Top hostels in Cairns, Australia

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Cairns is a top holiday destination for many tourists, including backpackers. The tourist town features many overnight budget options that provide high-quality accommodation while being the perfect base to start your holiday.

Cairns is most famous for the surrounding Reef and Rainforest, both World Heritage protected sites.

Hostel tour desks provide information and can book great tours ideal for the experience you are after. Maybe spend a day on the Great Barrier Reef or travel to Kuranda village by the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and returning by Kuranda Scenic Rail.

Getting to Cairns from the Airport

Cairns City is approximately 10 km from the domestic and international airports. Shuttle buses provide one-way transfers direct to hostels for $8 per person. Bookings are not required, but are recommended.

Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel and Resort

Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel and Resort is one of the newest and largest budget accommodation options in Cairns. It is only a short walk to the Cairns Esplanade, shops and restaurants located close by. Gilligans has more than 500 rooms but fills up fast due to demand and popularity in the peak season between May and September.

Dorm rooms of 4, 6 and 8 beds as well as hotel rooms are available. Rates for dorm accommodation start at $25 per night. All rooms are air-conditioned and have ensuites.

Other facilities at Gilligan’s include each floor having its own full kitchen, TV room, guest laundry, gaming area, gym, tour desk, high-speed Internet and 24-hour security and reception. There is a secure luggage room for you to store your luggage if you arrive early or are leaving late and a large lagoon-style swimming pool with waterfall.

Gilligan’s is also home to the largest entertainment venue in Cairns. Gilligan’s bar and club is popular with both tourists and locals on the weekends, making a stay at the hostel sometimes a noisy experience. However, if you are in Cairns to have a good time you will enjoy the deck bar by the lagoon pool and main bar.

Cairns Central YHA Backpackers Hostel

Cairns Central YHA Backpackers Hostel is another great budget accommodation option when visiting Cairns. It is also located in the heart of Cairns, opposite Cairns Central Shopping Centre.

Dorm, twin, double and family rooms are available. All rooms are air-conditioned and some have ensuites. Dorm rooms start from $26 per night and $23 per night for YHA members.

Other facilities at the YHA include full kitchen, TV room, guest laundry, gaming area, tour desk, Internet cafe, indoor and outdoor dining area. This hostel also has a swimming pool and secure luggage room. If you are looking for a top hostel that is a bit quieter, the Cairns Central YHA is the perfect choice.

Budget accommodation such as Gilligan’s Backpackers Hostel and Resort and the Cairns Central YHA Backpackers Hotel make a Far North Queensland holiday in Cairns affordable for every budget.


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