Castaway's Backpackers

207 Sheridan St, Cairns, Cairns District, Australia
Castaway's Backpackers
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  • Families100
  • Couples87
  • Solo95
  • Business100

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Forum Posts

Gay in Cairns

by european_canadian

I was supposed to go to Gold coast in couple of days but have changed my mind due to the weather, now I am thinking of coming to cairns in couple of days and stay there for about a week.

I am wondering how are the beaches there, is the place gay friendly and how is the gay nightlife.

I love meeting new people wherever I travel and it would be great to chat to one of you and maybe meet when I come up so you can show me the area a bit.

Would love to hug a koala, get a picture with a kangaroo, go to beaches, and experience the cairns gay nightlife...

my msn is

Re: Gay in Cairns

by sufr54

The only part I can comment on is your desire to see and hold a Koala.

There is a hotel downtown Cairns called the Reef Casino, it has a doom on the roof. Within that doom is a great wildlife center. They offer a picture of
holding a Koala but it is strictly supervised. It is a great place to visit and spend a few hours viewing the birds, snakes and an alligator, believe it or not.

See the URLs.

Re: Gay in Cairns

by sufr54

I wrote alligator, I meant 4 meter Saltwater Crocodile in the rain forest enclosure on the roof.

Re: Gay in Cairns

by tropicrd

Hi, Cairns Tropical wildlife Zoo has interactive times with koalas and roos etc.
You can get a local bus called the sunbus from Cairns to the zoo.Cairns is very friendly and is the biggest pink area in australia apart from Sydney--plenty of night spots in particular Spence street has a gay club--look up and check them out.The beaches are wonderful but not what I consider swimming beaches.
Hope this helps.

Travel Tips for Cairns

Port Douglas

by colin_bramso

If you're based in Cairns, a visit to Part Douglas is a 'must'. About an hour's drive north, the drive itself is interesting with some beautiful scenery. Port was a sleepy little village only a few years ago, now it's a thriving tourist destination in its own right.
There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, entertainment, shops, accommodation, a beautiful marina, excellent beach, weekend markets...plenty to see and do.

Niau Waterfall

by ettiewyn

Niau Waterfall is a beautiful waterfall with a clear, cold water basin to swim in, north of Cairns in the Daintree area. It is completely surrounded by rainforest and thus a very secluded sight. However, it is privately owned, thus, you can only go here by a guided tour with Bama Way or if you book accomodation with the family who owns it - a perfect base for a short stay in Daintree I'd say. It can only be reached via a pathway right through the forest - but attention, do not forget your moscito spray, as I was nearly eaten by mozzies!
The big plus of course is that hardly any other people will be here - a true paradise.

110km north of Cairns - first to Port Douglas, then to Daintree village. Turn left to Stewarts Creek Road, after 1,5km turn right and cross the bridge on Upper Daintree Road. From there follow the signs.

You need a 4WD!!!

Boring food, Bad Service

by RichardHertz about Montezumas

Good Mexican food is usually such a treat. However this restaurant is heavy on "mexican theme" with little understanding about real mexican cooking.

Mexican restaurants around the world offer bottomless corn chips and salsa to diners gratis. Here, the chips and salsa are $5.95 - and wouldn't you know, the "chips" are warmed up Doritos! Outrageous!

The meals were overpriced and bland - no zing at all, although presentation was good. (HOT PLATES!)

However, service on two different occasions was abysmal - rude waiter/waitresses spent more time chatting with each other than with customers. This however is endemic in Queensland, even 5-star restaurants have trouble getting quality help. Cheese Enchiladas were OK.

Get to the Reef with "Reef Magic Tour"

by backpackerbaby

As a member of YHA, I got a discount with Reef Magic - I could either choose a free guided diving tour or a guided snorkelling tour. Of course I chose the former! I was so excited about diving at the Reef. When I boarded the cruise, I had to fill in a form declaring my health conditions. Everyth' went fine until the diving coach found out that I was going to board on a flight within 24 hours! Due to the pressure balancing in the lungs and the ears, it's a safety requirement that customers going to fly/flewed within 24hours should not go diving!!! WHAT A PITY! That's a real pity as before filling in a form, I was in a conversation with a nice coach (he looked very lovely like a teddy bear!) and he reassured me that "You'll be alright with me in the water"! OK, my diving dream was broken. Lucky enough, the staff offered me the opportunity to join an ecological snorkelling tour with a marine-biologist. Haha, I together with 2 other girls joined him snorkelled around for 30 minutes. He randomly picked up one sea creature and asked us what's that. To his surprise, I was the only one who knew the answer. Thanks to my high school biology lesson. And that creature was a sea cucumber! Do you know what's that?

Not many tour operators have their own pontoons at the Reef and "Reef Magic" is one of those. The pontoon is like another ship but is anchored somewhere at the Reef. It's the area where you change your swimsuit, enjoy your buffet lunch, jump into the water and get into the coral viewing boats. Due to its larger mass than the boat, I felt it less vibrating and thus could enjoy my lunch more comfortably. Also, I felt it less stressful and a bit easier to get into the water via the side of the pontoon. The area we snorkelled was solely occupied by Reef Magic, I didn't feel the crowds (as some friends told me which might happen) in the water. Reef Magic was a bit cheaper than the other operators with pontoons.

One more important point, the staff of Reef Magic was pretty young and friendly. I had fun on the boat.

Historic Train to Kuranda

by wise23girl

Well we think the best option is to go up by the historic rail and come back by Sky Rail. But if you go by train pay the extra and upgrade to Gold Class .....two special carriages....drinks to is well worth it.

The scenic train does leave from Cairns main station so you can book and leave from there yourself. You can book Gold Class here. Otherwise be sure to mention you want Gold to the tour organizer at your hotel or whereever you book..
Most of the tour groups, if not all, take their clients out to Freshwater Station...charming place with a museum and all. This is not too far from where the Skyrail comes in.

Just be sure you know if your tour picks you up at the completion of your day...some only take you to the train and as the SkyRail is a little out of town you will want to know how to get back to your accommodation if you opt to come back this way.

The trains are not as frequent as the SkyRail which runs continuously choose your train time to go and come back anytime within the operating hours.


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