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

Destination: Port Fairy, Victoria

Why do we rate it?
This quiet seaside village should be on most holidaymakers’ radars, with busy Warrnambool and Portland to the east and west. Port Fairy offers a wide range of activities and friendly locals.

Where is it?
290km west from Melbourne, it’s a 3hr drive on the Great Ocean Road.

Where to stay
Port Fairy YHA is one street back from Moyne River. The heritage building is large for a hostel and includes a library and gaming room. Guests have free use of boogie boards and fishing gear. The more refined Douglas on River is, as its name suggests, right on Moyne River.

How much is it?
At the YHA, four-share family rooms cost $130 a night, doubles $80 and multi-share rooms $26 a bed. YHA members get 10% off bookings. Douglas on River’s Norfolk pine rooms cost $145 for two, while Moyne-view apartments cost $250 a night sleeping four.

The YHA is busy over Christmas but owner Alison Zehir assures us they can squeeze people in during Jan. Douglas on River has plenty of rooms available.

What to do
Like most coastal towns along the Great Ocean Road, Port Fairy is perfect for swimming, surfing and fishing. Walk across the Moyne River causeway to Griffiths Island to see muttonbird rookeries, go horse riding in the hinterland or visit the dormant volcano and crater lake at Mt Eccles in Macarthur.

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