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6 Must See Beaches around Cairns

13 September 2022
Fitzroy Island QLD 4WD Hire Cairns

North of Cairns city lies a series of relaxed beachside villages each with its own uniqueness. Some locals may argue they are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While Brisbane is spoiled with 1-2 hour proximity to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Cairns has beaches within 30 minutes of the city.

The tropical waters of Far North Queensland stay warm all year round making it perfect to swim at any time. During the summer it is important to only swim at patrolled beaches with stinger nets installed. So take a look at our top 6 must see beaches around Cairns.

Cairns Northern Beaches

Cairns city does not have a designated swimming beach as it is just a mudflat (beware the crocs). The Cairns esplanade and lagoon are great assets for locals and tourists to explore the city. But a car rental is highly recommended to travel to some of the swimming beaches to cool off in the humid weather.

There are many Beaches in Cairns’ north to choose from including Ellis Beach, Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob & Kewarra Beach. You could probably visit them all during a day trip with barbecues and parks dotted along the foreshores. Continue reading to find out about the more popular Cairns Beaches.

Palm Cove

Palm Cove is the most iconic beach in Cairns with views over the Great Barrier Reef. Known for its palm trees and century-old melaleuca trees which line the length of the cove and main street. The waters remain warm and inviting all year long, however during the warmer months it is important to swim in the netted areas that are protected from the likes of box jellyfish.

The beachfront esplanade of the Palm Cove Village is lined with cobblestone paving and the beach is fringed by palm trees. The opposite side of the street is lined by majestic old Melaleuca trees that tower above everything else. Resorts, accommodation, cafes, and shopping facilities have been carefully integrated into the area to blend in with the natural beach setting. The beachfront village is also a sought-after wedding location.

Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach is the perfect spot for a swim. The beach being patrolled year-round and has stinger nets installed for the warmer months. This tropical paradise is easily accessible, located 30 minutes from Cairns and 10 minutes from Palm Cove. The area is perfect for a holiday offering accommodation, places to eat, and loads to see and do. The beachfront is lined with beautiful coconut trees and beach almond trees, providing plenty of shady spots and a nice area for lunch using the free barbecues. There are also a number of walking tracks in the area including the popular Earl Hill trail.

Clifton Beach

Clifton Beach is a quiet unspoilt beach lined with tropical palm trees only a 20-minute drive from Cairns. Take in the surrounding beauty of the lush rainforest-clad mountains and swim in the protected swimming netted area. Here you can walk for miles in either direction with the beach also running through to Palm Cove. With no high-rise buildings, there are some holiday apartments lying low and blending into the natural surroundings. This beach is perfect to get away from the bustle of groups and tourists for a relaxing day. The area has barbecue facilities and plenty of shade, perfect for families.

Green Island

A 45-minute ferry ride away lies the tropical oasis of Green Island. Though not as ancient as the world-heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest (180 million years old), the Green Island National Park is 6,000 years old. You can snorkel and go scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and relax on one of the best beaches off the mainland, away from the hustle and bustle. This hidden gem is teeming with marine life and you will never want to leave.

Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is another top-rated island destination located 45 minutes off the North Queensland coast. Experience clear water on the Coral Sea with a resort where you can stay for as long as you like. While clothing is not-optional, you can visit the beautiful Nudey Beach which was ranked as Australia’s number 1 beach in 2018.

Port Douglas

Chances are you have probably seen photos of the famous Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas which typifies the iconic Australian tropical beach. While there may not be white sand, you can’t complain about the yellow sand when you’re standing under brooding palms that extend for kilometres on end. Lifeguards operate year-round!

It’s also the perfect launching point for road trips visiting Cape Tribulation and the beautiful boardwalks through the tropical rainforest along the drive to the beach at the top of the road.

So what are you waiting for? Come and tick a few of these beaches off your bucket list!

Feature image – Fitzroy Island by Tourism Australia