Cairns is a tourist hotspot gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, tropical Queensland, heritage rainforests and an abundance of wildlife. The fascination for this unique part of the world has created an explosion of development to cater for the influx of visitors.
There are lots of fancy hotels, but if that's not to your taste and you prefer hostel-style accommodation, just two kilometres from the centre of town is the Serpent Hostel and Bar.
The Serpent was the first of its kind to be purpose-built for backpackers. Its 290 beds are made up of double and twin rooms with ensuites, double and twin rooms with share bathroom, single rooms and dormitory-style living. All rooms are air conditioned.
The communal kitchen opens onto a wide verandah where many stories are swapped over cold drinks.
For exercise and fun, there is a beach volley ball court, restaurant, bar and common areas. There is also a pool, particularly useful as between November and May potentially fatal stingers take over the ocean.
The in-house travel agency ensures you get the best deals on exploring the reef, rainforests and islands and there is a free shuttle bus between the airport and town. There is also Internet access, allowing you to make everyone at home green with envy that you're in paradise and they aren't!
Cairns on Queensland's north coast.
Serpent Hostel and Bar dormitory rooms start at $25 per person and double ensuite rooms are from $65 a night, twin share. All rates include dinner.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Serpent Hostel and Bar
342 Lake Street
Ph: (07) 4040 7777; 1800 737 736