Hints and Tips on a Budget in Cairns

Travel light, for freedom, mobility, and to keep fatigued at bay, pack as lightly as possible.
A seasoned traveller’s rule of thumb is to pack your bags and throw out half of what you packed. Here are some of the best Hints and Tips for anyone on a budget in Cairns.


Should whittle your things down to fit into a 30 – 40-litre backpack.  For families and other budget-conscious travellers, try to use a bag or suitcase that you can carry onboard the plane. This tip can save on flight costs!
Make your must-have items perform double duties.  For instance, men’s board shorts can double as walk shorts.  For the ladies, a sarong or pashmina can be used for the cooler evenings in winter and over bathers AND to keep you warm onboard cold planes!

  • You can save money by choosing a hostel over a hotel with dorm rooms starting at $23.
  • Some hostels cannot accommodate small children, so families may want to call ahead. There is also some excellent budget hotel accommodation available.
  • Some accommodation offers excellent value if booked early and online.
  • Cook your food when possible. Even a rudimentary kitchen in a hostel helps keep costs down.  Try to book somewhere that includes your breakfast too.
  • Take advantage of the more than 30 FREE BBQs along the Esplanade.   The more you cook for yourself, the more money you’ll have left for a night on the town or souvenirs!

Free and Budget Fun Things to do in Cairns – Best Hints and Tips

  • Cairns Flecker Botanic Gardens are heritage listed and accessible to explore at your leisure.  The gardens were established in 1886 and are home to over 4000 different plant specifics.
  • Red Arrow, Blue Arrow and Green Arrow at Mt Whitfield behind the Botanic Gardens.  These free walking trails are connected and range in length ascending through the rainforest.
  • Tanks Art Centre  Exciting music and art venue.  The Royal Australian Navy initially built these old concrete tanks to hold furnace oil for Naval Ships during World War II.  Today it is part of the Botanic Gardens Precinct, and are free to visit.  Music and Art displays are held here throughout the year.
  • Cairns Esplanade Lagoon  This huge swimming lagoon is open for all visitors. A magnet for tourists and locals alike for sunbathing, socialising, BBQing etc.   It’s the perfect spot to relax, take in the views and meet some new friends.
  • Active Living FREE Fitness on the Esplanade!  There certainly aren’t many local councils that provide a fantastic array of FREE exercise classes, but you will find many along the Cairns Esplanade.
  • Cairns Art Gallery is a majestic building on the Cnr Shields and Abbott Streets houses the Cairns Regional Gallery.  It is worth a visit to explore the interior of the building and the art exhibitions, of course!