While the rest of Australia is awaiting a pre-winter cold snap, Tropical North Queensland is still enjoying gorgeous weather, helping it stay on top as one of our favourite year round destinations.
One standout holiday gem along the coast has to be Palm Cove. For those seeking out a restful retreat with the sound of the ocean to lull you to sleep each night, this quaint beachside village is just the ticket. Far from the maddening crowds, and beyond the hustle of the busy tourist strip of downtown Cairns some 30 minutes south, it is the perfect place to stop, drop and finish that novel or crossword you’ve been putting off. Swaying palm trees, sundowners’ and sandy-heeled walks all par for the course on this holiday.
Speaking of courses…
Did we mention that golfers have a choice of 13 different golf courses in and around Palm Cove and Cairns to choose from for those keen to work on their game between cocktails? Beyond the call of the fairway and fishing pier on its famous beachfront, Palm Cove actually offers holidaymakers so many options when it comes to exploring the region. So keep your schedule clear before happy hour to make sure you pack as much (or as little) in as you can handle.
It’s only natural
For those that visit Palm Cove and the top end for the first time, undoubtedly the thing that surprises them most is just how amazing the natural attractions of this destination really are. Most people underestimate the impact of their first encounter with the Great Barrier Reef, or how small they feel when they encounter the ancient trees of the Daintree Rainforest or wilderness of Cape Tribulation. A range of National Parks are within driving distance of Palm Cove for great day trips from your resort.
For an up close and (not too personal) encounter with fauna indigenous to the area, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Park is worth checking out. It boasts the largest collection of crocodiles in captivity and hosts a crocodile attack show to set your pulses racing. The park also offers encounters with koalas, cassowaries, and an educational wetlands cruise.
Picturesque Palm Cove beach
Palm Cove is well known for two things – being one of Far North Queensland’s cleanest beaches, and one of its cleanest. Protected 500 year old Melaleuca trees line the length of the beachfront, a beautiful sight, but also practical offering shade for beachgoers throughout the day. No beach umbrella required here. They are such an important part of the beachfront, that local buildings have been built around them, ensuring they remain an iconic and memorable part of the Palm Cove experience.
Swimming at Palm Cove is great at all times of the year, but just as a precaution its best to only swim inside the swimming enclosures during Stinger season from mid-November to mid-May. Of course, at all times of the year it is advisable to swim between the Surf Life Saving rescue flags, coloured yellow and red. Catamaran, sailing, kayaking, paddlewheel bikes and jet skiing are other great activities you can do direct from Palm Cove beach.
If fishing is more your thing, the Southern end of the beach is favoured by fishermen (and families) who seek out the pipis that populate the area. The pipi shuffle is a popular sight in Palm Cove as people young and old dig their heels in and twist ‘60s style to unearth the sea creatures from the wet sand!
Fishing from the shore is also possible, but many prefer to make use of the picturesque jetty for this activity. The sunset and sunrise views from the jetty is a must see activity all year round, and the perfect destination for you daily beach walk. Don’t forget to take a souvenir selfie.
See food – and eat it!
There are so many dining options to tempt on the Palm Cove Esplanade, and for many seafood is the preferred choice, given the beachfront location of many cafes, bars and restaurants. Once the sun starts to dip down over the horizon, it’s the place to be to be for happy hour, into the night. The ambiance is second to none, with gentle ocean breezes, great cuisine, and candlelight combining for a memorable holiday dining experience. Standout restaurants include the much acclaimed Nu Nu Restaurant, al fresco dining on the deck at the Reef House or the Palm Cove Surf Club for convivial, casual dining.
No man is an island
After a few days unwinding in Palm Cove, often a day trip is in order for a little sun, sand, and the chance to mix with other holidaymakers or locals. Fitzroy Island is a popular option. Departing from Cairns, it’s an all-rounder destination with something for everyone. Great snorkelling, sea kayaking, hiking and a range of bars and restaurants to enjoy a meal under the sunshine and watch the world go by.
Pull up at The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast
The Sebel Palm Cove Coral Coast is a great place to base yourself while visiting Palm Cove. Accommodation options include a choice of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Facilities include an outdoor pool, tour desk, complimentary car parking for guests, floodlit tennis courts, a sauna and golf.
Address: Coral Coast Drive, Palm Cove QLD 4879
Phone: (07) 7 4059 8000
The information in this article is not personal financial advice and has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Before making a decision to purchase or upgrade a membership in the Accor Vacation Club, you should consider the PDS dated 1 January 2017, issued by A.P.V.C. Ltd AFSL 245515 and available at www.accorvacationclub.com.au or by contacting A.P.V.C. Ltd on 1800 70 81 90. All hotel and cruise bookings are subject to availability.