Cairns, my dear sweet Cairns. We’ve shared some unreal memories as I’ve traveled around you and your ridiculous heat waves but despite the downfalls in our relationship you have made each day that I lived there so awesome that I can’t wait to return.
There are many great reasons to visit Cairns, This magical place happens to be located just above Townsville in the north of Queensland. It’s tropical climate might have you showering everyday and the farmers markets may leave you craving watermelon until you leave but if you’re a backpacker moneys always low and life seems to get in the way sometimes especially when you’ve just done the East Coast which inevitably rinses your back pocket.
I created a guide for all my fellow backpackers out there who struggle with finding stuff to do when their low on cash, being the cheap skate that I am I have created a free guide for you to enjoy.
1. Man-made beach.
Nothing beats a free swim in the morning at 40 degrees. The beach is surrounded by an actual beach but you can’t go in it because it’s practically mud and you would sink. This is why they created a beach very similar, it’s an awesome place to just chill and get your laps in there.
2. Volleyball Pitch
Luke and I used to skate up here after work when the weather was decent. It’s at the top of the esplanade so about 10 minutes away from the beach. There is free matches every evening with the minority being backpackers which was a shame as It’s a great place for meeting locals, this is where the majority of young people who live around there chill after work.
3. Skate park
This is located opposite the volleyball pitch and it’s exactly the same. Just filled with locals hanging out after a hard day in the sun. You can even find the majority of kids here skating the night away which by the way is awesome as they are all super talented!
On the Esplanade there is a huge field that used mainly for sunbathing with lots of benches situated around it. In August time last year there was a festival on with free music and drinks being handed out, it was like the whole of Cairns came out for this one event. The perfect Night out for backpackers where you can party with your fellow bunk buddies and listen to great music without having to reach into your backpocket.
This may not be a big deal to some people but for me this reached an ultimate high. These are located all around Australia however since I lived in Cairns this is where I found them most convenient. The barbecues are completely free, you just have to make sure you take some form of foil if you are veggie because Aussies don’t mess around with their meat. What better way to chill than roast some food on the barbecue, sipping a cold beer and listening to awesome tunes as the sun goes down.
6. Exercise Equipment
When I was there I had a Canadian friend who literally ran the esplanade every single day. One day she came back and told me she stopped off to do some core work at the exercise machine further down which I then found out was full on equipment nailed to the ground. This is such an awesome way to keep fit without having to join a gym and if your brave leaves you with a glowing tan if you train in the summer.
This is a main one for backpackers out there, I don’t know about you but I’ve found that paying for wifi is the bain of my life when it comes to traveling. How hostels think that paying $25 for a room and then charging wifi on top is a good idea I will never know. The wifi is situated all around the man-made beach and the field behind it. You wanted a chilled night? Grab some blankets, ice-cream and watch movies under the stars.
8. Entertainment and shows
Entertainment is one of the best things that Cairns has offer, there is always numerous amounts of live shows on whether that be at the bottom of the esplanade next to the beach or at the top. My favourite happens to be the fire show which happens around the beach, the woman is clearly invincible when it comes to fire.