Where can I stay in Cairns, Australia?
When travelling or studying in Australia, one of the most important parts of your holiday is finding good working holiday or student accommodation and a place that you can call home. It is important to remember that you do get what you pay for, and quality and standards will vary depending on how much you pay.
Whether you are looking for a job on a working holiday visa, or coming to study English, here is an overview of budget places to stay in Australia.
Hotel – Best for a few nights
In a hotel you usually pay to stay in a room with your own bathroom. There is often onsite facilities such as a restaurant, bar or pool for use of all guests.
They are quite expensive, starting anywhere from $70/night to $300/night!
Pros: Lots of choice and easy to find. Great for 1-2 nights when you first arrive.
How do I find? Google Budget Hotels !
Backpacker Hostel – Best for those who want to party
In a backpacker hostel you usually pay to stay in a room with 4-6 beds . You can choose female only, male only or mixed rooms. These are usually single beds or bunk beds . You will sleep with your bag at the end of your bed, or a locker could be provided. There are usually shared kitchen and bathroom facilities available during set times, and a shared common lounge area. Prices can start from $20/night up to $35/night depending on the number of people in the room and the quality of the hostel.
Pros: Lots of fun and parties to meet new people. Easy to book and can stay for short time.
Cons: Expensive if you stay for more than a week, noisy, no privacy and cleaning standards vary.
How do I find it? Google Backpacker Hostel.
Renting your own Apartment – Best for staying 6 months or more
Finding your own apartment to rent can be difficult if you are staying for a short time. You will have to commit to a lease for a set period of time (usually 3-6 months minimum) and agree to pay weekly rent, as well as a bond of 4 weeks upfront. You will usually then need to buy furniture, kitchen and bedroom equipment and setup an account for electricity, water and internet services. Must provide references to prove you will be a good tenant.
Pros: Private and cheaper if you are staying for a long time.
Cons: Hard to find, must pay a lot of money at beginning, difficult to setup services if your English is poor.
How do I find? Check out realestate.com.au or visit local Real Estate Agencies
Renting a room in a Private Sharehouse – Best for confident travellers who can negotiate well with flatmates
In a Sharehouse you rent out a room, and share the kitchen, bathroom and lounge facilities. Usually there is an average of 5-7 people in the house. Some sharehouses will ask that you pay extra for the bills, and guests are supposed to clean the bathroom and kitchen areas themselves, and share the duties. There are a lot of illegal sharehouses in Australia, so this means that there are different levels of health, safety and hygiene. It is important to ensure you have a written contract and evidence of paying rent and bond in case the landlord contests this later. Always visit a property first and only stay in sharehouses that have been recommended to you by friends or family.
Pros: A cheap private alternative.
Cons: Standards vary, flatmates not necessarily chosen to match the other types of guests, not always clean if there is no cleaning service and if there is no onsite management then any problems with flatmates is sorted out themselves. Cannot always book in advance.
How do I find? : Sharehouses can be found on noticeboards or on Gumtree.com or you can list yourself on Flatmates.com or Easyroommate.com
Renting a room in a Managed Sharehouse – Best for smart students and travellers looking for a private home but need some help
Renting a room in a managed Sharehouse is different as they are a company so they have to follow the Australian laws and make sure the houses are clean, safe and secure. They usually include all their services in one price (weekly cleaning service, electricity, water, internet), legal contracts and have lots of reviews from previous guests so that you trust them. You can stay for short or long term stays and they have experience with accommodating international guests and offer advice and support. They will have maintenance people to help you if something is not working, and keep pools, BBQs and garden areas well maintained. Usually can book in advance.
Pros: Clean, safe and well run. Usually in good locations and can see reviews online to choose a good company.
Cons: Usually can’t stay for a few nights, needs to be at least a week. Sometimes a little more expensive than a private Sharehouse due to the services and standards they offer.
How do I find? Google Sharehouse in your city e.g. Cairns Sharehouse ( a good example of a well run Sharehouse company)