We have recently embraced the use of Airbnb when we travel, which so far has worked out very successfully for us. As long as you do your research and are honest and respectful of others property, both parties will benefit from the transaction. We would recommend this without hesitation.
At Golden Beach in Queensland, the quieter neighbour to Caloundra, we were lucky to find a resort beachfront apartment, with a shared pool and gym for about half the cost of an equivalent hotel room.
These shells were in a bowl on the apartment balcony.
Click the image for a larger view.