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 colorful 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.

Known for

Beaches, Family-friendly and Romantic

Top hotels in Palm Cove

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Imagine Drift Palm Cove
4 out of 5
Cnr Veivers Rd Williams Esp, Palm Cove, QLD
AU$189/night
25 Aug. - 26 Aug.
4.3/5Excellent! (354 reviews)

Located in Palm Cove, this beachfront apartment building is in the entertainment district, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Palm Cove Beach, and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Clifton ...

4.3/5Excellent! (354 reviews)

"Great location. The pool and spa where very nice as well"…"

Reviewed on 18 Aug. 2019

Imagine Drift Palm Cove
Image for Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
3.5 out of 5
81 - 85 Cedar Road, Palm Cove, QLD
AU$140/night
21 Aug. - 22 Aug.
4/5Very Good! (518 reviews)

Situated by the ocean, this spa aparthotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Palm Cove Beach and 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Clifton Beach. Clifton Village Shopping Centre and ...

4/5Very Good! (518 reviews)

"Location was great a couple of blocks back from the beachfront which meant less wind and was more sheltered."…"

Reviewed on 25 Jul. 2019

Mango Lagoon Resort & Wellness Spa
Image for Hotel Grand Chancellor Palm Cove
Hotel Grand Chancellor Palm Cove
4 out of 5
Coral Coast Drive, Palm Cove, QLD
AU$119/night
24 Aug. - 25 Aug.
4.1/5Very Good! (646 reviews)

This family-friendly Palm Cove hotel is located by the ocean, within 2 mi (3 km) of Palm Cove Beach and Clifton Beach. Clifton Village Shopping Centre and Kewarra ...

4.1/5Very Good! (646 reviews)

"Was affordable and well located near beach and Palm Cove Village."…"

Reviewed on 20 Jul. 2019

Hotel Grand Chancellor Palm Cove

Popular activities in Palm Cove

Palm Cove Beach
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Palm Cove Beach

Located in between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, this palm tree-lined beach is an idyllic spot to take it easy or begin an adventure.

Great Barrier Reef
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Photo provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

Great Barrier Reef

The largest coral reef in the world lies just off the coast of Cairns and offers thousands of kilometres of coral, marine life and untouched white sand beaches.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
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Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

Soar above the treetops of the rain forest, gorges and mountains of North Queensland in a glass-enclosed cable car.

Cairns Esplanade
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Photo provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

Cairns Esplanade

Stroll along the boardwalk surrounded by palms tree and landscaped gardens and watch the sun set over the Coral Sea.

Cairns Marlin Marina
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Cairns Marlin Marina

Enjoy views of the harbour and and unwind with al-fresco dining, entertainment and shopping beside the bay.

Clifton Beach
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Photo provided by Tourism and Events Queensland

Clifton Beach

This quiet beach north of Cairns offers long stretches of white sand and clear water.

Top activities in Palm Cove

Small Group Premium Daintree & Cape Tribulation Day Tour
Image for Small Group Premium Daintree & Cape Tribulation Day Tour

Small Group Premium Daintree & Cape Tribulation Day Tour

AU$229

Indulge in an unforgettable full-day premium small group tour of the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. Soak up the breathtaking scenery and immerse yourself in the ecological history of the region as you cruise Captain Cook Highway, with stops for an electric boat ride and a stroll along the beach.

Great Adventures Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure
Image for Great Adventures Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Great Adventures Green Island & Great Barrier Reef Adventure

AU$167

One of the 7 natural wonders of the world—the Great Barrier Reef definitely demands a deeper day-long immersion (or submersion). This exciting full day tour will take you to experience two very different reef environments; combining a 2 hour visit to a 6000 year old coral cay and 3 hours to experience the wonderful marine diversity of the Outer Reef.

Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef Agincourt Reef Cruise
Image for Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef Agincourt Reef Cruise

Quicksilver Great Barrier Reef Agincourt Reef Cruise

AU$258

Cut through the waves aboard a high-speed catamaran as you cruise to the Outer Great Barrier Reef. Land at the permanently moored and spacious platform at the renowned Agincourt Reef where you can explore clear outer reef waters teeming with marine life by snorkeling and diving, or staying dry in the semi-submarine and underwater observatory.

Daintree Rainforest with Aboriginal Coastal Walk
Image for Daintree Rainforest with Aboriginal Coastal Walk

Daintree Rainforest with Aboriginal Coastal Walk

AU$259

Immerse yourself in a day of discovery and explore a culture steeped in heritage and tradition. Daintree, known as the oldest living rainforest on the planet, is home to the Kuku Yalanji people. Walk along the coast and the mangroves before journeying to the incredible Mossman Gorge.

Brett's Outback Tasting Adventures-Cairns and Northern Beach
Image for Brett's Outback Tasting Adventures-Cairns and Northern Beach

Brett's Outback Tasting Adventures-Cairns and Northern Beach

AU$205

Brett’s Outback Tasting Adventures is a delicious and fantastic Gourmet Food and Wine tasting tour showcasing the spectacular Atherton Tablelands. A Foodie tour from Cairns you will thoroughly enjoy and remember.

Daintree Dreamtime Ngadiku Day Tour
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Daintree Dreamtime Ngadiku Day Tour

AU$337

An exclusive and spectacular cultural journey from coast to Rainforest to experience natural beauty and ancient culture. Walk in the steps of the ancestors… Cooya Beach (Kuyu Kuyu), the traditional fishing ground of the Kuku Yalanji people has three diverse ecosystems, beach, mangrove and coastal reef, connected by the ever-changing mudflats and tidal lagoons.