Scroll to Explore

Palm Cove The Seaside Paradise

Nestled between the hubs of Port Douglas and Cairns lies idyllic Palm Cove. A seaside village sitting on the edge of the Coral Sea, surrounded by the lush rainforests of Kuranda National Park, Palm Cove is one of Tropical North Queensland's coastal treasures. 

The charming cove is known for its tropical palm-fringed beach, relaxing day spas, and deluxe beachfront dining options, making it the ideal day trip from Cairns. Make your seaside escape one to remember with our ultimate guide to Palm Cove.

Things to do in Palm Cove

Whether a foodie, sun worshipper or adventure lover, you won't be short of things to do in Palm Cove. 

Palm Cove Beach 

The star attraction of this sleepy seaside village is undoubtedly Palm Cove Beach. A beautiful stretch of golden sand beach with long lines of palms bowing down to the warm azure water—Palm Cove Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and pretending you are on a remote island paradise.

A Couple Walking On A Path With Trees On Either Side Of ItCredit to: Tourism and Events Queensland

Palm Cove Watersports

Palm Cove's dreamy location beside the Coral Sea makes it the ideal place to explore the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding islands. Palm Cove Watersports offer a variety of tours and activities, allowing adventurers to get up close and personal with this natural wonder. 

Take an unmissable sunrise tour to Double Island, kayak through the crystal clear waters in search of turtles, or book a snorkelling excursion to Double Island or beautiful Upolu Cay Reef—a remote sand island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Palm Cove Restaurants

Another major drawcard of this coastal haven is its selection of upmarket restaurants and beachfront cafes. Recognised as Gourmet Traveller's Regional Restaurant of the Year, Nu Nu is the ultimate beachfront restaurant. Soak in spectacular Coral Sea views while dining on award-winning Australian dishes, including kimchi butter-poached reef fish with squid ink noodles and wok-fried North Queensland mud crab.

A Plate Of Food
Credit to: Tourism and Events Queensland

With a prime waterfront location, Vivo offers a menu of upscale Italian, while Beach Almond serves up fresh seafood with a modern Asian spin. For a laid back brunch, brekkie bruschetta and top-notch coffee, Chill at Portofino provides the perfect lazy day atmosphere and incredible water views.

Palm Cove Markets

The Palm Cove Markets are typically held on the first Sunday of each month, between 8am and 2pm. Located under the shady palms and paperbark trees along Williams Esplanade, the beachfront market showcases local talent with over 140 stalls featuring hand-crafted ceramics, metalwork, glassware, candles, jewellery and clothing. Select from an array of organic produce, freshly baked goods, ice-creams or coffee, indulge in a relaxing massage or psychic reading and soak up the atmosphere while listening to the tunes of local buskers.

Palm Cove Shops

Palm Cove offers a small but charming range of beachy boutiques and homewares shops, ideal for a little retail therapy. Grab a coffee, take a leisurely stroll along Williams Esplanade and discover a local range of summer staples, bikinis, and resort wear to get you Palm Cove ready. 

Palm Cove Spas

With the main street nicknamed 'Spa Street', it's safe to say that Palm Cove is the perfect place for a little R and R. Our favourite would have to be the award-winning Reef House Spa with a deluxe selection of spa rituals, treatments, facials & massages. For the head to toe treatment, indulge in the Reef House Spa Signature Ritual, which includes botanical body exfoliation, full-body hydration massage, orange creme hair treatment massage and seasonal botanical spa facial. 

How to get from Cairns to Palm Cove?

Getting from Cairns to Palm Cove is as easy as relaxing as soon as you get there. Palm Cove is located a short 25-minute drive north of Cairns Airport and approximately 30 minutes south of Port Douglas. The airport offers plenty of car hire services. Alternatively, book a shuttle bus, meet-and-greet transfer with Suntransfers or hop in a taxi for approximately $65.

A Road Going Through A Forest
Credit to: Tourism and Events Queensland

Where to stay in Cairns?

Return from your Palm Cove day trip and back to the comfort and luxury of the Crystalbrook Collection. Crystalbrook Flynn, Crystalbrook Bailey and Crystalbrook Riley are all located in the heart of Cairns and offer a selection of luxury rooms and suites with city, harbour or stunning Coral sea views, signature bar and restaurant experiences, and a range of 5-star facilities. 

Crystalbrook Flynn Hotel Deals

Crystalbrook Bailey Resort Deals

Crystalbrook Riley Hotel Deals

Palm Cove FAQ

Is Palm Cove or Port Douglas better?

Palm Cove and Port Douglas are both amazing in their own right. Head to Palm Cove for a more laid back coastal hideaway experience.

Can you swim in Palm Cove?

Yes. With its warm Coral Sea waters, Palm Cove Beach is wonderful for swimming. 

Is it worth visiting Palm Cove?

Yes. Palm Cove is the perfect seaside haven to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Nature, restaurants, shops and spas—Palm Cove has it all.

How many days do you need in Palm Cove?

Within close proximity to Cairns and Port Douglas, Palm Cove is an ideal day trip destination, but also great for a weekend getaway.

What is Palm Cove known for?

Palm Cove is known for its Paperbark Trees, palm-lined beach and award-winning restaurants.