Cairns to me feels like a giant shopping mall?very comfortable and whilst it has everything you need, you wouldn?t want to stay there longer than needed.
Cairns is a very popular Backpackers destination and it shows! There are over 40 Hostels in the city, I stayed at Calypso (some people know it as Zanzibar (which is the bar here). The room was probably the best I?d had on my way up the coast. The bar is good and the food offers are even better! You have the choice to relax or party here. The hostel is a little out of town (they run free buses throughout the day). If you want to get into the thick of it and party your butt off stay at either Shenannigan?s (with the Shag Bar) or Gilligan?s Backpackers, both hostels are huge and smart and they both go off!
Most people base themselves in Cairns to dive the barrier reef or to head into the rain forest just north. The city has a great night life but rather limited appeal otherwise. The main CBD has a manmade lagoon complete with statue fish and grass which people don?t seem to feel stupid sun baking on! I would plan to stay here only for the duration of the trips booked then keep moving north to the awesome Cape Tribulation.
Stay ? Relax at Calypso Inn (07) 4031 0910 party at Gilligan?s Backpackers (07) 4041 6566
Do ? Get to the Great Barrier Reef for some diving action.