Hints & Tips on a Budget in Cairns

Travel light, for freedom, mobility and to keep fatigue at bay, pack as lightly as possible.
A seasoned traveller’s rule of thumb is to pack your bags and then throw out half of what you packed.

Backpackers should whittle your things down to fit into a 30 – 40 litre backpack.  For families and other budget conscience travellers, try to use a bag or suitcase that you are able to carry on board the plane, this will also 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 on board cold planes!

  • For the most part, 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 but there is also some great budget hotel accommodation available.
  • Some accommodation offer great value if booked early and online.
  • Cook your own 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 souverniers!

Free (or budget) Fun Things to do in Cairns

  • Cairns Flecker Botanic Gardens are heritage listed and free for you to explore at your leisure.  The gardens were established in 1886 and are home to over 4000 different plant specifics.
  • Red Arrow, Blue Arrow & Green Arrow located at Mt Whitfield just behind the Botanic Gardens.  These free trails are connected and range in length ascending through the rainforest.
  • Tanks Art Centre .  Really interesting music and are venue.  The old concrete tanks were originally built during World War II to hold furnace oil for Naval Ships.  Today it is part of the Botanic Gardens Precinct and an be visited for free.  Music and Art displays are held here throughout the year
  • Cairns Esplanade Lagoon  This huge swimming lagoon is free a magnet for tourists and locals alike for sunbathing, socialising, BBQing etc.   Its the perfect spot to relax, take in the views and meet some new people.
  • Active Living FREE Fitness on the Esplanade!  There certainly arent many local councils that provide an amazing array of FREE exercise classes but you will find many along the Cairns Esplanade.
  • Cairns Regional Gallery   is a majestic building on the Cnr Shields & Abbott Streets houses the Cairns Regional Gallery.  It is worth a visit just to explore the interior of the building and the art exhibitions of course!