Cairns has lots on offer for activities and tours, but sometimes its just nice to have a day to relax. That’s where the Northern Beaches come in.
Walk around the Cairns beach villages, swim safely in between the flags and take beautiful photos!
Stinger season generally runs from November to May. The stinger resistant swimming enclosures at local beaches give a high degree of protection against Box Jellyfish.
Beaches may be closed when stingers are present. Always heed lifesavers’ warnings and do not swim when beaches are closed. Now pack your beach bag, sunscreen, sun hat and flipflops – and head to our below favorite beaches:
Holloways beach are one of the closest swimmable beaches to Cairns City, only a 10 minute drive up north. It has gone through some upgrades lately and are looking fabulous! There is a great playground for the kids, just next to a spacious beachfront picnic area. A lifeguard is on duty, with beach flags and seasonal stinger nets installed for your safety.
Residents of Holloways Beach enjoy walking down the road for a drink at “Strait on the Beach Café” to watch amazing sunrises and sunsets, not to mention seeing the moon rise over the Coral Sea.
To access Holloways Beach, follow the Captain Cook Highway north until you reach the roundabout with the sign HOLLOWAYS BEACH. Turn right here and follow the road all the way to the end. This road is well marked with signs, which make it easy to follow.
Trinity Beach is the place to be! This banana-shaped beach is sheltered between two large headlands, so all you can see from your beach towel as you soak up the rays is the blue water of the Pacific Ocean.
Trinity Beach is very popular with everyone in Cairns and therefore has a huge selection of take-away shops, restaurants, small shopping centres, and accommodation types.
The beach is lined with picnic tables and barbeques that are free to use. The swaying palm trees, and aroma of hot fish and chips make Trinity Beach a marvellous place for a family outing or an afternoon get-together with friends.
While Trinity Beach is a residential beach, the road along the beachfront is entirely dedicated to tourist resorts, restaurants, and cafes.
Our Favourite! Palm Cove is arguably the most pristine of all Cairns’ Northern Beaches, a 20-minute drive away, and it offers picnic tables and free barbeques along its entire length. At the northern end of the beach is a long jetty, described as the most expensive fishing platform in the world by local politicians.
Behind the fringe of palm trees lies Palm Cove Accommodation. From backpackers’ accommodation to 5-star resorts and fine-dining restaurants, Palm Cove has it all. This versatile beach can be used for the most relaxing holiday experience you can find and can also serve as an exciting venue for water sports and other activities.
Ellis Beach is located on the northern side of a rocky outcrop that separates it from the bustling Palm Cove. This beach has all the beauty and charm that Palm Cove offers, but it is totally undeveloped and far fewer people visit it. The local Cairns bus line does not drive to Ellis, which partially accounts for the low number of visitors to the beach.
Ellis Beach is long and thin, stretching for just over 1 kilometre. There is very little swell or surf here because of the rocky outcrop at the southern end and the large Double Island that blocks the sea. At the southern end of the beach the fishing is excellent, and at all other places the sunbathing is great.
Please be careful when swimming here because not many people are around and if you get into trouble, you may be on your own to sort yourself out.