Experience an Exceptional Location

Map Cairns Student Lodge

The location of Cairns Student Lodge is ideally on the northern beaches at Smithfield, Queensland.

The Lodge is opposite the convenient shopping, fitness and healthcare facilities of Campus Shopping Village. We are only 6 metres away. The Lodge is the most affordable accommodation near James Cook University (JCU). All meals are included!

We are less than a 10 minutes’ walk from James Cook University (JCU) Cairns, a short bus ride to the city Central Queensland University (CQU) Cairns, TAFE Queensland North, Cairns or even to the relaxing palm-lined beaches of tropical north Queensland, including Palm Cove and Trinity beaches. And we are next door to Arcadia Gardens too!

Also don’t forget to experience the markets and restaurants in the vibrant heart of Cairns city (just 16.6 kilometres away).

And best of all Cairns Student Lodge is only 15km from the Cairns Airport and can be easily accessed by shuttle bus or taxi. You can find more information about this in the FAQs under the Transport Tab.



Enjoy the Short Walk to James Cook University, Cairns

With a dedicated, direct footpath and a walk of less than 10 minutes between the Lodge and uni, you’ll never be late for class. Take the tour and check out our video below.

Experience Cairns

Enjoy life in the tropical sunshine where two World Heritage sites meet — the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Wet Tropics Rainforest. In your free time explore tropical wetlands, dive the Great Barrier Reef, enjoy a live show, swim under waterfalls, or keep fit on the Esplanade with the free Active Living Programs and a swim in the Cairns Lagoon. Book your tour with the Cairns Student Lodge Tour Desk. Visit us at Reception for more details.

Easy Commute due to the Location

As a Cairns Student Lodge resident Cairns city, CQU, and TAFE are all an easy commute by car or public transport.

Public Transport

Cairns Student Lodge is connected to the Cairns northern beaches, Smithfield Shopping Centre, and Cairns city by Cairns Sunbus. Getting to class, the city, or a major shopping centre is easy with bus stops conveniently located at:

  • the end of Faculty Close (on McGregor Road)
  • the Captain Cook Highway (just near Smithfield Library)
  • James Cook University campus
  • Cairns city centre (one block from CQU), and
  • Cairns TAFE

Ticket fares start from as little as $1.10.

The bus ride from Cairns Student Lodge or James Cook University into Cairns city is approximately 30 minutes’ duration, or 10 minutes to the northern beaches.

Private Bus/Car Tranfers

  • Sun Palm Transport provides a shuttle bus service from Cairns to Port Douglas. Book online at the Sun Palm Transport website. The Sun Palm shuttle bus costs approximately $20 one way.
  • Trinity Beach Transfers offer a transfer service at approximately $35. To book please contact John or Debbi via Facebook (Trinity Beach Transfers), email trinitybeachtransfers@yahoo.com.au, or by phone: 0417 767 642 (John), 0408 878 530 (Debbi), 07 4055 3363 (Office).
  • Cairns Private Transfers have all transfers for the airport, Cairns, Port Douglas and surrounding areas. Cars and 6 seater vehicles available. Call Nicky or James 0411 429 294 or book on-line.
    # Airport to Cairns Student Lodge $50 (1 – 2 pax)   # Cairns Student Lodge to the Airport $40 (1 – 2 pax)   # Cairns Student Lodge to the City $50 (1 – 2 pax)  # City to Cairns Student Lodge $50 (1 – 2 pax)


  • Taxi Services from the airport cost approximately $50 to $60 and can be booked by phoning 131 008.
  • Uber offers discounted transfers. Use the app on your phone or visit the Uber website.


You can find everything you need with a number of shopping facilities located within easy access to the lodge. Campus Shopping Village, located directly opposite, is home to a grocery store, chemist, medical and dental facilities, hair and beauty services, gymnasium, and a number of food outlets including takeaway options. A wider range of shopping options is available via a short bus or bicycle ride away at Smithfield Shopping Centre; shopping options include Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, banks, a post office, doctor’s offices, chemists, clothing stores, hair and beauty services, and a bookstore.

Medical Services

Smithfield Medical Centre is conveniently located at Campus Shopping Village directly opposite Cairns Student Lodge. Five doctors and a team of nurses, including a mental health nurse, are available to assist you with any medical needs that may arise during your time at the lodge. To find out more, visit the centre website.

Amcal Chemist is also located at Campus Shopping Village and can assist with your prescriptions and a range of health concerns. You can find out more about their range of services at the AMCAL website.

If you need a doctor after hours or on a weekend or public holiday House Call Doctor is available to visit you at your unit. Appointments are available by phoning 13 55 66, online at the House Call Doctor website, or via their free mobile app. Hours of operation are Monday to Friday 6pm to 8pm; Saturday 12pm to Midnight; Sunday all day; and public holidays 24 hours.

Cafés and Food Outlets

Campus Shopping Village, Smithfield Shopping Centre, and the surrounding area offer numerous off-campus food options. Options include Thai and Indian cuisine, ramen, KFC, Red Rooster, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, pizza, kebabs and sushi, as well as a number of cafés.


If you like to keep fit and active there are plenty of gyms to choose from in and around Smithfield. The JCU Fitness Centre Cairns is open during semester 1 and 2 and is located on campus near the basketball courts and football field. They offer a range of weight and cardio equipment with a full-year membership costing $50 for Student Association members and $100 for non-members. Gyms in the surrounding area include Maxenergy at Campus Shopping Village (open 24 hours), Genesis Fitness (open 24 hours), Anytime Fitness (open 24 hours). Marlin Coast CrossFit on McGregor Road, and the Marlin Coast YMCA.

Public Swimming Pool

Marlin Coast Bicentennial Pool is located within walking distance of Cairns Student Lodge. Facilities include a 50-metre heated pool, a covered 25-metre heated pool, a children’s pool, and a children’s wading pool. If you are a competitive swimmer, or want to be, the pool is also home to the Marlin Coast Swimming Club. Other services offered at the pool are aqua fitness classes and swimming lessons through the Frogs Legs Swim School. For more information visit the official website.