Any city that is considered the jumping off point for visiting the Great Barrier Reef is bound to be popular with tourists, but Cairns is more than just a place to crash between awe-inspiring glimpses of the coral. The city itself is a great place to visit, especially if you like the water. From the lovely beaches and coastline to the town’s lagoon pool right in the city center, this place is all about the water. But if you really are just in town to sleep between snorkeling trips, then there are still lots of cheap hotels in Cairns you can choose from.

While there are loads of cheap hotels in Cairns – and hotels in plenty of other price ranges as well – they do tend to fill up quickly during the peak season. So if you are planning your visit from June-September and you want the best rates, you will need to book early before hotel owners can start jacking up prices as the selection dwindles. True budget travelers will appreciate that Cairns has such a wide selection of backpacker hostels, but if you want your own room and a private bathroom they may not be what you are looking for.

No matter what time of year you visit, you will not be alone in Carins. It is popular just about year-round, and not just for the proximity to the Great Barrier Reef (although that is the city’s major draw, by far). Bird watching is popular in this area, as is fishing. And if the undersea life surrouding the coral reef is not enough for you, the Cairns Wildlife Dome is a fun excursion – especially if there are kids in your travel party.

Some of the cheap hotels in Cairns worth looking into are Cairns Queens Court (10 minute walk to the city center, 81 rooms, free continental breakfast, free airport pickup, outdoor pool, guest laundry, free parking, WiFi available), Discovery Resort (.5km from city center, 53 rooms, on-site restaurant & bar, 2 saltwater swimming pools, guest laundry, off-street parking, internet access available), Reef Retreat Hotel (near Palm Cove beach, 36 rooms, all rooms with kitchenette, heated swimming pool, guest laundry, WiFi available, BBQ facilities), Cairns Queenslander (walking distance from Cairns Esplanade, 93 total self-catering rooms & 2-bedroom apartments, on-site restaurant, 2 swimming pools, BBQ area, guest laundry, WiFi & internet access available), and Floriana Guest House (15 minute walk from city center, 10 rooms, 1930s Art Deco house, BBQ area, outdoor swimming pool).

Map of Cairns Hotels