Budget places to stay in Cairns

Feb 17th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Budget places to stay in Cairns

My husband and I will be in the Cairns/Mission Beach area for 5 days as part of our trip to Australia. We are looking to spend our money on activities and save it on our accomodations. Any good suggestions on the best places to stay on a budget in Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach? We are not ruling out hostels. Thanks!
lightfoot33 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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I found some good rates on hotel in Cairns by going to Expedia. I don't knwo how old you are, but they have some good rates for over 55! We were please to take advantage of those. Also don't know what you mean by budget - we booked the Best Western Acacia for $85US per night. But there were less expensive places.
jcasale is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 11:15 AM
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I'm with you on the inexpensive lodging. We stayed, last June, at the Dreamtime Hostel which is right across the street from the trainstation and within walking distance of downtown Cairns. We had a twin room with a shower and toilet in the hall. It was very clean and seemed to attract a somewhat quiet older crowd. They will pick you up from the airport. Returning to the airport is on your own. We booked out activites through the hostel since we wanted to be sure the weather was conducive to the activity.

OH, we paid about $20 US per night per person. Air conditioning was extra (put a coin in the slot).
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Feb 17th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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In Cairns try



Mission Beach we stayed at Licuala Lodge whcih was about $100 per night but included breakfast and drinks in the kitchen.


But also saw on the internet just a room (share bathroom ) at a backpackers for $46 per night. Do not have first hand experience though


On the tablelands there is a nice old pub to stay at, rooms are about $70 per night. Actually called Lake Eacham Hotel but most refer to it as Yungaburra pub. You can get up early and go platypus watching.! I have not seen the accommodation rooms but the dining area is like stepping back into time. Impressive building.


Also check out holiday parks with ensuite cabins. These are popular with budget holiday makers.

Tassietwister is offline  
Feb 18th, 2006, 02:53 AM
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There are many budget places to stay in Cairns. Gilligans looked horrendous - but maybe it's the coolest place if you are under 25. Tassietwister - did you actually stay there?

But Barbara's tip for Dreamtime sounds spot on. I stayed at Geckos on the same street - a big rambling house; friendly staff; interesting fellow guests. I had a single room with bath and loo down the hall, but I think there were other options for couples.

If you don't need that "could be anywhere" ambience of the chain hotels -and, dare I say it, the lux places too - then go for one of the small hostels.

As for Mission Beach - it is a long time since I was there. I stayed at "The Treehouse". Ambience wonderful; fellow travellers the sort of people it was easy to feel at home with. But bathrooms really not as clean as they should have been for a hostel in Australia.

All the best.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 19th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their suggestions so far. I can't wait to look further into some of the places recommended!
p.s. We are in our mid-20s, so no senior discount apply to us
lightfoot33 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2006, 12:50 AM
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Fuzzy, explain why you thought it looked horrendous. It is a forum where you allow people to make up their own minds. Just to say it it is horrendous doesn't offer anything constructive. It could be they would prefer it over Dreamtime (and it looks great, just that bit further away from the city centre).

We are just giving people choices here, criticism is great if it offers information, otherwise it is just a bitch and waste of space to be honest.
Tassietwister is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 08:48 AM
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I visited Australia for the first time back in 1992. At Ayers Rock I stayed at a hostel for the first time and didn't mind it. When I got to Cairns, I found a hostel and stayed for over a week. When I returned back to the United States, I had $1,000 in unused travelers checks and I took a full-day tour almost every day. I also met some nice people. I remember watching the Olympics with a bunch of British people and tried to cheer on their team.

Check out the site www.hostelz.com or www.bugaustralia.com for reviews on hostels in Australia. You can find out which hostels have private rooms and if the hostel is a party hostel or a quiet hostel.
wally34949 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 12:24 PM
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I remember an older couple once saying that they always stayed in hostels because "you get to meet a nicer class of people" that way. That said, some hostels particularly appeal to the drifting hordes of young backpackers focused on noisy sex, booze and rock-n-roll, and you'd need to take that into account. I don't know if Gilligans falls into that category.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 21st, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Hey Neil, which of those hostels was your favourite?


Mucky is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 03:03 AM
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Tassietwister - the point is - You gave a link to it - have you stayed there???
You say just saying it's horrendous won't do, but unless you have stayed there you are equally guilty of giving out unreliable information.

I haven't stayed there either, and wouldn't. But at least I have seen it - have you? This is an important question so I expect a reply.

It looks horrendous and sounds horrendous. And doing the research is available to anyone who has the nous to visit this site.

It is a huge complex with flashing neon outside. It looks like a casino. It has all the facilites a young backpacker would need - bars, tour desk, pool tables, etc.etc. A nightmare in other words unless you are a 18-24 year old doing the party thing (and so it doesn't really matter where you are).

So if that's what you want - fine.

fuzzylogic is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2006, 09:10 AM
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It's hard to talk about Cairns accomodations and not mention Pat and Mike Woolford's wonderful Lilybank B&B. Our price of I believe $A 95 with lavish brekky in April and May of "04, fits within others mentioned in this thread. I don't know current prices. Pat of course is Fodors resident expert on most things N Queensland!
AndrewDavid is offline  
Feb 25th, 2006, 12:20 PM
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After reading this thread I looked into Gilligans Backpackers. Price seems good, locaton good. I read some reviews on tripadvisor.com. They all say the live music in the bar every night permeates the whole place. As 50ish travellers, we need our quiet to sleep at night. So I'll continue looking. Crocodile Hides is an option. Anyone have experience or knowledge about this hostel?
susiesan is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 02:10 AM
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Gilligans is what it says it is, modern and clean, banks of computers and washing machines for kids, well they're kids to me. Around the pool the topless-and-less Scandinavian and German girls are particularly well represented, there's a couple of bars with entertainment with bands, dormitory or private room accommodation. I must pass by it several times times a week and have never noticed a neon sign, but if there is one it wouldn't be too tragic. Personally, I'd give it a miss if I was over 30.

Having been in Mission Beach just a few hours ago you might like to try Scotty's Backpackers for a budget stay. Mind you, Gilligans looks like the Hilton in comparison. Follow Tassietwister's advice for B&B accommodation at Licuala Lodge or even better, Honeyeater Homestay at Wongaling Beach, just over the road from beach, Luke and Nina are delightful hosts with a huge knowledge and appreciation of the local environment.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 8th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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We stayed at Coral Tree Inn 2 years ago and were very happy. Nice quiet place, 3 blocks from the water, very clean, and great staff. We had a 2room suite w/Kitchen for well under $100US. It 's right in Cairns.
ereagan1 is offline  
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