With its very central location, Gilligan’s is only about a five minute walk to almost anywhere you would want to go in Cairns. The esplanade and lagoon, shops and night markets, and many great bars are just a quick stroll from your doorstep, and it’s only a 10-minute drive from the airport (plus, they offer free airport pickup for guests). Location is spot-on in my opinion!
I find Gilligan’s to be a very modern mix between a hostel and a hotel, as every room has an ensuite bathroom, mini-fridge, and AC, and the venue also features a lagoon-style swimming pool, deck bar with giant TVs, and kitchens on every floor that are never too crowded. There are also cheap meals available at the bar by the pool (or you can even get a free meal every night with the purchase of a drink) and it’s actually pretty decent food! The only complaints I have regarding amenities are the lack of free wifi (though it is quite cheap for Internet in Australia at only $2/day) and not enough outlets (though I hear they’ve added more now).
Suited towards a younger crowd, Gilligan’s has been packed with young and social backpackers both times I’ve stayed there. On average, the crowd is between 18-30 and generally consists of international backpackers or working holiday makers with eyes set mainly on partying at night and exploring during the day. My group ended up making friends and playing drinking games with people from all over the world, and we absolutely loved everyone we met at Gilligan’s.
Part of the reason it gets such a party reputation is because Gilligan’s puts on regular events (contests, games, themed parties, etc) in their attached club, so it’s very convenient if you’re looking for a fun night out. Literally a 30 second walk from your bed and you’re in a packed club with shots being poured, lights flashing, music pumping, and wild dancing. It’s definitely the biggest party hostel in Cairns and maybe even all of Australia, so definitely keep that in mind when you book. Tip: If you do want better sleep, ask in advance for a quieter room that’s farther from the club and pay a bit more for a room with less beds.
Pros & Cons:
Pros: social life, modern facilities, central location, helpful travel desk to book tours, free airport pickup, felt very safe
Cons: no free wifi, long queue to check-in
One of my favorite hostels I’ve stayed at, Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort truly delivers for backpackers looking for a good time. I’d stay here again any day. Well… at least while I’m still in my 20s ;]
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was a guest of Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel & Resort. All opinions are my own.