Palm Cove

Top Things To Do in Palm Cove In 2024

Are you planning to visit Palm Cove Queensland on your next staycation? You have chosen one of the top destinations in Queensland, Australia. You will be spoilt for choice with so many things to do in Palm Cove.

Located along the stunning coastline of Far North Queensland, Palm Cove is a tropical paradise that offers visitors a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Nestled between the Great Barrier Reef and the lush rainforests of the Daintree National Park, this charming seaside village boasts pristine palm-fringed beaches and crystal-clear waters teeming with colourful marine life.

With an abundance of outdoor activities, luxurious resorts, and delectable dining options, Palm Cove is the ultimate destination for those seeking an idyllic getaway in Queensland. Whether you want to soak up the sun on the beach, explore nature trails, indulge in spa treatments or embark on thrilling water sports adventures, there are countless things to do in this enchanting coastal town that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

We love Palm Cove in far north Queensland and we know you will too! An idyllic tropical paradise suitable for that short getaway or a longer staycation in Australia. From its silky sand beach to its delicious food, chilled vibes, and large range of accommodations, there are many good reasons to visit Palm Cove. A haven of spas, tours, cruises and boutique shopping, there is something for everyone!

Check out this unique Airbnb Palm Cove luxury 3-bedroom villa with pool here.

We share with you our best things to do in Palm Cove on your next tropical getaway. Palm Cove is a great destination for family travel, couples, friends getaways and solo travellers.

Palm Cove is easily accessible from Cairns Airport, being just a short 25-minute drive. Further north is Port Douglas which can be reached in just 40 minutes. Cairns is easily reached from Brisbane, the flight time is 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Travel Tip: We would recommend booking well in advance for car rentals. We have rented a few cars from different companies and they vary in price and in availability. Popular holiday times such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays you will find cars are booked well in advance. We have found Rentalcars to be competitive in pricing but you still need to book in advance. You can save money by paying upfront for car rental.

Whether you are searching for a romantic break, travelling as a couple, or with friends or family, Palm Cove offers so much on your next vacation.

Palm Cove’s iconic photograph – the palm trees on Williams Esplanade

If you love spending time on the beach, Palm Cove Beach, is the place for you and if you are a pool lover some of the best swimming pools can be found in the beautiful Palm Cove resorts e.g. Mantra Amphora located opposite the beach where we have stayed several times.

Good to know: During Summer which covers the months from November to March we recommend that you swim inside the marked enclosures on Palm Cove Beach due to jellyfish.

Also, there are chances of crocodile attacks during the breeding season from September to April. There are signs along the beachfront concerning the crocodiles.

You will find everything you need to know in our article:

  • Best selling tours
  • Where to eat in Palm Cove – Palm Cove Restaurants and Cafes (regularly updated with latest finds)
  • Trinity Beach
  • Palm Cove Golf
  • Palm Cove Car Rentals
  • How to get to Palm Cove
  • Weather in Palm Cove

If you have any questions on Palm Cove or other staycation destinations around Australia, you can join our Staycation Australia Facebook Group here.

Palm Cove Attractions: Top best-seller tours

Fun things to do in Palm Cove:

Enjoy a Cairns Hot Air Balloon Flight

Get up, up and away over the amazing tropical landscape of far north QLD with this unforgettable Cairns hot air ballooning adventure that has to be experienced to be truly appreciated. With rainforest in one direction and stunning blue reef in the other, this top-selling Cairns hot air balloon ride includes a minimum of a 40-minute flight as well as return accommodation transfers.

The excitement of a hot air balloon flight over Cairns – image credit Experience Oz

Have you always wanted to visit Green Island and wondering what it is like to take a day trip to the Island? You can read our review here.

Fitzroy Island Full-Day Trip

For the quickest and most effective way to get to the beautiful, unspoiled Fitzroy Island, this option includes ferry transfers from Cairns that is not only an efficient way to get “from A to B” but makes for a spectacular tour in itself!

Heading out from the Cairns Marina, you’ll board a comfortable vessel and cruise out across the pristine reef waters towards the wonderful shores of Fitzroy Island on a journey that takes roughly 45 minutes.

Once on Fitzroy Island, you’ll have five hours to explore its many stunning natural offerings, taking part in a range of activities on both land and water including snorkelling, glass-bottom boat tours, kayaking, island adventures and much more.

Fitzroy Island – image credit Experience Oz

Great Barrier Reef Sailing Cruise

Check-in for your cruise at 7.15 from the Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal. During your day adventure, you will visit 2 outer reef locations on your brand-new catamaran. You can scuba dive, snorkel or just relax and soak up the sunshine. Morning and afternoon tea is included plus a tropical hot and cold buffet lunch.

Great Barrier Reef Cruise – image credit Experience Oz

Self Drive Kuranda Tour including Scenic Railway and Skyrail

Travel at a leisurely pace on your self-drive Kuranda Tour. Explore the village of Kuranda and enjoy spectacular views over the rainforests and waterfalls. Included are discounted entry to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens and Birdworld.

Scenic Railway – image credit Experience Oz

Drive yourself to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Hop on the Scenic Railway for your visit to Kuranda where you can explore the village at your own pace. Return on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway to collect your car. If you need to rent a car whilst you are in Palm Cove check the latest rates here.

Don’t have a car to visit Kuranda – why not book a tour that picks up in Palm Cove and includes the Kuranda Skyrail and Scenic Railways – for more information click here

Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest 4WD Day Tour

Join us for a day exploring the rainforest and amazing landscapes of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation wilderness area by a purpose-built 4WD vehicle. Your informative and knowledgeable driver/guide will collect you from your accommodation and travel along one of Australia’s great scenic highways to explore the Daintree and Cape Tribulation areas.

Visit National Parks and Cape Tribulation Beach, cruise on the Daintree River and visit Mossman Gorge. Lunch is included in an idyllic rainforest setting.

Alexander Range – image credit Experience Oz

Hartleys Crocodile Adventures

One of Palm Cove’s most popular tours is Hartleys Crocodile Adventures.

Take a cruise on Hartley’s Lagoon to see the wildlife. This is the best place to see crocodiles in Far North Queensland. Hartley’s Crocodiles Adventure is located in Palm Cove. Enjoy the Cassowary Walk and the Wildlife Discovery Trail and enjoy wildlife presentations.

While crocodiles are in the name, there’s a host of other wildlife on offer as well, including such favourites as cuddly koalas and slithery snakes. Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is both entertaining and educational – so don’t miss the chance to visit when you’re in tropical North QLD; grab a ticket online today.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures – image credit Experience Oz

From Cairns: Atherton Tablelands Food and Wine Tasting Tour

Embark upon a food and wine-tasting adventure that showcases the spectacular produce and landscapes of the Atherton Tablelands on a foodie tour from Cairns. Sample locally produced coffees and wines along with homemade cheeses, jams and much more.

Top Things To Do in Palm Cove For Kids

Palm Cove is a top destination for families. If you are wondering what to do in Palm Cove with your kids here is our top 10 list for you:

  1. Visit Palm Cove Beach for swimming (remember between November to May there are stingers and possible crocodiles in the vicinity) – other times of the year it is the perfect place to enjoy the beach. During summer there is life-saving patrols halfway down the beach and they offer an enclosed area for swimming away from the stingers
  2. Cycle Williams Esplanade – along its bike and walking track. The beach reaches from the Palm Cove Jetty to Clifton Beach
  3. The kids will love the Palm Cove Playground which is located on the beachfront on the Esplanade
  4. Fish off the Palm Cove jetty
  5. Visit Palm Cove markets on the first Sunday of the month for live entertainment and activities for the kids
  6. Visit Hartleys Crocodile Adventures
  7. Have breakfast with the koalas at Hartleys Crocodile Adventures
  8. Enjoy gelato and icecreams from Scoops Gelatiland and Numi
  9. Enjoy a picnic on the beach – pick up fish & chips from Lucky Fish at Shop 18, 111 – 117 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove
  10. Eat at Palm Cove Tavern where there is indoor entertainment which includes computer games and play equipment for kids under 12 and 120cm high

Visit Trinity Beach

9.3 km from Palm Cove is Trinity Beach perfect for a visit. Walk along the beach towards the south end and head to the point for great views over Trinity Beach. Trinity Beach has more of a local feel and is not as touristy as Palm Cove.

View over Trinity Beach
Views over Trinity Beach for the point lookout

Enjoy lunch or dinner at the Trinity Beach Tavern with views over the Coral Sea from the upstairs deck.

We had lunch at Trinity Beach Tavern overlooking the beach. Great service and an excellent tavern menu and drinks that were all reasonably priced as well.

Trinity Beach Tavern
Trinity Beach Tavern

Good to know: There are bus services from Palm Cove but you have to change buses along the way. We opted for an Uber each way around $25

Palm Cove Golf

Are you looking to play a round of golf or two on your next staycation in Palm Cove? Check out the list of available golf courses below:

Half Moon Bay Golf Club — 18 holes located at 66 Wattle St, Yorkeys Knob.

Telephone: (07) 4055 7933

Oceans Edge Health Club – 9 holes located at Coral Coast Dr, Palm Cove

Telephone: (07) 4059 1117

Palm Cove Restaurants

Palm Cove is not short of high-end quality restaurants, cafes and bars. We have listed the best restaurants in Palm Cove where we have dined recently.

Nu Nu Palm Cove

The award-winning Good Food ‘hatted’ beachfront Nu Nu Restaurant at 1 Veivers Road in Palm Cove is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving the best of modern Australian cuisine.

Palm Cove NuNu Restaurant
Nu Nu Restaurant

Good to know: Reservations for dinner should be made in advance.

Such a great spot for breakfast and lunch. We recommend you do visit Nu Nu and if you can’t get in for dinner try breakfast and lunch. The setting is unique, close the Palm Cove’s instagrammable row of palm trees, that you will see in advertising material all over the world showcasing Palm Cove.

Telephone:  (07) 4059 1880

Vivo Palm Cove

Dining in a beautiful Queensland colonial building overlooking the Coral Sea at 49 Williams Esplanade. Vivo is open from 06.30 am to 9.00 pm for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Modern Australian dining at its best with vegetarian and vegan options available.

Vivo Palm Cove
Vivo Restaurant

Good to know: Dinner reservations need to be made in advance, we enjoyed dinner on the Verandah with great sunset views. If you can make a table reservation for the Verandah you will be in for a treat.

Telephone: (07) 4059 0944

Chill at Portofino Restaurant

Chill at Portofino Palm Cove
All-day dining at Chill at Portofino

Chill at Portofino is popular all times of the day. It is exactly as the name applies, you can really chill out here, enjoy your meals, coffee and people watch.

We enjoyed daily breakfasts and dinner throughout our stay here. Their daily menu consists of fish, meat, pasta, pizzas, desserts, coffees and their award-winning smoothies, cocktails and fruit juices.

Address: 3/41 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove

Telephone:  0439 361 122

El Greko Palm Cove

El Greko Restaurant Palm Cove
El Greko Restaurant Palm Cove

We are huge fans of Greek cuisine and El Greko certainly did not disappoint with the quality of the food and a great Greek menu. The service was excellent and the tropical Grecian setting took us back to the times we have spent in Santorini and Mykonos.

Good to know: Reservations need to be made in advance Telephone: +61 7 4055 3703

Address: Shop 14, Palm Cove Shopping Village, 115-117 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove

Lucky Fish

Lucky Fish Restaurant
Lucky Fish Restaurant

The best fish & chips in Palm Cove, we can highly recommend them. You can either dine-in, take away or have a picnic across the road. We have eaten here many times and always have had the best service and the best dishes.

Address: Shop 18/111-117 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove Telephone: +61 7 4231 9622

Choc Dee Thai Restaurant

Choc Dee Thai Restaurant Palm Cove
Choc Dee Thai Restaurant Palm Cove

For a beautiful Asian decor setting and the best Thai food in Palm Cove head to Choc Dee. You will also need to book in advance for this popular restaurant that offers takeaway as well as dining in.

Address: 12/123 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove. Telephone: +61 7 4059 2533

O’Donnell Irish Bar & Grill

O'Donnells Irish Pub Palm Cove
O’Donnell’s Irish Pub Palm Cove

For an afternoon sundowner with views over the ocean head to O’Donnell’s. They offer some great pub food and it is very popular with locals and visitors.

Address: 139 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove. Telephone: +61 7 4055 3009

Palm Cove Cafes

There are many cafes in Palm Cove to choose from. Here are some of our favourites:

The best coffee can be found at Espresso & Co Cafe at 115/117 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove.

If you are craving for burgers, steaks or pizza try Rattle n’ Hum Bar and Grill at 119 Williams Esplanade Palm Cove. They have live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Rattle n Hum Palm Cove
Rattle n Hum for steaks, pizzas and more

Palm Cove Car Rentals

There is so much to see and do in and around Palm Cove from visiting Cairns to Port Douglas and the Tablelands. Renting a car will give you flexibility and a way to visit all the beaches along the coast.

Frequently Asked Questions for Visiting Palm Cove

What are the travelling distances around Palm Cove?

Palm Cove to Cairns – 25.4 km and an average driving time of 29 minutes

Cairns Airport to Palm Cove – 24.8 km with an average driving time of 27 minutes

Palm Cove to Port Douglas – 42.3 km with an average driving time of 38 minutes

Palm Cove to Trinity Beach – 9.3 km with an average driving time of 10 minutes

Are there Supermarkets in Palm Cove?

Palm Cove Deli is located in the Palm Cove Shopping Village at 115/117 Williams Esplanade.

Palm Cove Coles is located on Endeavour Road at Clifton Beach.

Pete’s Place offers a small grocery section as well as takeaway food. Address: 73 Williams Esplanade

What is the closest airport to Palm Cove?

Cairns is the closest airport. It is located 24.8 km from Palm Cove with an average driving time of 25 minutes.

Palm Cove Weather

Palm Cove Average Monthly Maximum & Minimum Temperatures

Av Max C303029282625242526282930
Av Min C232322211917161718202222

Palm Cove Average Monthly Rainfall & Humidity

Rainfall in mm40543542419799493027353889175
Humidity %767978757574727067686970

When is the best time to visit Palm Cove?

Summer in Palm Cove is the wet season with high temperatures reaching around 32 – 34 degrees.

Wintertime daytime temperatures are in the low 20s and at night can drop down to around 17 degrees.

The best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef is between October and December.

Getting To Palm Cove

Palm Cove Australia is in Far North Queensland. The main airport is Cairns which is an international airport as well as a domestic airport.

There are flights to Cairns from all over Australia. Some examples of flight times are:

Flights to Cairns from Brisbane take 2 hours 15 minutes

Flights from Gold Coast to Cairns – 2 hours 15 minutes

Flights from Perth to Cairns – approx 8 hours with one-stop in either Melbourne, Sydney Brisbane or Darwin

Flights from Sydney to Cairns – 2 hours 55 minutes

Flights from Melbourne to Cairns – 3 hours 25 minutes

Flights from Adelaide to Cairns – 3 hours 10 minutes

Flights from Hobart to Cairns – 1 stop approx 5 hours 45 minutes

Flights from Darwin to Cairns – 2 hours 30 minutes

Palm Cove Australia Flights – Cheap Flight Deals to Cairns

Shared Bus Transfers from Cairns Airport

Take the worry out of your airport transfers in North Queensland. Be greeted by friendly staff and take a shuttle bus between the airport and Cairns City, Port Douglas, or Palm Cove.


Palm Cove Queensland is a tropical destination that will suit all families, solo travellers and couples. It really is a unique place to visit in Queensland and is one of Queensland’s most famous beach areas.

With beautiful views over the Coral Sea, excellent dining options and one of the best locations in Far North Queensland to experience the major attractions no doubt you will return year after year to Palm Cove.

As you can see there are lots of Palm Cove tourist attractions to enjoy. We would love to hear from you if you have visited Palm Cove.

We have created a Staycation Australia Facebook Group to help travellers on planning their staycations in Australia. You can post any questions you may have to the group!

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More Staycation Australia Ideas:

Queensland Travel Guide

Queensland Accommodation Guide

A – Z of Australian Bucket List Experiences

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