Hey guys, i currently live in Townsville and tend to travel to Cairns as much as possible to get away from the general lack of people here. Couple of hostels i would recommend are Travellers Oasis which is pretty quiet but one of the nicest hostels i've stayed in, or Serpents which is a little way out of town but is hugely social, gives free meals each evening and free buses into town which run until 3:30am, happy days!!
By way of things to do, Cairns is obviously based around the reef and diving/snorkelling (day trips start around $85 just for snorkel or $110 for intro/qualified dives) the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are good but i would say go for longer than the one day i did, spent most of the day on a bus so no real rainforesty experience, then theres the bungee and minjin swing (which is good if your like me and a little scared of throwing yourself from great heights, the amusing name is also a bonus.) Cairns is pretty much a backpacker party town and not a great place to meet the locals (you'll have to come to townsville for that!) but if your travelling alone you won't be for long! Good luck to all you guys x
Once im in Cairnes I have some Aussie mates that are going to be in Airlie Beach, just south of you, in the beginning of July. I want to go down to meet them but i was just wondering if i can get a bus straight there and how long do you think it'll take?
Also is there anything between Cairnes and Airlie Beach worth stopping at or should i just go straight there?
As far as i'm aware you'll probably have to do some sort of bus change over in Townsville (muhahaha lucky u) but theres Magnetic Island just off the coast here, plenty of backpackers go there, it's pretty quiet but the island is nice and there are some fantastic walks around the area (try forts walk up to an old fort (shocking eh?) it provides excellent views accross all the bays) If your going there stay at Base which is one of my favourite hostels so far! Pretty much nothing else down the coast, between cairns and townsville is tully which is a good river to go white water rafting on, and if your into destruction photography mission beach and innisfail are the way forward (plus it helps get tourism back on it's feet after the recent devestation of cyclone larry)
i'm travelling from tokyo to cairns on about the 24th june on my own. would be good to meet up for a drink or 2 when ya arrive