Comment: Busselton

If you are thinking of staying in Busselton, PLEASE check out the prices of sites in prospective Parks well before you get there , it can be a very expensive place to stay.
This is a +++holiday destination, and to fill in the gaps between holidays, the region hosts dozens of events throughout the year that can potentially book out the whole town. eg the Leeuwin Concert brought 6000 people into the Busselton /Capes region this Saturday.
Be aware, there is also price gouging going on down there when space as at a premium. We had a wedding to attend yesterday, and wanted only to stay the one night. Inquiring about powered sites 2 months ago, one park offered a minimum 2 night booking for the weekend, another offered a powered site for $116 for Sat night! The moment school holidays come, the minimum stay at some parks is blows out to 5 nights, if you can get a site. Plan in advance, and don't be stung at the reception desk, with nowhere else to go.
An alternative is to stay in Bunbury and daytrip.
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Reply By: 1533rl - Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 23:26

Sunday, Mar 08, 2015 at 23:26
Ramona, I think you are being a bit harsh. Busselton is not a small country town looking to attract the occaisional overnighters anymore. It is a large city and it is a major holiday destination. The quality of the caravan parks there is excellent and in recent years most have invested in some wonderful facilities and features to make it very attractive, particularly for families. We do stay there sometimes in "peak times" as we choose to take our grandkids to a place that caters for them (and for us too) at the same time as everyone else does - school holidays ! We appreciate the park owners have to get a return on investment and price things accordingly, and yes there are minimum stay periods and they do not appear to be putting too many families off because you have to book well ahead. Owners cannot "cordon off" certain parts of their park to make it cheaper for some.
When major events are "in town" every business wants to make money, not just the parks. For a cheaper overnighter there are still plenty of places one can choose in the south west, just not in the big centres. What would it have cost for a motel room for the one Saturday night ? Yes, it does pay to check things out in advance then you don't get stung !
AnswerID: 549652

Follow Up By: disco driver - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 01:39

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 01:39
The Capes coast, Busselton-Dunsborough-Yallingup- Margaret River is a very popular holiday destination, not too far from Perth for a quick weekend away or for school holiday times ,and like just about everywhere else, the prices go up at those times.

Almost all popular destinations here in WA run a High, Mid and Low season price range. Try Broome and Exmouth in High season to see just how high the prices can be.

As others have said, Book ahead in peak times, and if you can't get in, look at the smaller towns a bit inland.

FollowupID: 835042

Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 12:17

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 12:17
Despite being a Perthite, I ceased going to the SW of WA during any holiday season or major event, over 20 yrs ago.
The traffic, the crowds, and the general overwhelming of every facility in the SW, by a mass of humanity, promptly makes you ask yourself why you left Perth, with its identical problems!

It's a lovely area, but one that is suffering from the very worst that major inflows of too much money, and too many people, do to lovely areas.
Perhaps it's just me, but I get no joy in fighting for accommodation, fighting for parking spots, fighting to get a feed, and fighting to get a nice spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Add in the price-gouging of these areas, and what happens, is what has happened to Broome - people get sick of it, and prefer to go elsewhere.

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 835059

Follow Up By: Ramona E1 - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:50

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 19:50
My post was to simply alert those who are traveling/touring of the potential pitfalls they may encounter when trying to stay in Busso. Being harsh was not my objective.
Busselton has grown, but you still have to stay there if you want a base for exploring the area.We spent many years going to this very beautiful and interesting region for holidays with our kids, and when it got too busy for us, we chose to stay elsewhere.
We now are in a position where we don't have to take kids on holidays anymore, and are able to go touring and discover more of this amazing country.
The traveling tourist would be well aware of the unavoidable tourist high seasons, but they may not realize the impact of the frequent events on accommodation in the area.
The last thing you need is to roll into a town, with a almost a dozen parks, tired after a day's driving, wanting a site for the night, and then find out there is an event on which means there is a minimum booking required, or that there is no room. I would not expect to check the site availability of a park weeks before arrival!
As I stated before, I had to make a minimum booking of 2 nights, or elsewhere, take a powered (not ensuite) site for $116 for the night , 2 months before I wanted to stay (had I wanted a site only Sunday night the tarrif was $60). As for the motel room, every room in town was booked out least 2 weeks before last Saturday's concert. Believe me, I checked!
If I am carting a tonne of $40,000 caravan, I would be hugely disappointed have to take a motel room for a bed for the night or stay in an inland park away from the much cooler coast (which is one of the main attractions of Busselton).
By all means, the Capes region is a spectacular and interesting place to visit, but don't get caught out with accommodation either for availability or price.

We did get a site out in a comparatively very inexpensive park halfway between Bussleton and Dunsborough. I have left my review on the Exploreoz "Places" section. We now understand why this was the only park not booked out.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 23:57

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 23:57
Why not give a link to the review you have referred to Ramona? Or give a summary of it on this thread?


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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 20:06

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 20:06
Why do so many people insist on taking their breaks at these seaside resorts. If you are going to compete for space in these expensive places then expect the prices to rise even more. There are nice cheaper parks out in the country. You can at least halve your expenses using them.
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Reply By: Rob J8 - Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 21:46

Monday, Mar 09, 2015 at 21:46
As one who owned a 3 star motel in Busselton for 6 years, I feel I might be qualified to respond to your post.
As a business you have to earn a living and I know you are doing the sums and you say they are making a fortune and you would be right if it was 365 days per year BUT it's not.
There are without looking at our old figures, about 4 months of the year when you don't break even.
That means you have to have 8 good months to pay the bills and make a profit .
All loans etc are based on monthly repayments over a 12 monthly tax year.
Try not getting all your pay for a straight 4 months and it wouldn't surprise me if you went bankrupt.
I understand where you are coming from as a consumer but try and understand the difficulty in running accommodation in a seasonal town.
We used to have resorts competing with us during the winter months during the week.
We as a 3 star motel couldn't put our prices up to compete with them in the busy times but they would come down to match ours in the quiet times.
Prices aren't any better in the coastal towns on the East Coast.
Don't get too dirty on Busselton.
Enjoy your holiday wherever you go.

AnswerID: 549689

Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 10:42

Wednesday, Mar 11, 2015 at 10:42
Hi all, seasonal and special event higher prices and minimum days bookings are not uncommon in the industry- Has been that way for some time . saw this on my various and most recent ES trip, applied to "high" season, coastal areas and in Adelaide for "Tour down under" .There's a lot of work in running a c/van park and large events put pressure on everything, including accom, thus increasing costs.
I would have thought this is to be expected and if one looks at 'Wotif' site on net as an example , you will see similar applies to most of the hotel/motel/...for accommodation, with weekends more expensive-staff are paid higher rates .
Maybe shire/s will consider following the 'Broome option'- I recollect they negotiate with local lions/sports club or similar to help administer designated overflow areas avail for high seasons , events and busy times, opening up when the van parks are full . I think Albany did this on its large sports+ recreation fields for recent Anzac centenary ( thousands of temp visitors).
AnswerID: 549760

Reply By: 865 - Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 02:01

Thursday, Mar 12, 2015 at 02:01
I agree that some establishment are getting too greedy,I have been going to the same c/v park in busselton for approx 12 yrs & book as we leave for the following year. Now their policy is you must 50% of the fee 8 months before you arrive with the balance paid 2 months before arrival. As someone who travels up to the Kimberley every year,Nowhere asks for so much 8months ahead. I personally know of customers who say they will no longer go to this c/v park in Busselton As a pensioner this is a lot of money to be without for 8 months
AnswerID: 549810

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