Cairns to Palm Cove

Old Feb 27th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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Cairns to Palm Cove

I was planning to have 3 days in and around Cairns and was wondering if there was convenient and not too time consuming transportation for a day trip to Palm Cove. I did not realize that Cairns did not really have any good beaches. Can I also go on the GBR tours for snorkeling from Palm Cove? Thanks for any help!

Lillian
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Hello Lillian,

Palm Cove is 25 minutes north of Cairns, and it's connected with Cairns by a bus that runs every half hour.

As I understand it, Palm Cove is one of several small communities that collectively are referred to as the "Northern Beaches." That is, while they stretch out along a strip of coastline that is over 20 km long, they virtually are considered to be suburbs of Cairns. Another "Northern Beach" community whose name I recognise is Kewarra Beach.

Palm Cove has a loyal following here at Fodors. That is, there are posters who wouldn't think of staying anywhere but in PC while they're in Far North Queensland.

Another popular town that is an additional 35 minutes beyond PC (so about 1 hr from Cairns) is Port Douglas. PD is bigger than PC, but still has a population of only about 5,000. (This compares with the 150,000 residents of Cairns.) I've stayed in PD. It has a beautiful beach called Four Mile Beach.

All 3 of these towns are served by companies that operate day tours to the GBR, the Daintree Rainforest and Kuranda. So it's entirely feasible to be based in any one of the 3 towns.

I will say, though, that if you undertake the most popular activities in the area (GBR, Daintree Forest, Kuranda), that pretty much will use up 3 days, and you won't have much time for the beach. The only time you might have to spend on the beach probably would be the latter part of the afternoon of the day on which you flew into the area.

Because the day tours pick folks up from their accommodations, having a rental car in this area is optional.

If you choose to visit FNQ without a rental car, be sure to reserve shuttle buses to take you from the airport to your accommodation and back again.

Although PD is a small town, is stretches out over quite a large area. If you choose to base yourself there without a car, it's helpful to stay in accommodation that is within walking distance of the main street, Macrossan Street.

If you want to sacrifice a day tour in favour of a beach day, I recommend sacrificing Kuranda. The GBR and the Daintree Forest are the two sight seeing priorities, IMO.
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 10:03 PM
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Palm Cove is a delightful little village with a good beach and good choice of accommodation. It is about 25 minutes north of Cairns and is serviced by public transport. You will need to check it out but the boat trips to GBR used to stop at Palm Cove pier to pick up passengers.
Cairns council have built a big lagoon on the esplanade in Cairns - very pleasant and surrounded by lawns. It's not a beach but pretty good.
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Old Feb 27th, 2005, 11:09 PM
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Can't speak about PC, but we went to Cairns (stayed at Holloways, another little beachside bedroom community an easy bus ride from C) and then PD. I just keep telling my wife that I want to go back to PD. It is small enough, cute, great and varied choices for restaurants, easiest boats to the GBR. Le Cher du Monde hotel was our choice and we loved it.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 01:38 AM
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If you haven't already made a reservation, I would suggest staying in Palm Cove instead of Cairns. The beach there is great, and the tours pick you up at your hotel. I would go to Cairns at least one night. It's an easy bus ride from Palm Cove.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 02:51 AM
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Northern beaches of Cairns basically extend in this order north from the city: Machan's, Holloways, Yorkey's, Kewarra, Trinity, Clifton and Palm Cove. Palm Cove is Cairns' premier beach suburb - it is more compact than Port Douglas but also offers some great accommodation and restaurants - its also a very pretty place with its magnificent old melaleuca trees and attractive resorts along its foreshore. There is no way it can be compared with Holloways's, which is still basically residential, with one resort and a few B&B's which will offer friendly, local, hospitality at a fraction of the price of either PC or PD.
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Old Feb 28th, 2005, 03:28 AM
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Sorry.
My reply to lil247 came out under my husband's nickname (SgtPepper)- It should have been under my own name pat_woolford.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 02:17 AM
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Your choice of Palm Cove is excellent, a fabulously beautiful place with great accomodation.
We stayed there a few years ago and found the normal public bus to be good value and didn't take long to get to Cairns, as Judy says busses run every half hour.
eat at the life guards club on the front for a great time, mix with the locals and have great food and beer.

enjoy

Muck
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 07:39 AM
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Plans have changed a bit and now we have 4 nights to spend in the Cairns area from 24-28 April. What are some nice beachfront hotels in the Palm Cove area? I was looking at the Melaleuca Resort. Any feedback on that or other places? Looking to spend up to $180 a night for the first 2 nights. How is the Kewarra Beach Resort? That is a choice as well. The next 2 nights, we were thinking about spending in Cairns proper. Any suggestions for cheaper accomodations there in a good central location? Looking to spend around $80 a night there. Anyone ever stay at the Tropical Queenslander or the Cairns Queenlander Apts? Open to other suggestions as well. Thanks for your help!

Lillian
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Hi Lillian,
We stayed away from the front at the Oasis which was beautiful and almost new when we were there. But there are plenty of even newer fabulous places right on the beach front.
Have a look at this site, its pretty much all you need to know about PC.
Enjoy
Muck
http://www.palmcove.net/
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