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Why to travel to Cairns, North Queensland, Australia? Could Cairns be one of your next backpacking trips? Impressions and travel tips from a backpacker to backpackers.

Backpackers in Cairns – how to fall in love with a tropical town

As a backpacker in Australia, you are every now and then confronted with a dilemma. Where to go for the next backpacking trips? I want to share with you some impressions of my backpacking trips in tropical Cairns. It might help you to decide if Cairns could be your next travel destination!

About Cairns

Cairns region in Queensland, Australia, was and is still one of the few places in Australia with a strong presence of the Aboriginal community, along with Darwin. Discovered by the British explorer James Cook in 1770, Cairns was first founded to export gold from the Tablelands. It’s now a growing touristic spot and a famous destination for backpacking trips in northern Australia.

View from the peer

Cairns is the biggest town in North Queensland. You can reach the city by car or bus without needing a 4W4 or a whole survivor equipment. And yes, it’s an important point when you go on backpacking trips in Australia! Cairns is a hot spot on the backpacker’s bucket list when traveling Australia’s East Coast. It’s the same for me. I arrive in Cairns after our 2 weeks trip Brisbane-Cairns. It’s august and already time to say goodbye to my Dutch travel mate. On my own again, I’m actually planning to stay a few days in Cairns … I’ll leave a month later. Here is the question: as a backpacker, why to stay in Cairns?

Backpackers, why to choose Cairns as travel destination?

You want to relax in Cairns. You have enough of the big city life.

I’ve to say, Cairns doesn’t shine by its “big city life” atmosphere at first sight. In Cairns, relax and don’t worry. If it’s kind of the Australian mantra, it’s in Cairns I feel most this way of life. Locals and backpackers walking in sunny streets barefoot and in casual outfits … it’s a real lifestyle, a place away from busy cities. It’s smaller than its sister Brisbane. Maybe that’s why you quickly feel at home in Cairns. Travel tips: leave the stress behind you, take your swimmers, your tongs and enjoy the backpacking life in Cairns!

Hills and sea – view from the lagoon, Cairns

You are a nature lover. The beautiful rainforest makes you dream of backpacking trips.

You can’t miss it while exploring Cairns: the rainforest!  No need of a GPS, you’ll find easily Cairns’ mythic spot with view of the rainforest mountains – the Esplanade. It’s basically Cairns’ city centre, and an original one. It’s a meeting point for backpackers. You can swim in an artificial lagoon filled up with seawater. You can take a sunbath looking at the sea in front of you and at Cairns’ green hills. The majestic mountains overview the harbor of Cairns. My travel tips: observe the rainforest’s mounts short before sunset, at the golden hour and take photos. The sun going down plays with the green of the hills to offer to the eyes a spectacular game of light and shadows.

But what I really love is waking up at the beach in Cairns after a night in a fellow backpacker’s camper van. This morning, it’s me, the sea, the beautiful rainforest, the pelicans on the beach … and a bunch of hippy backpackers next to our car! It’s such a great feeling of freedom. This is travel life and backpacking trips. I can’t get tired of it!

Holloway beach

You are always in for exciting backpacking trips and adrenaline activities

  Backpacking trips are perfect for making new travel experiences. And when you are a backpacker, you also seek for cheap trips. Good news, it’s possible in Cairns! Hiking in the Tablelands, going on backpacking trips around Cairns, skydiving: you’ll find things to do and travel tips made for a backpacker budget in Cairns. See here my travel tips on the top things to do in Cairns.

If Cairns is a hot spot for backpackers up on the East Coast, it’s also because of the proximity to the Northern Territories. It makes of Cairns a departure gate for backpacking trips to the Red Centre, Darwin and the West Coast – beloved road trip destinations among backpackers.

You like melting-pots and social life. Dream all day, dance all night in Cairns.

It’s a true travel quote: backpacking is about the people you meet. In Cairns, you quickly get into a bubbly backpacker community. A typical backpacker day in Cairns: chill at the lagoon, have a few drinks at the hostel with other travelers and go out for a wild night. Dream all day, party all night … it would be a good summarize of the backpackers life in Cairns. My travel tips: be open-minded and spontaneous. You’ll end up in a bar with backpackers you even didn’t know a few hours before.

Are you an electro music lover like me? Go to a bush party! For the backpacker who loves raving and dancing until sunrise on electro music! Best travel stories are the most unexpected ones. That’s what I’m thinking while sitting at the back of a van with fellow backpackers I met a few hours ago at the hostel! We are on our way to an electro party in Mareeba. It’s 22 pm and two hours of drive stretch ahead!  These events are almost the same as our electro raves in Europe except that you have to drive to … the bush! It’s in the middle of nowhere. My impression: amazing! We are partying and dancing around a big campfire. Obviously, the goon, favorite cheap drink of the backpacker in Australia, is not missing. Only good vibes, good music and fun. That’s how I feel alive.

Backpacking trips are made of challenges, encounters and adventures. That’s what I found during my one month stay in Cairns.

More travel tips for backpackers and backpacking trips in Cairns in the second part of this post – where to stay and what to do in Cairns, 6 travel tips.

Have you already been in Cairns? Share your travel experience in the comments!