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About us

Mad Monkey Backpackers Waterfront is not all about location, but it’s definitely a big plus. Sitting right on the Esplanade, guests get to enjoy all the popular attractions, best bars & restaurants, all within arms reach; and of course the famous Lagoon is just across the road.

Fully renovated in November 2017, Mad Monkey has become known as the Flashpacker’s of Cairns, with all rooms having top quality mattresses, linen & brand new Samsung air cons. In addition to our amazing chill out areas & outdoor BBQ zone. Chill out by the famous Lagoon across the road; or choose to venture out that little bit further & explore this incredible location, being the perfect base to explore all the amazing rainforests & waterfalls that Queensland has to offer. Or you can easily walk to the harbour & catch a day trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. They don’t call it ‘Great’ for any old reason…

Here at Mad Monkey we are known for our family atmosphere, so you are guaranteed to meet some amazing people, and we ensure there is a fun vibe with something always going on. Whether you are traveling by yourself or with friends, Mad Monkey is the perfect place to meet new & lasting friends, with our top class events board – hosting day & night activities, as well as our famous Family Meals. We look forward to welcoming you to the Mad Monkey Family!

About Us


Mad Monkey Backpackers is a top hostel on Cairns waterfront, which was fully renovated in 2017. With our brand new, modern equipment & furniture, it makes Mad Monkey a premium hostel with great facilities. Our spacious dorms, deluxe private rooms, modern kitchen, outdoor BBQ area, plus awesome common room, allows guests to enjoy our first class facilities with affordable comfort.

Amenities - Reception

24hr Reception

Amenities - Dorms

Dorm Rooms

Amenities - Private Double

Deluxe Private Rooms

BBQ Area

FREE Hot Breakfast

Amenities - Netflix and Games

Cinema & Gaming Area

FREE Ultra Fast Wifi

Amenities - Free Bike Hire

FREE Bicycle Hire

Amenities - FREE Gym

FREE Local Gym Access

Amenities - Kitchen

Kitchen Area

Amenities - Laundry

Laundry Facilities

Large Security Lockers

Amenities - Aircon

Brand New Aircons

Amenities - Mad Monkey Pool

Exclusive Bar & Pool Access

Amenities - Entertainment

Exclusive Events


About the Area

Location, Location, Location – Mad Monkey sits right on the Esplanade over looking the beautiful waterfont. With this great location, you are right on the door step of all the top bars, restaurants, cafes & of course, the Lagoon; plus only a short walk to the bus & train stations You will also be at the perfect base to explore the beautiful tropics of North Queensland.. A 5min walk will also take you to the harbor where you can catch a day trip out to the world famous Great Barrier Reef & Snorkel or Dive this iconic spot. Or if you fancy venturing out further, you can explore the amazing rainforests & waterfalls that Queensland has to offer. One things for sure, there is plenty on offer in this great city.

How to get to us

Mad Monkey is located on the main strip of the Esplanade, so just a stones throw away from the bus & train stations. Don’t worry if you have heavy backpacks as you are just a short 5 min walk to a beautiful air con oasis at Mad Monkey Backpackers.

Or if you coming from the airport, simply catch a taxi, über or shuttle bus. A taxi is a short 20 min trip & cost roughly $15; or grab the shuttle bus which costs $15 for 1 person or $20 for 2.

Meet The Team

Mad Monkey Backpackers is owned & operated by best friends, Peter McLeay & John Paull, born and bred in Sydney, Australia. The two 20-something-year-old mates admit they’re slightly immature, which makes for an amazing time living & laughing at Mad Monkey Backpackers. Between the two of them, Pete and John have travelled to most parts of the world and absolutely love the hostel experience.

Pete recently left the Military as a logistics officer and now splits his time between working on the businesses and backpacking himself. You will probably find him cooking a BBQ or organising pre drinks for the backpackers before heading out to the best night spots Cairns has to offer. John is a qualified doctor whom works in the A&E department, but loves to take some time out to backpack to remote areas, as well as volunteer in struggling international communities. They love all things travel so feel free to say hello. Come and join them in the common areas and share travel stories and adventures – they’re always keen for a chat. The boys hope that your stay at Mad Monkey Backpackers will be full of memories, and become your home away from home.

Our Mad Monkey Backpacker Teams are spread across Australia in our 5 hostels – Mad Monkey Waterfront, Mad Monkey Cairns, Mad Monkey Kings Cross, Mad Monkey Broadway & sister hostel, Kings Cross Backpackers. (make hyper links to open new window to other hostels)

Work For Us

Want to join our awesome Mad Monkey team? Contact us at

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