Palm Cove is a small but popular resort town about half an hour’s drive north of Cairns. It’s home to one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches and an addictive holiday vibe. Just inland is the sparsely populated countryside of Northern Queensland, where you’ll find untouched forests and native animals. And, of course, one of the wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, is close at hand.
Throw on your togs, grab an umbrella and head to the beachfront. Palm Cove is first and foremost a beach town, and for good reason. Walk along soft white sand flanked by palm trees and mountains. Even in high season you won’t run into many people, and looking out to sea, you’ll spot islands and fishing boats. If you need to cool off, jump into the pristine waters. Be sure to swim within the safety nets, though, as jelly fish and other creatures inhabit the water.
For a peaceful afternoon, hire a kayak and go for a paddle. If you’re a fan of fishing, grab some gear, pack some lunch and try your luck off the Palm Cove jetty. There are whiting, grunter, mackerel and many other species to catch.
If all this sounds a little too quiet, hire a Jet Ski and explore the coastline at a faster pace. Of course, many people travel to North Queensland for the Barrier Reef. Head out and explore what's under the water with one of the many companies that operate in nearby Cairns. Snorkel or dive among the staggering coral formations and colourful marine life of the reef, which lies just off the coast here.
Inland, there are rain forests, swamps and woodlands. Take a drive to the Atherton Tablelands and explore the quaint country towns, or walk among tropical forests to see waterfalls and beautiful creeks. There are plenty of nearby attractions where you can check out the native wildlife, including the awesome saltwater crocodile.
If, like many, you are visiting for the relaxation, then check into one of Palm Cove's wonderful spas or retreats and enjoy some serious pampering.