Holiday parks nearing capacity for summer bookings

If you’re looking to secure a last-minute holiday over Christmas or New Year, the time to act is now.

Discovery Holiday Parks chief executive Grant Wilckens says bookings across the group’s 41 parks have been strong, with limited opportunities still available. “It’s always hard to get into a coastal park between now and January 10, but there are opportunities available throughout the portfolio,” Wilckens says.

“Places like Robe are difficult to get into now – I think you really need to be looking in October or November at the latest.

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“There may be a couple of powered sites available, but we’d advise people to look to holiday from the second week of January on, and the advantage there is you’ll probably get a slightly better price.

“You can still get somewhere like the Barossa or Lake Bonney – most people don’t think about the Barossa Valley when it’s hot, but we’ve turned that into a summer park with a water park and a resort pool, and it’s now a great place to be during a summer break.”

Wilckens says holiday parks are a more affordable option to a beach house or Airbnb accommodation.

“It is cheaper – you can go away as an extended family and one family member may take a powered site, another an unpowered site and another a deluxe cabin, but you all get to share the same facilities – the camp kitchen, the kid’s clubs, the waterparks – it really is a family holiday,” he says.

Harcourts South Coast Holiday Rentals’ Jason Wright says last year’s Christmas season was the company’s best ever, and this year looks set to eclipse it. All but a few of the agency’s Fleurieu Peninsula holiday homes are fully booked until mid-January.

“A lot of the luxury ones – anything over $3000 per week – are rented out until the start of the Australia Day long weekend and beyond. One client who checked in yesterday is paying $15,000 and they’re staying there through to December 22.

Escape Holiday Rentals Copper Coast/Yorke Peninsula’s Michael Nance says properties at Port Hughes, Moonta Bay, North Beach and Wallaroo are typically the first to book out, with 20% of the company’s properties already booked out for Easter. “We’re probably 95% full for Christmas through to New Year,” Nance says.

This article from The Advertiser originally appeared as “Time’s running out to book a summer break”.