Hemingway’s Brewery, Port Douglas, Queensland © Hemingway’s Brewery
6 best waterfront bars in Cairns and Port Douglas
Drink in the paradise of the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region.
By Sophia Watson
If you're someone that likes to take in the beauty of a tropical paradise from a beachfront bar, Cairns and Port Douglas offer more than their share of stunning venues where you can do just that. Wind down after a big day of exploring the region with a cold drink, delicious food and a vista that will make you want to linger long after the sun has set.
Where: Cairns Wharf, Cairns and Wharf Street, Port Douglas
With two locations in Cairns and Port Douglas, Hemingway’s Brewery is all about bringing artisanal and authentic craft beer culture to the tropical north. The two waterfront brewpubs showcase the local provenance in vibrant settings, giving locals and visitors a chance to experience the iconic regional seaside. With a luxe boathouse vibe, you’ll enjoy a selection of microbrews alongside some tempting local produce.
Rocco Rooftop Bar
Where: The Esplanade, Cairns
With 270-degree panoramic views of Cairns and the Coral Sea, Rocco is the city’s highest rooftop bar and restaurant. Capturing the sights of Cairns with influences from afar, Rocco is a proud reflection of Mediterranean history mingled with a contemporary take on cuisine. You can expect an inspired drinks menu with sophisticated sweet and savoury cocktails and a stellar Champagne menu. Earthy tones and Mediterranean prints set the scene as you lose yourself in the oasis of greenery and sweeping views. You won’t leave disappointed.
Barbados Port Douglas
Where: The Reef Marina, Port Douglas
Barbados Port Douglas is a comfortable and stylish cocktail bar
at Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina. With views over the Coral Sea, Mossman Ranges and Daintree National Park, it's the perfect place to sit back, relax on one of the plush day beds and watch the sunset. As the name suggests, you'll find a cocktail list with Caribbean influences, including a large selection of rum. Order a share board or bar snacks to accompany your cocktail and soak up the tropical vibes at this little oasis.
The Pier Bar
Where: Pier Point Road, Cairns
A Cairns institution, The Pier Bar is known for their delicious woodfired pizzas, chilled Sunday afternoons and big parties. With an amazing location perched on the glittering Cairns waterfront, it's the ultimate spot to catch up with friends and have a relaxed drink on the deck. In addition to great food and drinks, you can enjoy the live music, weekly DJ sets and a variety of fun events.
Where: Marina Point, Cairns
Grab a cold drink and head onto the sprawling lawns or cosy up on one of the beautiful daybeds at Salt House. This spot is well-known for it's casual fine dining, pizza and tapas, and the Salt House seafood sharing board is a must try. Weekends feature live music and there are regular events hosted among the venue's flowing ponds and cosy fire features.
Oak & Vine
Where: 59 – 63 Cairns, Esplanade, Cairns
A spectacular spot for everything from a picture-perfect morning coffee to a nightcap above the glistening Cairns Esplanade and Coral Sea, Oak & Vine (while not exactly waterfront) has one of the best views in Cairns. Diners will love the menu, which features Peruvian-inspired dishes made with Japanese techniques. As the day turns to evening, the terrace comes alive as bartenders serve up signature cocktails alongside fine wines, craft beers and a range of artisan gins.