Holidays in Clifton Beach

Clifton Beach featuring tropical scenes and a garden
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This quiet beach north of Cairns offers long stretches of white sand and clear water.

Clifton Beach is a tropical beachside town surrounded by two natural wonders: a World Heritage-listed rain forest and the Great Barrier Reef. The six-kilometre (3.7-mile) beach is lined with palm trees, white sand and clear water. Come to swim, go white-water rafting, wildlife watching, or just unwind in the shade with a drink in one hand and a book in the other.

Clifton Beach is relatively quiet, with fewer tourists than neighbouring beaches and an almost non-existent nightlife. Spend a few hours or a few weeks here. Accommodation options range from budget dormitory-style rooms, to luxury resorts. There are cafés and restaurants, grocery stores and a few specialty retail outlets where you can pick up holiday equipment such as fishing gear and snorkels. 

At the beach you’ll find picnic tables, barbecues and play equipment. Feed kangaroos and cuddle a koala at the Cairns Tropical Zoo. Keen golfers can enjoy a game on the local golf course, which is considered one of Australia’s top 50 greens.

Explore the headland of Cape Tribulation and the surrounding Daintree Rainforest on foot, by car or as part of a tour. Walk north along the beach to Palm Cove, a town that offers more bars and restaurants, as well as boutiques and art galleries. Port Douglas is a 45-minute drive north of Clifton Beach. Many tour companies leave from Port Douglas for the Great Barrier Reef, and the town of about 5,000 residents has a thriving backpacker nightlife and fine-dining restaurants.

The weather is warm all year, and hot and humid in summer. Clifton Beach has nets that protect swimmers from harmful marine stingers such as irukandji jellyfish, which are in the waters between November and May. Lifeguards patrol the beach every day during “stinger season”.

Clifton Beach is a 25-minute drive north of Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway. Buses run regularly between Cairns and Palm Cove, stopping at Clifton Beach every hour throughout the day.

887 Cheap Hotels Near Clifton Beach

Argosy On The Beach
Argosy On The Beach
4 out of 5
119 Arlington Esplanade, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Stay at this 4-star beach apartment in Cairns. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a beach locale. Our guests praise the helpful staff in their reviews. Popular ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (112 reviews)
"Great position,quiet.Still close enough to restaurants etc at Palm Cove."

Reviewed on 20 Jul. 2021

Argosy On The Beach
Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
3.5 out of 5
69-73 Arlington Esplanade Clifton Beach, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Stay at this 3.5-star beach aparthotel in Cairns. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and a beach locale. Our guests praise the comfy beds and the property condition ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (417 reviews)
"Lovely surroundings. Internet reception was the only thing that let the property down."

Reviewed on 2 Aug. 2022

Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
3.5 out of 5
81-87 Guide Street, (Entrance on Clifton Road), Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Cairns. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking and in-room massages. Our guests praise the pool and the comfy beds in their reviews. ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (111 reviews)
"This place iwas surprisingly very good ..was very homely..packed with everything u need az if your were in your own home..it also had alot of local amazing art everywhere in the apartmemt..2 min walk to clifton beach had a very nice restaurant across the road called mojos.linda the manager in charge ..."

Reviewed on 5 May 2022

Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Clifton Beach

Villa Vaucluse Apartments of Cairns
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Reviews of Clifton Beach

4.2

Top destination

5 - Excellent
120
5 - Excellent 36.144578313253014%
4 - Good
161
4 - Good 48.493975903614455%
3 - Okay
49
3 - Okay 14.759036144578314%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.30120481927710846%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.30120481927710846%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

1 Feb. 2020

AS ABOVE... OBSERVE SIGNS STATING 'STINGERS AND CROCS' IN THE AREA. WE SAW CROC TRACKS IN THE SAND NOT 5 METERS FROM THE NETTED SWIM AREA ON THE BEACH! REALITY OF FNQ!

Popular places to visit in Clifton Beach


Top Clifton Beach Hotel & Accommodation Deals

Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Imagine Drift Palm Cove
4 out of 5
Cnr Veivers Rd Williams Esp, Palm Cove, QLD, 4879
The price is AU$289 per night from 29 Aug. to 30 Aug.
Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Argosy On The Beach
Argosy On The Beach
4 out of 5
119 Arlington Esplanade, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Argosy On The Beach
Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
3.5 out of 5
69-73 Arlington Esplanade Clifton Beach, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
3.5 out of 5
81-87 Guide Street, (Entrance on Clifton Road), Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Clifton Sands Holiday Apartments
Oceanfront Breeze with Beach Views 5
Oceanfront Breeze with Beach Views 5
4 out of 5
75 Arlington Esplanade, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
The price is AU$608 per night from 28 Aug. to 29 Aug.
Oceanfront Breeze with Beach Views 5
Villa Beach Palm Cove
Villa Beach Palm Cove
3.5 out of 5
85-87 Upolu Esplanade, Clifton Beach, QLD, 4879
Villa Beach Palm Cove
Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa
Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa
5 out of 5
5 Triton Street, Palm Cove, QLD, 4879
The price is AU$369 per night from 29 Aug. to 30 Aug.
Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa
Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
3.5 out of 5
81 - 85 Cedar Road, Palm Cove, QLD, 4878
The price is AU$298 per night from 11 Aug. to 12 Aug.
Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
Apartment 316 at Sea Temple Palm Cove
Apartment 316 at Sea Temple Palm Cove
3.5 out of 5
316/5 Triton Street, Palm Cove, QLD, 4879
Apartment 316 at Sea Temple Palm Cove
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.