The vibrant Cairns nightlife is a major draw for those looking to enjoy a lively evening out. As a popular destination for backpackers and travelers from around the world, Cairns offers a range of events and parties to enjoy regardless of the day of the week.
Where To Party In Cairns
Cairns is a very small town and the nightlife is all located in the CBD. The advantage of this is if the party isn’t good where you are it’s only a short work to the next bar or club for a change of scenery.
If you’re staying within the CBD you’ll be able to easily walk between the different venues.
For those staying a little bit further away from the center of town, there are late-night buses that operate until 4 am.
Alternatively, uber and taxis are the best option for getting into town to party if you’re staying on the northern beaches or further out of town.
Cairns Nightlife & Safety Tips
You need to have a valid driver’s license or passport and be over 18 to get into most venues in town as they will scan them at the door.
Depending on the day of the week (normally the weekend) the cover charge for clubs is normally $20 however entry into bars is free.
Most clubs will stop serving alcohol at 3 am and won’t let any guests in after this point.
Tips are not expected in Cairns however they won’t go unappreciated.
Drinking in public and outside venues in Cairns is prohibited and will result in getting fined by the police.
Shots are not allowed to be served after midnight.
Some locals have been known to harass backpackers and travelers so ensure you go out with friends and keep an eye on each other or alternatively you may want to go on an organized party event.
How expensive it is to party in Cairns
Australia is not renowned for being the cheapest country to party so it may come as no surprise that the Cairns nightlife may not be as cheap as one may hope.
With that being said in relation to partying in Sydney or other towns in Australia it is definitely more affordable.
Most backpackers and people on a budget will pre-drink before going out to bars and clubs at around 11 pm in order to save money.
Here is a basic overview of what you can expect to pay on a night out in Cairns:
- Club entry: $15 – 20
- A pint of beer: $9
- A basic spirit with mixer (eg. vodka & soda): $11
- A cocktail: $19
The Best Bars In Cairns
Cairns is renowned for having some of the best bars in far north Queensland and we would recommend visiting the following while you’re there!
Salthouse is a bar located by the Cairns Marina that is a great bar for cocktails and snacks. Usually one can expect to pay $11 for a basic spirit and mixer however the venue is renowned for being the best bar to party on a Monday night with basic drinks costing as little as $5.
PJ Obriens is an Irish bar and is a great place for nightlife most days of the week if you love a cold Guinness beer and a cheap meal.
Located between the Esplanade and the Cairns Marina, the Pier Bar is the best place for nightlife on a Sunday afternoon/night.
The drinks are cheap and the venue packs out usually from around 5 pm when all of the boats come back from the day out at the Great Barrier Reef.
Connected to the Mad Monkey hostel and home to many partying backpackers, Lush Pizza, crafting pizzas is an art form that the dedicated team takes great pride in. The skilled pizzaiolos use only the finest and freshest ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible, to ensure each slice is a burst of flavor.
The Pizzas are cheap and so is the local coral sea brewing tap beer.
Tucked down a little alley in the center of town, three wolves is a lesser-known whiskey bar that is a favorite amongst Cairns locals. This is definitely the best bar in Cairns if you’re on a date or want a quiet drink away from the crowd as the venue is quite small.
The Best Clubs in Cairns
If clubbing is your thing then make sure to visit the following clubs while you’re in Cairns.
Woolshed has long been renowned for being the party club of cairns as it is open late and it is where travelers and locals meet to dance the night away on the tables in the venue.
Dirty Laundry is a new club in Cairns and it has definitely made a big impact on the town already.
Gilligans is a club attached to a hostel and a massive venue that is great for the nightlife on the weekend. Guests can expect to pay $20 for entry and the venue is open until 5 am.
Cairns Nightlife Summary
The Cairns nightlife has an awesome party atmosphere that attracts visitors from all around the world. Regardless if you’re looking to go for a few quiet drinks or party until the sun comes up the town has something for everyone.
If you’re in town and want to get the latest advice or pre-organize tickets for any parties or events feel free to send us a message and we’ll put you in touch with some promoters to ensure you get the best Cairns party experience.