When I arrived in Cairns, I walked around the city a few times before deciding which hostel I wanted to stay in. I visited JJ's, Gilligan's, Global Palace, etc. Of all the hostels, Global Backpackers seemed to me to have the best combination of all the hostels. [This review is actually for their Waterfront location, but the Central is the only one in the database.]
They rooms were clean. They had many types of rooms: doubles, small dorms (4-beds) and large dorms.
The hostel was within 2 minutes walk of Shields Street, the center of Cairns. It is immediately adjacent to the Night Market street and food court.
Unique Quality: International Hostel has a TV room, and pool table. They also have a sun deck on the roof.
There is the typical kitchen facilities and laundry rooms.
They do have internet in the lobby, but you may find cheaper rates if you go to the independent internet cafes.
Guests who stay at International get a coupon for a free dinner at "Rattle N Hum" restaurant (with the purchase of a $4 drink). For an additional $5, meal selection can be upgraded. Honestly speaking the food was the best free hostel meal I've had in a long time.
Only negative was that the rooms did not have many electrical outlets. Roommates have to alternate and share the outlet.
Directions: On the waterfront, across from the Lagoon. Half a block north of Shields Street.
Hostels are cheap and the service isn't to good, but you have to draw the line some where. I had a bunk bed there just so I could store my luggage while I was at The Great Barrier Reef. It was very untidy and unclean, but most hostels are. When I came back, I found that my luggage was gone. It was a computer bag made of leather. I had cloths, my 400 dollar electric shaver and all the pictures from the trip in it. It turned out the hostels cleaning staff had mistaken it from garbage and thrown it out. One thing is clear. My computer baggage could not have been mistaken for garbage so that leaves only two options. They stole my luggage or they are totaly incompetent. They said it was my fault since the luggage was standing to near to a rubbish bin, they refused to give me any compensation, they where very rude and laught at me behind my back. I would advice travellers against staying at this hostel.
Unique Quality: They have a pool that noboy uses. The kitchen is OK, but the fridges are very unclean. The balcony and 50 inch tv screen is two of the best features about this place.
Rooms are spacious and clean. The owner (or manager, not sure) was very welcoming and helpful. The price includes dinner at the pub around the corner.
Best expresso is right next door.
Unique Quality: Right in the middle of town, close to everything you need, buses right at the doorstep, lagoon 5 minutes away.
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Address: 9b Shields Street, Cairns, 4870, Australia