We were picked up at about midnight at the Greyhound bus stop by the rep from the Serpent hostel in Cairns, we had previously stayed with parents so were a bit reticent about our first hostel experience. We were checked straight into our room at the hostel which was small but clean, with an aircon system that was (for some reason) operated from reception-to use it you had to go to reception and ask them to switch it on....only problem was you had to remember to ask them to switch it off otherwise you would do waht i did and wake at 3am freezing cold and there being no-one around to switch it off! Nightmare!
So we chucked our bags on the bed and went in search of some food, we were surprised to find a large bar and seating area by a decent sized pool, and it was still open serving food. I had chosen this hostel not only for the price but for the advertisement of free food....needless to say when we got there we were charged for this privilege, and i never got a satisfactory reason as to why we were charged when the adverts promoted free food. The dinner was only $6 so not too bad, and i must say the lasagne was awesome! We had a couple of beers as the bar shut about 1am and we headed to bed (we had just had 13 hours on a coach by the way!).
Our first morning in Cairns we were greeted by a downpour, it was torrential. We took up the courtesy bus into the town centre, expecting some wild lively town just waiting for us to arrive. It was nothing of the sort, the town was quiet, dull, looked very old, was full of men who were, and i write this in the nicest possible way, perving at my girlfriend.....i was shocked, people had told me Cairns was a vibrant city full of life for the traveller--what we found was a backwards town full of backwards people, we spent an hour walking around the shops and then decided to head back to the hostel. We were grateful to find our way back to the room and wondered what the hell we were doing in this place, when we could have just stayed in England and gone to Blackpool.....at least it wouldnt have cost £0000s to get there.
We spent the afternoon in the only way we could, in the bar, drinking and playing pool & darts. Wehn night fell and the bar became quite full we found out it was quiz night so coupled with a pair of Canadian girls we attempted to find some level of coherence and attack the pub quiz.....all i can say is WE WON!!!!!!!!!!!! $50 of drink vouchers coming our way thank you very much. I must admit the questions were geared to English people, and we were the only non-Dutch in there! We went to bed in a state and woke the next day hoping it would get better.
Our final day in Cairns was a tiny little bit better, only in the fact that it only rained for a little bit, as opposed to all day long. We went out for a walk to find a beach to have a paddle, and when we got there we found a sign saying--CROCODILES, STAY AWAY--how friendly. So we went and organised our bus away from Cairns (next stop Airlie Beach) which was fantastic. We went to the hostel and packed up, glad to leave, our bus didnt leave until 1am so we chilled at the bar, and lo and behold the entertainment began....CANE TOAD RACING!!!!!!!!!!!! We put some bets on, (lost) and then had some more beer to drown out the pain!
We left Cairns very disappointed, but at least the Serpent was a half decent home away from home, and for our 48 hours there, we didnt have a bad moment in the hostel, just a shame that Cairns, for the wont of a better word, was crap!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nomads Cairns backpackers resort is a 4 ½ star AAA rated budget accommodation with resort style facilities and onsite Serpent Bar, and has been designed to provide you with a great night's sleep. Located only minutes away from the Cairns Esplanade, gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, it includes everything you need to enjoy Tropical North Queensland in style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Nomads Serpent Cairns Hotel Cairns