By BELINDA SCOTT
ROCK-bottom prices for whalewatching cruises are pulling visitors into Coffs Harbour from as far away as Port Macquarie.
The price for a whale-watching cruise in Coffs Harbour is down to $18, while a Port Macquarie whale-watching cruise was $70.
The difference in prices is more than enough to justify a journey up the Pacific Highway and many groups are doing just that, say Coffs Harbour cruise operators.
And the whales are obliging by putting on a good show. Suzy from the Cruise Booking Centre, which books whale-watching cruises on the Spirit of Coffs Harbour, said it had been a great season for whales and weather, and this year had been a better season than 2003.
Visitors from Erina on the South Coast, nine-year-old David McGrath, and his 12-year-old sister Kate, have been sampling Coffs Harbour's attractions this week.
While they were waiting until today to go whale watching, they nominated 'flooring it' on the go-karts at the Raleigh Raceway as top of their list of holiday experiences so far.
Two of the city's 'new' accommodation houses, the extended and refurbished Comfort Inn City Centre in Elizabeth Street and Sapphire's Sebel Aqua Luna Beach Resort, which opened 10 months ago, both reported good bookings in the first week of the holidays and over the weekend.