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Castaways Backpackers Hostel in Cairns – Review

7 March 2012 No Comment

Castaways Backpackers is a hostel that I had the good fortune of spending a lot of time at, and one that I returned to after my initial visit. It is a hostel that has much to offer, and doesn’t just cater for one type of person, as many hostels in Cairns do. I liked it at Castaways Backpackers, and here’s why.

Finding a Hostel in Cairns

Finding a hostel in any town that is new to you can be hard, and often fruitless. Having the ways and means of accessing a database beforehand cuts out all the leg work, and can frequently lead you to the best hostel in town, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Cairns is a place full of accommodation, be it hotels, hostels, B and Bs as well as camp sites (further out of town). Quite often, having more choice makes the decision that much harder.

I am somebody who likes his own space. I love to meet people, and I love chatting to new guests upon entering a new hostel. I don’t mind sharing a room, but I would certainly consider single rooms more if I had the money, but I am perfectly happy to share with other guests. I like places in a hostel where I can take myself away from it all, and to relax in the quiet with my own thoughts for company. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy a night out every once in a while. My needs are simple, yet very often – I find – discovering a hostel that caters for these needs is not as easy as I would hope.

A quick search of Hostels in Cairns reveals a fair number of low budget options, all offering a night to remember, in more ways than one. Cairns is definitely one of those party places, and my search for a quieter hostel was proving fruitless, that is, until I found Castaways Backpackers. This place is a little different.

Castaways Backpackers in a Nut Shell

Castaways Backpackers in CairnsCastaways offers a small number of rooms compared to most other large scale hostels, being the small size that it is, and is situated out of town and away from all the action. That isn’t to say that you are a long way from everything though. A short walk brings you into the town centre where everything is close by, and if your legs aren’t up to taking you there, the free shuttle that runs throughout the day from the hostel, every day of the week, will take you to where you want to go. The rooms are small, meaning no more than 6 to a room, with most being 3 or 4 beds, the remainder being doubles or singles. There is not a bunk bed to be seen in this hostel, and the beds are comfortable enough for a good night sleep. The air con is there for the warmer months. Did I mention the free Wi-Fi?

Castaways Backpackers in CairnsThroughout the day, you have the option of lazing by the pool, or sitting on the main balcony with friends, or on your own on the smaller balcony if you so desire. A walk to the botanical gardens or the rainforest walking tracks is well worth the effort. When the evening comes, guests are asked to respect the rules and to keep the noise down, or take their party elsewhere. The free shuttle bus from the hostel will take you into town to party away into the early hours. Entertainment is never too far away after dark. The free meals offered by the hostel, and the nights out arranged by the awesome staff, are just some of the ways to spend an evening if this is what you crave.

The hostel can help with all bookings to attractions in and around Cairns, often at great prices. And having been on a lot of the tours and excursions themselves, the staff are experienced enough to give useful, first hand advice to ensure your stay in Cairns is as good as it can be.

The hostel is clean and the amenities are fine for a hostel this size. The kitchen is well stocked and is large enough to cater for multiple cooks at one time, if the offer of a free meal in town doesn’t convince you. During my stay here, I met a broad range of interesting people from all walks of life, and of varying ages, and I would whole-heartedly recommend this hostel to anyone visiting Cairns, unless you are a party animal. In this instance I would opt for somewhere central, somewhere within staggering distance from the local bars and clubs. For a homely, relaxed and comfortable stay, at extremely competitive prices, Castaways Backers in Cairns would be my number one choice, and I would certainly stay there again if I were to return to Cairns in the future.

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Written by Daniel Stevens,
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