Tuesday, 23 Apr 2019

The best hostels in Cairns for every type of traveller

How to find the best hostels in Cairns for your trip:

If you’re looking for a tropical getaway, pack your bags and get ready to explore northern Queensland. Cairns, known as the Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, is one of Australia’s gems and should most definitely be on every backpacker’s bucket list.

Looking for a destination with cheap hostels? Cairns is your new BFF, with hostels starting at just £7.92 per night – talk about a bargain! You’ll find most hostels sport a spacious pool and outdoor area, and with the humidity, we wouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself falling in love with it by the end of your stay.

No matter what type of adventure you’re after, you’ll be surprised with what this town has to offer. For those chasing an adrenaline rush, try bungee jumping or skydiving. After some good old exploring? The oldest rainforest on the planet, the Daintree National Park is your playground. Why not take a day trip and explore some of the picturesque beaches, waterfalls and cascades such as Stoney Creek Falls and Crystal Cascades. Cairns Esplanade is where you’ll find bars, restaurants and a swimming lagoon! Last but not least, hop on a catamaran that cruises out to a pontoon where you can explore the world famous, Great Barrier Reef!

Read on for our guide to the best hostels in Cairns.

Jump straight to:

  1. Best hostels in Cairns for solo travellers
  2. Best hostels in Cairns for couples
  3. Best party hostels in Cairns
  4. Best hostels in Cairns with private rooms
  5. Best hostels in Cairns city centre
  6. Best of the rest hostels in Cairns

Best hostels in Cairns for solo travellers

Thinking about travelling solo? One of the best decisions you can make is staying in hostels. Not only are they ridiculously cheap, but you can often find hostels located in great central city locations, where hotels charge an arm and a leg per night. Plus, the social aspect of staying in a hostel allows travellers to meet like-minded travellers from around the globe.

 Mad Monkey Backpackers Village Cairns

Best hostels in Cairns Mad monkey village

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wifi
  • Free breakfast
  • Outdoor terrace
  • 24-hour security
  • Swimming pool

Located just 15 minutes from the city centre you’ll find Mad Monkey Backpackers Village, a casual, modern and lively hostel. Newly renovated earlier this year, their facilities are top-notch, with backpackers loving the additional extras such as free breakfast (pancakes!) and speedy Wi-Fi. Travellers seeking that extra bit of privacy can choose to stay in one of their private rooms, while travellers who enjoy staying in dorm rooms for either their low price or social atmosphere (or both) have the option between female only dorms, as well as mixed. Solo travellers rave about the social atmosphere at this hostel, where they hold events every night and day, to help travellers mingle and experience the best pubs and cheap eats that Cairns has to offer.

Book your stay at Mad Monkey Backpackers Village now

?  Address: 141 Sheridan Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Florence Street at Sheridan Street

Bounce Cairns

Best hostels in Cairns Bounce

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast
  • Air conditioning
  • Swimming pool
  • Tours/ travel desk

Bounce cairns sports a spacious outdoor terrace which is a great place for solo travellers to meet one another. Relax on one of the many comfy chairs, cool off in the pool or challenge your new hostel mates to a round of pool. The hostel staff are renowned for being amazing and ‘super friendly’ as described by past travellers. The hostel organises events throughout the week for the perfect balance of party and chill. The free pancakes at breakfast time are (for obvious reasons) a hit among backpackers and a nice touch to this modern and energetic hostel in Cairns.

?  Address: 117 Grafton Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Cairns City Bus Station Platform 2

Book your stay at Bounce Cairns now

Cairns Central YHA

Best hostels in Cairns Cairns Central YHA

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast
  • Jobs board
  • Swimming pool
  • Book exchange

Located in a prime position in downtown Cairns, Cairns Central YHA is the perfect place for backpackers who love being in the centre of the action. The hostel has over 60 rooms, with of a combination of dorms and privates. Plus, single-sex only dorms, which give travellers a variety of options depending on their preferred travel style. Plus, did we mention that all their rooms are air-conditioned… (your BFF during the Aussie summer) and some even boast an ensuite! The location of the hostel makes it a great choice for solo travellers who want to get out and explore as much of Cairns as possible during their stay, no matter the length of it. Their facilities make meeting new travellers a breeze. Chill out in hammocks in the garden, cool off in the pool, warm up in the hot tubs (yes that’s plural, there are 2… no one likes an overcrowded hot tub!) or challenge your new hostel mates in the games room.

?  Address: 20-26 Mcleod Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Spence Street at Grafton Street

Book your stay at Cairns Central Hostel now

Best hostels in Cairns for couples

Choosing to stay in a hostel with your significant other can be the perfect mixture of socialising and private time, should you pick a private room. Staying in a hostel will allow for you to meet and mingle with backpackers around your age and create memories together that will last a lifetime.

 Globetrotters International

Best hostels in Cairns Globetrotters International

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free breakfast
  • Air conditioning
  • Swimming pool
  • ATM

Located just a short 10-minute walk from the city, this budget-friendly hostel is perfect for couples travelling to Cairns. Close enough to the bustling town centre to allow travellers to easily explore cairns yet reserved enough for a quite night’s sleep. Globetrotters International is a great fit for couples who love the hostel-travel life (especially private rooms). This non-party hostel allows guests to enjoy their time in the hostel without noise that accompanies parties.

?  Address: 154/156 Lake Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Lake Street at Cairns Private Hospital

Book your stay at Globetrotters International now

Best party hostels in Cairns

Travelling is about letting your hair down, forgetting your woes, meeting new mates, sharing new experiences and what better place to do all of this then in a hostel? None, we say. Staying in a hostel, where the party never ends, can be a blast and you’ll never forget your first hostel pub crawl (obviously this sentence is unrelated to your alcohol – blood ratio).

Gilligan’s Backpackers

Best hostels in Cairns Gilligans Backpackers

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Fitness centre
  • Jobs board
  • Swimming pool

If you’re looking for a party hostel, look no further, Gilligan’s is the hostel to stay at during your time in Cairns. This energetic hostel is located a stone’s throw away from the city centre, making exploring and getting around the city a breeze. This leading youth hostel resort offers a mixture of room types from budget-friendly dorm rooms to private rooms, all with air conditioning, which trust me, during summer you’ll form a close bond with the air-con! The hostel boasts a stunning lagoon type swimming pool, a chilled common area, fitness centre and attached nightclubs. Sports lovers, you’ll be pleased to know that, Gilligan’s appreciate their sport and in fact, they screen it on the many LCD TV’S around the resort. The hostel hosts numerous weekly events to keep the party going, including some crazy themed party nights and two of Cairns’ best nightclubs featuring both local and international DJ’s.

?  Address: 57-89 Grafton Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Spence Street at Grafton Street

Book your stay at Gilligan's Backpacker Hotel & Resort now

Best hostels in Cairns with private rooms

Prefer your privacy during your travels? Staying in private rooms allow backpackers the perfect balance between privacy and socialising. Choosing to stay in a private room allows backpackers to take advantage of the amazing features hostels have (free breakfast, we’re talkin’ about you) but, at the same time allows travellers to relax and recoup after a busy day of exploring in their own private area. Sounds like a good balance to us!

Dreamtime Travellers Rest

Best hostels in Cairns Dreamtime Travellers Rest

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Book exchange
  • Outdoor terrace
  • Tours desk

Colourful and vibrant vibes fill Dreamtime Travellers Rest, with its quirky interior designs. It located in a quiet area of downtown Cairns, making it a perfect option for backpackers looking for a chilled, yet centrally located hostel. Travellers seeking a touch more privacy, you’re in luck, as they pride themselves on the spacious and clean private rooms. Plus, some even boast in-room basins and fridges! Not to mention, the dreamy outdoor area, with tropical and free-spirited vibes all around. Hang ten in their quirky van turned lounge den, challenge your new hostel mates to a round of pool, sink into hammocks for some R&R or relax in your private room after a busy day exploring Cairns.

?  Address: 189 Bunda Street 

?  Nearest Station: Cairns Train Station

Book your stay at Dreamtime Travellers Rest now

Tropic Days Backpackers

Best hostels in Cairns Tropic Days Backpackers

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Jobs board
  • Shuttle bus
  • Outdoor terrace

This charming hostel really embraces the Aussie lifestyle of ‘taking it easy’ and having ‘no worries’. Not only is it adored by backpackers from around the world, but in the past, Lonely Planet rated it as ‘Cairns best hostel’… now that’s kinda a big deal. The hostel is well known in the backpacking community for its (extremely) friendly and helpful staff and its ability to make you feel like you’re at your home away from home (cute, we know). For backpackers looking for a bit more privacy, their private rooms are spacious and allow for a good night’s sleep after a busy day of adventuring, plus all their rooms have air conditioning (if you haven’t figured it out by now, this is literally a lifesaver during the summertime down under!).  While the hostel is located just outside of the city centre, in a quiet area, you’ll have the best of both worlds – being able to explore and party just a short shuttle ride away and a good quiet night’s rest after.

?  Address: 28 Bunting Street 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Mulgrave Road

Book your stay at Dreamtime Travellers Rest now

Best hostels in Cairns city centre

A great benefit of staying in hostels during your travels is how centrally located some hostels are, for the fraction of the price of the surrounding accommodation types. Staying in a hostel in Cairns city centre allows travellers to be within walking distance of the city’s main attractions.

Mad Monkey Backpackers Waterfront

Best hostels in Cairns Mad Monkey Backpackers Waterfront

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free hot breakfast
  • Tours desk
  • Jobs board
  • Fitness centre

Located in the town centre, on the Esplanade, this hostel couldn’t be any closer to the action. Wake up, get dressed, step out the front of your hostel and you’re walking distance from shops, quirky cafes and restaurants. What’s better than waking up to hot breaky? FREE hot breaky! Yip, that’s right, enjoy free hot breakfast, complimentary when you stay at Mad Monkey Backpackers Waterfront. The hostel also has a common room (let the FIFA gaming begin), family meals, outdoor BBQ area and a great events team who organise events to encourage travellers to meet and mingle. Not to mention their free Saturday BBQs, which are a hit amongst backpackers.

?  Address: 93 Esplanade 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Cairns City Busy Station Platform 2

Book your stay at Mad Monkey Backpackers Waterfont now

Best of the rest hostels in Cairns

Feast your eyes on a couple of extra hostels that we thought needed to be featured due to their uniqueness.

Caravella Backpackers Cairns

Best hostels in Cairns Caravella Backpackers Cairns

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • ATM
  • 24-hour security
  • Outdoor terrace

C’mon who doesn’t love blue waters and palm trees (no-one!). Caravella Backpackers boasts a stunning Miami, funky inspired vibe, where you will have a great night’s sleep (should you chose to) on their comfy beds (confirmed by past backpackers) but also a great time socialising with like-minded travellers from around the world. Whether you enjoy sharing a dorm, or you’re looking for a bit more privacy, Caravella Backpackers Cairns has it all, to suit a variety of backpackers. From the regular dorm rooms, to female only dooms, to private rooms, there’s a place for every type of traveller!

?  Address: 149 Esplanade 

?  Nearest Bus Station: Lake Street at Cairns Private Hospital

Book your stay at Caravella Backpackers Hostel now

Travellers Oasis

Best hostels in Cairns Travellers Oasis

Hostel highlights:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Air conditioning
  • Book exchange
  • Airport transfers
  • Swimming pool

Just a short 2-minute stroll from Cairns Train Station, Travellers Oasis is a convenient, friendly and homely hostel that’s loved by backpackers. Described as a relaxed hostel with a great vibe, Travellers Oasis is the perfect option for those looking to kick back and relax, while still enjoying the cities night-life and social scene. The hostel hosts weekly events such as an Aussie BBQ and Pizza nights (yes, pleaseee!) to help guests mingle and get to know one another.

?  Address: 8-10 Scott Street

?  Nearest Station: Cairns Train Station

Book your stay at Caravella Backpackers Hostel now

Keep reading ?? 

⭐ Best hostels Australia

⭐ Best hostels in Sydney

⭐ Best hostels in Byron Bay

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