Cairns Pocket Guide

Images Of Cairns

For many people, Cairns is the last stop on their journey up the East Coast of Australia. There can be no doubt that during the day it has a laid back atmosphere, making it seem like the ideal place to slow things down and take it easy for a few days. But this isn't the case. Cairns may seem a little pedestrian when compared to the rest of the manic East Coast, but don't let that fool you. Look around and you'll see streets overflowing with tour operators offering a range of activities to rival any other destination in Australia. Right on your doorstep you've got skydiving, whitewater rafting, paragliding, hiking, wakeboarding and, of course, The Great Barrier Reef - the jewel in the crown of this Northern Queensland backpacker magnet.

Download Cairns Pocket Guide »

Don't Have Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Download it free now »

Download Guide

In The Guide

  • Cheap Eats Find out what restaurants are best value for money and what are the local specialties.
  • Don't Miss A list of the best local attractions and places worth visiting whilst in Cairns.
  • Budget Tips Insider tips on how to save money or what to do when you don't have any!
  • A day in Cairns... Only have one day to spare? We give you our ultimate day in Cairns.

Cairns City Reviews

  • 40%


    The great barrier

    Cairns is great for a holiday, it's meant to be one of the cheapest places in Australia,however the shear amount of holiday properties that line the esplanade means eating out is expensive (for a backpacker) best bet is to head down to Woolworths and buy your own to cook. Didn't use public transport, it was virtually none existent. Do the Reef dive, whatever it takes!

    Insider Tip:I hired a car, daintree is alright but mossman was better, don't bother with the tour, you can do it for as little as $7.50!

  • 60%


    Cairns break

    We were there for a few days and found it a very tourist orientated city. Many gift shops and typical tourist eateries. The night market is where you can get your fix of cheap tat and massages. Perfect for great barrier reef tours as a short walk to the harbour. Quite a big nightlife scene with many places to go out. Pub crawls and club nights are common. Not my favourite place as I feel there are many more authentic places in Australia.

  • 80%


    Good place to start!

    Nice little city to start a year long stay in Australia! Made some great friends in this city and with plenty to do day or night we were never bored! Slight downside is there's no beach but a short car drive north and there's loads, although look out for crocodiles!

    Insider Tip:Make sure you visit Kuranda and Cape Tribulation! Stay at PKs village at cape tribulation if you can, had great fun there!

  • 60%


    Don't stay to long in Cairns!

    Cairns is a nice city but there are not plenty of activities to do, espacially for a small purse. There is snorcheling in the GRB, Skydiving, visit the Tablelands and Daintree forest and that's it. You can discover the whole town in one or max two days. People are all friendly and helpful. There are many backpackers here.

    Insider Tip:Visit the travel agencies for discounts or free stuff in the woolshed. Make sure you visit the Woolshed, as it's the best location to go out in Cairns in my opinion.

  • 90%


    Cairns Stay

    I didn't stay in Cairns for very long, barely a day and night. From what I saw on my walk to Target and to the pier for my excursion, it is very clean and spacious. I would like to have spent a free day there to just explore the city.

Please give us your feedback