Cairns Central YHA

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  • Getting here by train

    As far as hostels in Cairns, Australia go, Cairns Central YHA is extremely convenient. Cairns Railway Station is across the road, only 50m away! Queensland Rail Services to/from Brisbane depart from Cairns Railway Station. Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail rainforest journeys also depart from Cairns Railway Station. 

    Getting here by bus

    Cairns Bus Terminal is 1km from Cairns Central YHA Hostel. All major coach companies service Cairns.

    Nearest airport

    Cairns Airport is 7.5km from Cairns Central YHA. Airport shuttle bus pick up is available (arrivals only) between 8AM to 8PM for a discounted rate of $5. Airport transfers must be booked in advance, please contact the hostel directly for instructions on how to book. Available for Cairns Central YHA guests only.



    Parking - limited secure parking is available onsite. Please enquire prior to arrival to avoid disappointment.

    Taxis offer 24-hour service and are conveniently located across the road.

    Around the hostel

    Main attractions

    • Great Barrier Reef
    • World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest
    • Esplanade Boardwalk 
    • Cairns Botanic Gardens
    • Mungalli Falls
    • Trinity Beach

    Nearby facilities & attractions

    • Whitewater Rafting
    • Scuba Diving
    • Snorkelling 
    • Swimming
    • Jet Skiing/Waterskiing
    • Canoeing/Kayaking 
    • Bungee Jumping
    • Flyboarding 
    • Skydiving
    • Off Road Motorcycle Tours
    • 4WD Tours
    • Hot Air Ballooning
    • Cycling
    • Golfing
    • Bushwalking/Hiking
    • Party Buses
    • Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome
    • Restaurants and Pubs

    Find us...

    Address: 20-26 McLeod Street
    Cairns , QLD 4870
    Phone: (+617) 4051 0772
    Hostel Manager: Dean Thexton
    Payment: MasterCard, Visa

    Nearby hostels

    • Distance   km
      per person
      Mission Beach YHA
      Wongaling Beach, QLD
    • Distance   km
      per person
      Port Douglas YHA
      Port Douglas, QLD
  • Cairns Central YHA

    Fun, affordable, award-winning and central - just a few words we use to describe our YHA hostel in Cairns.

    Cairns is a backpackers' mecca and has all a budget conscious traveller needs for a comfortable stay.

    Winner for best hostel and Hall of Fame entrant in the 2015 Queensland Tourism Awards, Cairns YHA is opposite Cairns Central Shopping Centre and is a short walk from the Cairns Esplanade. Here, you will find lots of pubs, shops and cafés, plus Trinity Wharf, departure point for Great Barrier Reef cruises and tours.

    YHA's Backpacker hostel in Cairns has 59 rooms including dorm, twin/double and family rooms. All are air-conditioned and many have ensuites. There is also a FREE Hot Spot (Wifi Plus also available). An airport shuttle bus is available for guests at a discounted rate of $5 (arrivals only) between 8am - 8pm.  Please contact the hostel directly for booking instructions and discount code.

    Family Rooms: To book a family room rate, there must be at least one child under 18 and 1-2 adults; otherwise this special room rate will be adjusted to the usual adult prices with the difference payable on arrival.

    Make sure you stick around for breakfast! There is FREE pancakes from 7:00am - 9am daily.



    • Sleeps 225 guests
    • Multi-share dorms
    • Double/Twin rooms
    • Ensuite rooms
    • Family rooms
    • Group bookings


    • Air conditioning
    • Disabled Access
    • Games room
    • Free Hot Spot & Wifi Plus
    • Parking
    • Swimming Pool
    • Television
    • Tour Desk


    • 4WD tours
    • Bungee Jumping
    • Canoeing/Kayaking
    • Diving
    • Horse riding
    • Hot Air Ballooning
    • Skydiving
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming
    • Whitewater Rafting


    94% customer rating, based on 4076 Reviews
    • Nice hostel in the centre of Cairns! Friendly staff and good people. Good base for a dive to the Great Barrier Reef.
      Jonas September 2017
    • It was a very good place. I enjoyed my stay in this place. That was my first time in a YHA. I really appreciate it. Thank you for all.
      Vaihere F September 2017
    • Excellent vibe in this hostel. Clean room, nice activities, easy to meet people, facilities are convenient
      Claire September 2017
    • Beautiful tropical hostel, clean and safe! Great activities offered and facilities! The YHA we enjoyed the most of our Australian trip.
      Anthony G September 2017
    • Experience in this hostel and area is quite amazing. Meeting fantastic friend, getting practical travel tips, cooking delicious meals.
      Yingxin R August 2017

    Find us...

    Address: 20-26 McLeod Street
    Cairns , QLD 4870
    Phone: (+617) 4051 0772
    Hostel Manager: Dean Thexton
    Payment: MasterCard, Visa

    Opening times

    Hostel Open all year

    24 hours with limited services between 11:00pm to 6:30am

    Check in from 1:30pm daily
    Check out until 10:00am daily

    Save with YHA membership

    YHA members save at least 10% off accommodation at YHA hostels.


        2015 QLD Tourism Awards - Gold Winner     2015 QLD Tourism Awards - Hall of Fame
    Things to do in Cairns

    YHA's Cairns Backpacker hostel is the perfect base to explore North Queensland.

    The World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest fringes the Great Barrier Reef, with the outback around the corner.

    YHA Travel staff at the hostel can organise many tours and activities, including scuba-diving courses, white-water rafting, bungy jumping, and Barrier Reef Cruises.

    The hostel can also arrange daytrips to the Skyrail Cableway, Kuranda Scenic Rail, Atherton Tablelands, Port Douglas, and Cooktown.

    Cairns Backpackers' nightlife is legendary, from pub crawls and parties to cane toad races! All are just a short walk away from the hostel. On a budget? See the Cairns YHA's reception for nightclub discount vouchers! The Cairns Night Markets are on every evening from 5.00 pm to 11.00 pm.

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    FREE things to do in Cairns

    1. Walk along the Esplanade to the Botanical Gardens then do the Red Arrow and reward yourself with the a cool drink at the Botanical Gardens Cafe afterwards.
    2. Rustys markets - Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday (check out Billys Coffee...rumoured to be the best coffee in Cairns).
    3. Join the Cairns locals for free zumba, yoga and fitness classes on the Esplanade.
    4. Have a swim in the lagoon pool and then soak up some rays while you listen to the local bands who often provide free entertainment on the grassy area by the pool.
    5. Cairns night markets - open daily 4-10 PM.
    6. Take a drive out to Crystal Cascades and enjoy a refreshing dip under a beautiful waterfall.