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Byron Shire
March 21, 2023

What’s the real cost of ‘affordable housing’? 

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With ‘affordable housing’ being the new catchcry in parts of the Northern Rivers, The Echo did a ring-around to find the cheapest rental living space in Byron Bay’s caravan parks and camping grounds.

Unpowered sites

The Echo compared prices for unpowered sites on a small area of grass, which were available from March 23–30.

This time was considered offseason, and this was compared to the prices over the Easter break.

At most places, an unpowered site will give you limited security – the height of the surrounding fences and gate security varies. You are able to access a hot shower and a toilet – the cleanliness of this ranges from pristine to frat house.

Parks offer the use of a communal outdoor kitchen and laundry facilities, but the only access you have to power is, in most cases, the bathrooms.

The Ingenia Holiday Park on Broken Head Road charges $174 a week, and in school holidays $273 for their unpowered sites.

The Belongil Fields ‘low season’ camping prices are per person, per night:

Sunday to Thursday is $20 one person, $15 for the second person, and $10 for the third – All people must be in the same car for discounted rates.

The Friday and Saturday night fee is a blanket $20 per person, per night.

So, for a family of four, you’d be looking at $435 per week.

The Ewingsdale Road Discovery Parks weekly rate is $311, and at Easter it is $433 – this will accomodate  four. First Sun’s off-season rate is $364 per week, up to $609 during Easter.

At Clarkes Beach, you can rent enough space to put your tent, but you’ll have to park your car off-site.

The rate of $407 applies to two people, you would pay extra if you want to bring the kids (off-season).

Glenn Villa discounted price for a site, (a discount applies to a seven-day stay) is $35.71 ($249.97) for a maximum of two people, but they said they had no sites (or prices) available for Easter.

If you were a single person, you’d receive the base rate of $613.66 a fortnight in Jobseeker payments, which means that even with the most basic food, clothing and toiletries, you couldn’t, in most places, afford a three-metre square plot in Byron Bay unless you were happy to hop-it at Easter.

  • These are the prices at the time of enquiry in early March, and does not account for limited stay conditions.

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