Global Backpackers On The Waterfront, more commonly known as Cairns International Hostel, is one of the most best located hostels in Cairns, being just opposite the lagoon, whilst also remaining one of the cheapest hostels in the city. However the price and location does come at the expense of being in a hostel that looks like a prison block and can be incredibly dirty at times, with a rather dull atmosphere.
The hostel is probably one of the best located of any in Cairns, being opposite the citys lagoon, which tends to be a backpackers main hangout during the day, and just outside the noise and bustle of the shops and nightclubs of the city that are little more than a five-minute walk away. The greyhound station is just beside the lagoon and one can easily find the hostel by walking along the waterfront buildings. The Premier station in a little further out (still less than a ten-minute walk though), passengers need only to walk onto the central plaza beside the station and turn right, walk all the way to the lagoon, then take a left and the hostel will be a hundred meters down.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The hostel is painted in dull colours and is desperately in need of a new coat of paint, with almost all bathrooms and some bedrooms containing graffiti. Bathrooms have two toilets and two showers per sex, and are shared amongst the thirty or so guests on each floor. Some bedrooms contain a sink and others do not. During our brief stay, two bedrooms had to be closed due to bedbugs, and fellow travelers assured us this was a regular occurrence. Individual shower cubicles do not have doors or locks, and some were even lacking hooks for clothes. Bedrooms do not contain lockers, which does not mix well with the hostel's prison feel.
The hostels interior looks like a prison block, which seems to reflect the general feel of the place. There is a scarcely used sundeck atop the hostel and an adequate common room containing a pool table and TV. The kitchen appears to be a little small for the number of guests in the hostel, however few guests do cook due to the free meal vouchers given out at reception for the local bar PJ OBriens (better free meals can be obtained from other bars, such as Gilligans and Rhino Bar, and they all accept competitors' vouchers). Next to reception there are global gossip computers available, and a very limited book exchange. Luggage storage is provided free.
Overall, we can only recommended staying in this hostel if you are concerned about the extra few dollars you would need to spend to stay in another hostel in Cairns. The atmosphere is not reflective on the friendliness you will find in other hostels in the city, and if you intend on doing the city only once then we would suggest doing it properly elsewhere.