Palm Cove, Cairns region, Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Guide to Palm Cove

Peppers Beach Club & Spa, Palm Cove, Cairns region, Great Barrier Reef, QLD © Hamilton Lund Photographer

Indulge in a spa treatment

Palm Cove has so many day spas and wellness retreats that its main street has been affectionately nicknamed "Spa Street". Peppers Day Spa, linked to the popular resort of the same name, is an award-winning sanctum where all treatments begin with an ancient foot ritual and an Aboriginal smoking ceremony. Palm Cove Retreat Day Spa at the Mantra Amphora resort, specialises in Elemis body wraps, massage, anti-ageing facials, exotic body treatments, manicures and pedicures. Also check out the award-winning Reef House and the Alamanda Resort & Spa, a beachfront sanctuary with open-air treatment rooms and a private plunge pool.

Nu Nu restaurant, Palm Cove, QLD © Tourism Australia

Enjoy Palm Cove's best restaurants

In keeping with the area's other indulgent pursuits, Palm Cove is dotted with several upmarket eateries. Beachfront restaurant Nu Nu is the area's culinary standout, with a local seafood menu that has earned it the title of Australia's best regional restaurant. Nearby, dine on fresh juices and bountiful salads on the outdoor deck at locally favoured hotspot Vivo – don't miss the chilli caramel breakfast panna cotta. Or head to The Rising Sun for a sunset cocktail and casual dinner.

Scenic Railway, Kuranda, QLD © Tourism Australia

Visit a village in the rainforest

Kuranda is located high in the hills above Cairns. From Palm Cove, it's a 30-minute drive to the Kuranda Scenic Railway (if you don't have a car, tour operators will arrange pick-ups from Palm Cove) and from there you'll board a charming train that will weave you through the rainforest with a stop at the village of Kuranda. There is plenty to do here – visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the largest butterfly flight aviary in the southern hemisphere – and don't miss the Kuranda Heritage Market, open every day with stalls offering a wide range of locally-produced souvenirs. Marvel at the lush forest from above with a Skyrail cablecar journey. Catch the train back down and enjoy views of the gorgeous landscape along the way.

Double Island, Ellis Beach, QLD © James Vodicka

Kayak to pretty Double Island

The exclusive Double Island, located directly in front of the beach at Palm Cove, is a favoured retreat for Hollywood names such as Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and Keanu Reeves, but you, too, can day-trip there in a kayak and enjoy a morning or afternoon of snorkelling, beachcombing and picnicking for a fraction of the accommodation price. Kayaking to Double Island is an experience favoured by locals so there are a few tour operators to choose from, such as the family-owned Pacific Watersports and Palm Cove Watersports. Look out for blue spotted lagoon rays, mangrove rays, eagle rays, shovel nose sharks and an assortment of fish and crabs. 

Reef Feast, Palm Cove, QLD © Posh Photography

Head to Reef Feast

The annual Reef Feast festival, which takes place in October, is one of Far North Queensland’s premier community events. It's a celebration of the region's cuisine, produce, live music, culture and lifestyle. Sit down for beachfront dining experiences, where you'll indulge in some of the freshest seafood you can imagine.

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