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“THE BEST LOCATION IN CAIRNS!”

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Global Backpackers Waterfront
Ranked #72 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
88 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“THE BEST LOCATION IN CAIRNS!”
Reviewed 21 September 2010

+ Fabulous location! Beautiful lagoon just in front of the hostel and so is the harbour with boats leaving for the Great Bareer Reef. Very friendly staff (especially the cute Swedish blonde).

- The kitchen is like the Augean stables with roaches running freely! There's no way it can be kept clean with so many backpackers - it should be closed down. Free meals in PJ O'Briens are more like starters or desserts, but PJ is a great place to dine in when in Cairns.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fandorin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
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portugal
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2010

Having recently returned from our world trip, here is the review for this hotel we stayed at. We moved from a hostel on the outskirts of the city, and were really pleased with the location. The hostel was very good value, yes it is quite dark and the communal areas are not that appealling, but this place is clean. We like our room as it had great air con and was just a base. It is so close to the lagoon area and the main centre. Prices for us included free dinner at the Woolshed so we were there every night. We extended our stay here for 5 nights in the end and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PortugalExplorers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
England
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2010

Free pick up from the airport was useful, the Irish guy that picked us up was really friendly. The room was really dark & dingy and had a really noisy, broken-looking aircon unit. There was a sink in the room that I didn't dare go near because it was so filthy, covered in orangey brown stains etc. Got woken up every night by people shouting & screaming at 2/3am. the sound carried everywhere really easily which was really frustrating.

The balcony overlooking the esplanade was nice although having people able to smoke in the TV area because it's open to the air was annoying. The kitchen was pretty dirty, bugs always running about. You get a free nightly "meal" at a bar down the road, bit of a fib to call it a meal I think but hey, free is free!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BeccaH283
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
biella
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 August 2009

We stayed here a couple of nights, the location is great, but there are so many other hostels on the esplanade that it doesn't really seem a bonus.
But showers and toilets were clean, even though not that many.
No plugs in dorms! But the staff charges anything for you in the backoffice.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mackenziett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2009

I stay at the International for 6 months (worked there as receptionist). Best job ever!
Stayed in various rooms throughout my stay - there's large 10,6,4 bed dorms to double, twin, single rooms. The dorms are shared (both female and male) but you can request an all female/male form if you wish. There's also balcony dorms which have views over the lagoon (huge swimming pool) beside the sea and infront of the hostel. Bathrooms are shared - sperate female and male. Take your own towel, soap, shampoo etc. It is a hostel your staying and not a hotel - hence the price. Hostel is cleaned very regularly. There's also a TV room - huge tv and pool table with balcony overlooking sea and lagoon. Also there's a roof terrace with sun lounges - nice and quiet up there as not too many people know about it. Fantastic veiws of the boats coming in and out of the docks.
The reception is open from 6.30am to 10.30pm. Tour desk from 9am to 10.30pm. (uyou get good deals with the tour desk if your staying in the hostel) There is also an Asian helpdesk. There's PC's with internet are open same time as reception. Though it works out cheaper to go to Global Gossip. (There's two of them within 5min walk of hostel). You get free meal next door in Rattle n Hum every evening. There's also very cheap deals in the Woolshed in the evenings - you can get a huge dinner for $10.
Also there's night markets right next door to hostel - open till round 11pm. Has everything for tourist and lots of different foods for very cheap.
Supermarkets - huge Woolworths which has everything you need is within 5min walk. There's also a massive Shopping centre within 10 min walk.
All nightlife - pubs n clubs are all within 2-10min walk. Lots of promotions always on - happy hours etc. Lots of taxi's. Cairns is a pretty safe city (more like a town), i lived there for 7 months and never had any problems. Its a very laid back place and the weather is always fab.
Cairns also close to Kuranda, Port Douglas, Daintree rainforest, Cape Tribulation, Hartleys Croc Farm - they are must see's when your up the coast that far. And off course the GBR (Great Barrier Reef) - there are so many different ways to see it - plane, boat - fast, slow etc, snorkelling, scuba diving. I did them all and its an amazing place. They say the coral reef will be gone in next 20 years due to humans so you should visit and make the most of it whilst you can.
Car rentals are very cheap in Cairns (bargain with them) - so i'd recommend renting a car with A/C and just take a road trip up the coast to Cap Trib, stop over at the various sights and attractions on way, you might get to see a few croc's! Then stay over in PK's in Cape Trib and enjoy. We did jungle surfing up there (with hangovers), excellent!
Humid season is Nov - Dec, be prepared for the heat and very very humid conditions. A/C is your only hope! But u do eventually get use to the humidy.
Wet season is from Jan - March, when it rains, it really rains! This can last up to a few wks, but your actually abit thankful of it as its usually very humid.
From Feb - Nov is fab weather... lots and lots of sun! You'l never need a jacket!
Once you stay in Cairns you wont want to leave!

  • Stayed January 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rikib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
India
Level Contributor
101 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2009

A Great place if you are on a shoe string budget and looking only for a place to crash every night.

If you wish to spend more than an hour a day in the hotel, better to open up your purse strings a tad and stay at the better hotels closeby (easy to shop – there are at least 5 in a 10 minute walking range)

Pros –
1) Budget (35$ per night for a single), value for money – perhaps the best budget hostel to stay in Cairns
2) Location – on the waterfront road, happening place, lots of restaurants, dive shops adjacent
3) Safe, excellent for lone travellers, always abuzz with people
4) Community kitchen, clean and available for all
5) Locker to leave luggage – whether it is before or after your stay, free of cost
6) Very good and helpful staff
7) A beautiful park and marina in front – great for morning walks – all dive boats leave from here
8) 5 minutes walk from Woolworths (huge departmental store with al lyou travel and food needs), 10 minutes from the cinemas
9) Shuttle service every hour to Cairns airport (takes 20 minutes to the airport, costs 20 Aus $)
10) Free dinner thrown in daily at O’Briens – a traditional pub closeby, which tries it’s best to make you feel you are a cast in the Nicole Kidman movie “Australia”. Only the wireless electronic pocket counter which jingles when your order is ready brings you back to the present!


Cons –
1) Tiny dingy rooms (just right to sleep and nothing else)
2) One ceiling and one wall mounted fan, no ventilation (the dorm rooms have a window – the 4-bed dorms have a sea view)
3) Not a place to live in – good only to sleep in
4) Need to have your own towel, soap, etc

There is a cybercafé downstairs with about 10 computers, but like all other hostels in Cairns you have to pay separately for it. Better instead to eat something at the 24 hours McDonalds closeby which allows you to use their free wifi.

PS – Best place to stay in Cairns? Hides corner Cairns, if you can afford it and if they have rooms available, that is. There are a few other hostels on the same road- I guess they all must be similar inside

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — tiny dingy rooms
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank JabberwockyIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2008

The International Hostel was my first official hostel experience and I admit I wasn't entirely prepared for it (I had no soap, shampoo or towels... the hotel usually provided them!).

Regardless, the hotel staff made my stay a comfortable, first-time experience. They were there to tell me what to buy, where to shop, and even helped me book my snorkel tour out on the Great Barrier Reef. The staff were very friendly and I am more than happy with their service.

I stayed in a private room (shared bathroom) with a single bed. The linens were clean, the bed was comfortably stiff, and an A/C unit was installed with a ceiling fan for circulation. There was a switch that turned on the AC. Although the unit would switch off every few hours, you could use it as often as you'd like (which saved my life as I simply had a hard time adjusting to Cairns humidity).

Note there are no elevators... so families with lots of luggage beware. This place is clearly meant for backpackers. Internet access isn't free but available in the lobby for AUD$3.00/hour or wireless in your room for AUD$5.00/hour.

Washrooms, toilets and showers were impeccably clean (I was honestly impressed!). It looks like their shared washrooms were cleaned several times per day... no loose toilet paper on the ground, no remnants of prior guests on any surface. I dislike shared toilets, but I had no problems with them here.

You get a "free meal" each day at the hotel, which is served between 5:00-6:45pm everyday at the restaurant next door (Rattle & Hum). The only requirement is that you order (and pay for) a drink. A typical spirits like a Gin & Tonic will set you back AUD$4.00 while a glass of wine costs AUD$3.50. Considering this, the meal is still an excellent deal (AU$4.00!!)... and the quality of the food is actually very good.

Sample free meals include: Bangers & Mash, Fish & Chips, and an Asian veggie dish. You can upgrade to more expensive dishes like steaks for an additional AUD$5.00. The evening meals saved me a lot of money, especially if you're tight on cash and visiting Cairns only to experience the Great Barrier Reef.

Speaking of reef, the hotel is perfectly situated right across from the Cairns pier and bus terminal.... the main departure spot for pretty much every cruise/tour in Cairns. That means no waiting for transport buses (and paying for them). The staff were VERY helpful in helping me put together my itinerary during my stay.

In summary, the International Hostel was an excellent experience. I would have no trouble staying here again when I return to Cairns. This place is clean, well-kept, and ideally-situated. Highly recommended for all backpackers and light travelers.

  • Liked — Clean toilets/showers, decent linens and well-kept rooms
  • Disliked — Expensive internet access, sparesly decorated rooms
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MrChantastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Global Backpackers Waterfront

Property: Global Backpackers Waterfront
Address: 67 The Esplanade, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Region: Australia > Queensland > Cairns Region > Cairns
Hotel Style:
Ranked #72 of 85 Speciality Lodging in Cairns
Hotel Class:2 star — Global Backpackers Waterfront 2*
Number of rooms: 57
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