Plaza and Outrigger Twin Towns from December 26 but the longer you leave it, the harder it will get. Reflections Tower Two will not have anything until after Jan 3.

What to do
It is the Gold Coast, so if you can do it on holidays anywhere in Australia, you can do it here. After you tire of the beach, food and watersporty things, retreat from the heat to the hinterland. The Springbrook National Park Natural Arch and glow-worms are always a winner. Deep-sea fishing charters operate from Tweed Heads, but great for the whole family are Catch a Crab crabbing, oyster farm and fishing tours.

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