Organising your accommodation is an important step as you prepare for your studies at JCU. We recommend that you start looking at your accommodation options as early as possible, particularly if you want to apply for on-campus accommodation in Townsville.

If you are planning to live off-campus, aim to arrive early so you have enough time to look at options and secure permanent accommodation. Study in Australia has some useful information about accommodation and the costs you might expect to pay for the various options.

The JCU Accommodation Service coordinates your on-campus accommodation application for Townsville and manages an off-campus accommodation database, including private rentals, share housing and boarding. For off-campus listings visit the JCU Accommodation Service off-campus database.

Temporary Accommodation

If you plan to find permanent accommodation after you arrive in Cairns or Townsville, we encourage you to book temporary accommodation for the first 2-3 nights after your arrival.  This will allow you a few days to settle into your new surroundings, search and move into suitable permanent accommodation.

To assist you with a temporary accommodation booking, we have included a list below of hotels, motels and backpacker hostels in Cairns and Townsville that have been used previously by international students.  Please note that these are just some of the options available.

Note: You are responsible for the costs of your temporary accommodation and you may be required to provide the accommodation provider with a deposit or credit card details to confirm your booking.

Cairns Students:

Accommodation Provider
Cairns Student Lodge
Cairns Central YHA Backpackers 
Villa Marine at Yorkey's Knob
Cairns Sharehouse
Tropicana Lodge

Townsville Students:

Accommodation Provider
Civic Guest House
Riverside Convention Centre
Cedar Lodge Motel
Spanish Lace Motor Inn

If you are unable to arrange your own temporary accommodation or require assistance, please contact the International Student Support team by email on