Suggestions and tips for living in Cairns and saving money

"Cairns is such an easy place to live"

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Living in Cairns

It is very easy to settle into life in Cairns.  The city is easy to navigate and nice and flat with plenty of bike paths and open spaces.

Here is some useful information to help you settle into life in tropical paradise.

Getting around Cairns


The best way to get around Cairns city is on foot or by bike.

To explore further and see all Cairns has to offer check out the following options:

 Car Hire can be a great option if you got together with a few friends to share the cost.

Sun Bus is the perfect way to explore Cairns and the northern Beaches

Taxis are available 24 hours a day.  Phone:  131 008. Taxi ranks are located outside Cairns Central Shopping Centre, Lake Street and can be called at anytime.

Exploring by foot and bike


Check out this link to see Cairns walking trails

On a Bike is a great way to easily get around the city and explore the many bike paths. Cairns is mostly flat and has an easy city layout with wide pedestrian and bicycle pathways.

Cairns Sharehouse can advise and organize a bike for you.  You can contact Jim the Bikeman on 0740332 262 to rent a secondhand bike (from $10-$15/week), buy a secondhand bike from Tom the Bike Man 0412 968 784,  look on www.gumtree.com.au or buy a brand new bike from K-Mart which is located in the Cairns Central Shopping Centre from $100.  You can then always sell the bikes on to other new guests before you leave.

For bike path maps click here

 

 

What to bring


When you live at Cairns Sharehouse, we do our best to provide almost everything to make moving in a breeze. 

 Apart from the usual food, clothing and toiletries, you just need to bring:

  • A towel for the pool/beach (we provide bed linen, bath towel and teatowel)
  • Toilet paper
  • Washing powder to use the coin operated laundry

 Our office is an easy 5 minute walk to the Cairns Central Shopping Centre where you can easily buy whatever you need.

What to wear


Cairns is a tropical paradise and is generally warm all year round.  Our winter is between June - September when you may need to wear long pants and a jumper at night, but not for very long! Cairns is very relaxed and the standad uniform for most locals is t-shirts, shorts and flip flops (thongs).  Don't forget to pack some enclosed shoes and a collared shirt if you decide to work in Cairns, or decide to go into one of the more upmarket nightclubs where dress rules apply.

Receiving mail, buying a Mobile Phone and SIM Cards


If you are receiving any large or important parcels, please use our address at 17 Scott Street, Cairns Qld 4870 and we will contact you to let you know it has arrived.

Alternatively you can use the address on your contract for smaller mail, and remember to redirect your mail when it you are ready to leave us.

It is easy to buy a mobile phone or SIM card when you arrive in Cairns at the local Cairns Central Shopping Centre.  The Shopping Centre is only a 5 minute walk from our office and our friendly team will be able to help you with directions, opening hours etc.

Cooking in Cairns


The great advantage of living in a Sharehouse is having access to a kitchen and oven – finally!

Our sharemates always get excited about cooking after travelling and living on pot noodles!

Our kitchens are designed to make preparing your meals an easy and enjoyable experience.

·         Our kitchens are fully equipped with oven, kettle, toaster, microwave and 2 fridges per apartment.
·         We include all crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and utensils.
·         Each guest receives a tea towel on arrival.
·         Each guest has their own cupboard and fridge space for their food.

Shopping in Cairns


All of our properties are located within an easy 10-20 minute walk to the Cairns Central Shopping Centre and City Centre.  Our sharemates often go shopping together and share a taxi home (only $5-$10).

The best places to buy groceries are:

Coles in Cairns Central Shopping Centre.

Woolworths on Lake Street.

Rustys Markets – local fruit & vegetable market open Friday, Saturday, Sunday morning only.

Medical Help & Safety


If you need medical assistance, there are a variety of medical services very close to our properties in Cairns. 

In general you will have to pay to see a doctor in Cairns (from $60-$80 depending on treatment) unless you have a Medicare Card and the doctor bulk bills.

If it is an emergency, you must go straight to the Cairns Base Hospital Emergency Department.  A taxi would cost approx $10-$15.

We recommend:

Central Plaza Doctors

Phone: 0740 468600

60 McLeod Street, Cairns

Located just next to the Cairns Central Shopping Centre, they bulk bill if you have a Medicare Card.

Cairns 24 hour Medical Centre 

Phone:  0740 440 444

318 Mulgrave Road, Cairns

Located next to Munro Martin Park, they bulk bill if you have a Medicare Card.

Stay Safe

Cairns is a big town and whilst crime rates are very low compared to most big cities, we do remind you of the following things you can do to ensure that you have a great stay.

  • Never walk home alone at night - stay with a friend and do not leave your property unattended.
  • If you come home alone, buy a bike and use busy, well lit streets.
  • There is no drinking of alcohol permitted in public in Cairns.
  • There is no smoking inside any licensed premises.
  • Always lock your bedroom door and main door even when you are asleep.