‘Ghost’ holiday homes fully booked as bans ease
Once empty towns up and down the NSW coast are brimming with life again as Sydneysiders take their first holidays in months.
Booking agents for holiday rental homes in regions such as Jervis Bay, Port Stephens and Batemans Bay reported their properties were full for the long weekend and phones were "ringing off the hook".
First National-Hawks Nest manager John Rumble said he had no vacancies this weekend for the first time in months.
"Two weeks ago no one was here. We were a ghost town," Mr Rumble said.
"As soon as the Premier announced regional travel was allowed again we've had an explosion of inquiries. Everyone has been stuck in lockdown and they just want to get out."
The influx of tourists was bringing new energy to the area and helping the local economy recover, he said.
"Usually we get a lot of people from northern Sydney but they're coming from all over this weekend," Mr Rumble said. "It's like the Easter weekend we never had."
Jervis Bay Rentals director Tiffany Atkins said the 55 holiday homes under her management were fully booked for the Queen's Birthday weekend within two days of Gladys Berejiklian's announcement.
"There's a beautiful happy vibe this weekend," Ms Atkins said. "The weather is perfect, the cafes are full … there's finally people in the town again. It was dead in March and April."
Ms Atkins said she was expecting more holiday seekers to come to stay in Huskisson and the rest of the Jervis Bay region in the weeks ahead.
"We are expecting to be busier than ever," she said. "We're getting a lot of bookings for June and July is filling up fast."
LJ Hooker-Batemans Bay holiday rental manager Janice Thorne said all the entry roads to the south coast town were jam packed with cars.
"The roads are blocked, tourists are everywhere. It's the busiest I've seen the town since before the bushfires," Ms Thorne said. "It's great to see all our most popular places filling up again."
Originally published as 'Ghost' holiday homes fully booked