Backpacker Party Guide to Cairns

Backpacker Party Guide to Cairns

Cairns is one of Australia’s backpacking hotspots for a number of good reasons. Being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and with natural beauty surrounding all corners of the city you will always find a high number of backpackers setting up here for either a short or long stay.
This article goes through the best places to unwind and party after a long day of trekking in the rainforest or diving on the famous reef. Cairns strip is renowned for its crazy party venues with a host of different nights that go on until the early morning.


Anyone who has spent time in Cairns will know about Gilligan’s and if you are planning a trip to the city you will have no doubt heard the name in passing. This is generally received as Cairns most renowned party venue, and certainly it’s biggest.
Doubling up as a Backpacker Hostel and Resort, this venue is not just popular amongst backpackers but locals also. The back of the venue is the pool area in the day and hosts live music from some of Cairns most popular live bands.
The main dance floor hosts both local and international DJ’s that are sure to get them dancing shoes moving! Gilligan’s host a number of fun themed nights to keep things interesting, these include: Jelly Wrestling, Bogan Bingo, Pole Dancing and Wet T-shirt competitions. As well as different themed nights, Gilligan’s boasts one of the biggest and loudest sound systems around, as well as a  fabulous lighting show.
Address: 57-89 Grafton Street, Cairns 4870
Toll Free: 1800 556 995
Telephone: +61 7 4041 6566
Facsimile: +61 7 4041 6577
Email: [email protected]

Salt House

Looking for something slightly more chilled, and slightly more ‘fancy’ than Gilligan’s, then look no further than Salt House. Located on Cairns scenic Marina, come here to enjoy a drink in the outdoor bar and gaze upon the picturesque ponds. Salt House host live music five days a week with both local bands and visiting bands playing sets that are sure to get you in the party mood.
Address: 6/2 Pierpoint Rd, Cairns
Phone: +61 7 4041 7733

The Woolshed

The Woolshed is a personal favourite of mine from my time in Cairns; this late night party location is very popular with the backpackers in town looking to wind down and let loose.
The nights here often end up with people getting up on tables and dancing to there hearts content. The Woolshed has a host of different themed nights to suite everyone and has two floors, both playing different types of music, if you want to change up the vibes as the night goes on.
With a great array of drinks and talented DJ’s playing every night, The Woolshed is an experience not to be missed while in this tropical city.
Address: 24 Shields Street, Cairns
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday: 9pm – 3am
Phone: +61 7 4031 6304
Facebook: Visit profile »

PJ Obrien’s

If thumping baselines and themed nights aren’t your preference for a good party, then head over to PJ O’Brien’s for your night on the town in Cairns. This Irish bar has a fantastic atmosphere everyday of the week, with live Irish music, party bands on the weekend and a Wild West Night on Wednesdays; this is an ideal spot for the more modest party animals out there.
This spot also provides for a great place to warm up and get in the mood before venturing off to one of the above institutions later in the night. PJ’s is a short stroll from both Gilligan’s and The Woolshed, so luckily you are never going to be too far to carry on the party.
Address: 87 Lake Street, Cairns
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +61 7 4031 5333
By Paraic Walker
Cairns is absolutely a must on any travellers bucket list and so, it serves to make certain you find yourself a pick of the best beach hostels in Cairns.