Fresh-feel rooms, abundant greenery and a location right on the waterfront Esplanade makes Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside a dependable choice for wallet-watchers heading to Tropical North Queensland. Read on for the full review.

The budget-friendly hotel ensures guests can make the most of Cairns without having to break the bank. Laze by the outdoor pool, sip on a local gin in the relaxed on-site bistro or gaze at the lush edges of the Trinity Inlet from your room — it’s a box-ticker, without the price tag.

Where is Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside? 

Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside exterior

Towards the northern end of Cairns town, right on the city’s main drag, the Esplanade. It’s a pleasingly swift five-minute trip from Cairns Airport.

What’s near Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside?

If you’ve hired a car, Cairns is a cinch to navigate. The Cairns Botanic Gardens is a lush place for kids to release their pent-up energy, while the Cairns Aquarium (five minutes south) will keep them fixated for hours. Here to explore the Great Barrier Reef? You’ll want to head to the marina, less than 10 minutes drive away. 

Room types 

Holiday Inn Harbourside Cairns room interiors

Earn Qantas Points

Rooms are simply furnished, with few decorative frills, as the focus poins to the waterfront views (from east-facing rooms). All include the standards of a desk and coffee and tea making facilities. The King Suite has an enviable balcony, with space for a lounger from which to admire your uninterrupted ocean views (while reclined, of course).

Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside blacony

Restaurants and bars 

Holiday Inn Cairns Harbourside restaurants

On-site eatery Harbourside Bar & Kitchen is a bright indoor-outdoor spot with a menu that speaks to warmer climes (think poke bowls, bush salt and mountain pepper-dusted calamari and seafood platters). At breakfast, it’s a buffet set-up with all the requisites. 

Travel for work

There are four on-site meeting rooms for hire, with a patio space if you want to capitalise on the stellar Cairns weather. For in-room working, the wi-fi is free and the desks are generous. 

Pool and gym

There’s no on-site fitness centre but the hotel has a relationship with a 24-hour gym nearby (10 minutes walk).


While travellers with disabilities are catered for at Holiday Inn Harbourside (inclusive of amenities such as visual alarms and accessible public toilets, accessible rooms are not interconnecting and the pool does not feature an assistance hoist.

What you need to know

The classic Holiday Inn drawcard remains at this outpost: kids under 12 eat free, much to the certain delight of families.

Best for: Budget travellers
Design: Simple
Ambience: Relaxed
Number of rooms: 173
Rates: From $181
Wi-fi: Free
Parking: Complimentary for guests
Address: 209-217 the Esplanade, Cairns North
Phone: (07) 4080 3000

Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at

Holiday Inn Harbourside pool exterior

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SEE ALSO: The Best Resorts to Book in Cairns

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