Caravella Cairns City Backpackers is one of the more popular and highly rated backpackers in Cairns. It is considered a backpackers resort. It is very large hostel, but not crowded. It is comprised of several buildings and has large open spaces as well, including outdoor BBQ and a nice pool area.
Caravella is located a very short walk away from the city center of Cairns, right on the Esplanade. They have a free shuttle bus several times per day, but it takes literally less than ten minutes to walk to all of the action in the city. Caravella also offers a free airport pick-up, and they can book the airport shuttle back for those who need it (you have to pay for this). There is a take-away food shop adjacent to the hostel that offers quick and cheap food for those who don't want to cook.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Dorm rooms sleep up to six people in bunk beds. Beds are comfortable and rooms are mopped daily. Rooms have air-conditioning, which is a must in Cairns' hot and humid climate. Doors have locks, and the outside gate has a security code for those returning to the hostel after 10 p.m. All rooms have small refrigerators. Private rooms are also available with air conditioning, ensuite, and balconies. Rooms don't have much in the way of storage space, but do generally have a few hooks or a clothes rack.
Bathrooms are cleaned daily and have adequate showers and toilets. Caravella is on a large property with plenty of facilities, so if showers closest to an assigned dorm are occupied, additional bathrooms are only a short walk away. Bed linen is provided, but travelers should bring their own towels.
Caravella does have several common spaces. The atmosphere is friendly, but it is not a party hostel, with quiet time after 11 p.m. Many people leave early in the morning for Great Barrier Reef or Cape Tribulation trips, and the reception opens at 7 for those who need to check out early.
There are two large, clean kitchens with basic cutlery, dishes, and saucepans. Each kitchen has a large refrigerator for storing food. There are picnic benches in the kitchens, and just outside the kitchens as well. Along with picnic benches, there is a pool table and table tennis. There is also a nice swimming pool with plenty of lounge chairs
Other facilities include several Global Gossip internet terminals, one Global Gossip telephone, coin-operated laundry facilities. Caravella has a tour-booking desk and can give advice and discounts on some tours and bus tickets. They have a storage room for those heading off on overnight trips but returning to the hostel.
Because much of the hostel is outside and open, there are a few large bugs floating around, which is part of being in Tropical North Queensland. Bug spray is available in reception in case any get in the rooms. The hostel requires a key deposit, and check-out is at 9:30 a.m. The hostel also provides free meal vouchers each night for The Woolshed, a popular backpacker bar and restaurant in the center of town. In summary, Caravella is a clean, popular, high-quality hostel in a good location, with great facilities.