A palm-fringed enclave of seaside eateries, luxury hotels and pods of dolphins? Behold the ultimate summer town, coming in at no. 26 on your list of Top 50 Aussie Towns.
Find the complete list of the Top 50 Aussie Towns here.
How does one articulate what makes Palm Cove, an exclusive beachside village located at the halfway point between Cairns and Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland, such a perfect holiday destination?
You go to your British mother-in-law, of course. “There’s no place better that perfectly encapsulates what Australian summer is all about,” the Palm Cove obsessive says, pointing out the barefoot diners sharing fish and chips with seagulls, pre-schoolers kayaking with dolphins and shirtless heroes doing push-ups under swaying palm trees.
Look for osprey from the Palm Cove Jetty. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
True, but as you walk along the esplanade framed with 500-year-old melaleuca trees and what almost feels like a blizzard of butterflies, there’s something else: a warming glow of how summer holidays used to feel when you were a little kid. Happily, there’s plenty more going on in Palm Cove than a corner store that does a mean milkshake.
Stroll along the pretty palm-lined foreshore. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
When the team at hatted Nu Nu Restaurant aren’t collecting accolades, they’re busy serving up the likes of wok-fried mud crab with chilli jam and sweet pork at their beachfront haven billed as ‘barefoot luxury’.
Get in early to make a booking. And don’t miss a meal at Vivo, which not only enjoys a beachfront setting in a building reminiscent of a classic Queenslander, but serves up a varied international menu with a strong seafood focus.
For something a little more casual, you can’t go past the super-popular La Mesa, an open-air venue at Peppers Beach Club & Spa that shines a light on Latin American flavours.
Dine on the beachfront at Nu Nu Restaurant. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Romance is the order of the day at The Reef House, an adults-only boutique retreat offering everything from private dining experiences on the beach to couple’s massages. The iconic 1958 property overlooking the Coral Sea walks the line between colonial charm and relaxed beach house, offering guests a range of accommodation options from well-appointed studios to the spectacular four-bedroom villa spa apartment.
Three swimming pools (complete with butler service), an on-site day spa and a host of signature activities complete the experience. Travelling with kids? Alamanda Palm Cove by Lancemore, Palm Cove’s only property on absolute beachfront, not only serves up three pools, a day spa and a restaurant, it will even provide toys, strollers and anything else you could need for the perfect family-friendly holiday.
Hunker down at The Reef House. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)
Much of the action at Palm Cove revolves around scenic Palm Cove Beach and its myriad water sports, which can include anything from kayaking and kiteboarding to paddlewheel bikes and jetskiing.
Book a Kayak Turtle Tour with Pacific Watersports and paddle over to nearby Double Island to view your new reptile mates, or lock in a two-hour cycle adventure along the shoreline to Kewarra Beach. Don’t worry; locking in a handful of treatments at Palm Cove Retreat Day Spa will leave you ready to face travel to nearby Cairns, Kuranda and Port Douglas.
The cove is framed by palm trees. (Image: Tourism and Events Queensland)