Near the city there are some great beaches. The beaches near Cairns are in close proximity to North Queensland’s tropical rainforest.
Cairns Northern Beaches are about 26 kilometres long. Some beaches like Ellis Beach are secluded while some like Machans and Holloways are residential.
The beach closest to the city is Machans Beach. At the Machans Beach there are some cafés and restaurants as well as holiday rental houses. To stay at a holiday house it is advised to book in advance.
Holloways Beach has a shopping centre, cafés, restaurants and a popular bar. Bed and breakfast accommodation and holiday homes are also available to visitors. As with accommodation at Machans Beach advanced booking is advised.
Yorkeys Knob Beach has a golf course, marina and a boating club. There is a range of accommodation close to the beach. Trinity Beach has a range of holiday apartments near the beach. There is also a hotel, sporting facilities and restaurants. Public transport to the city can be accessed.
For tourists wanting to have a slower pace there is the Kewarra Beach. Kewarra is a residential area. There is a shopping centre with buses to the city and to other beaches. Visitors can stay at the resort. Clifton Beach is also a residential area. This beach has apartments and numerous restaurants. Situated between the two beaches is the Paradise Country Club and Golf Course. This place has a clubhouse and swimming pool.
The resort beach of Palm Cove is one of Cairns’s main tourist destinations. Palm Cove Beach is home to five-star resorts and a golf course. This beach also has many spas. The numerous beachfront resorts have their own spas. The village’s esplanade has boutique shops and popular restaurants. Reef trips can also be taken from the Palm Cove jetty.
North of Palm Cove is Ellis Beach. Ellis’s sandy beach is very popular. Accommodation is limited. However there are beach cabins, camping and caravan sites. Buchans Point is at the southern end of the beach. At Buchans Point clothing is optional (unofficial). Warning, despite being a nude beach nude sunbathing is illegal in Queensland.
Port Douglas’s Four Mile Beach has a long stretch of sand. At this beach there is the Sheraton Mirage Resort and its golf course. The village has many popular hotels and resorts.
To the south of Cairns the beaches are more secluded and laid-back. Many people come to these beaches to enjoy solitude.
Bramston Beach is a small residential area. Attractions close by are Eubenangee Swamp National Park; Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland’s highest mountain; Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls. To get accommodation it is better to book early. Ella Bay is along the Johnstone River. It is part of Ella Bay National Park. At high tide the beach is under water. However at low tide Ella Bay’s beach is a pleasure to walk on. Flying Fish Point has a beach village at the end of Johnstone River. It is a good place for estuary fishing. There are various accommodation options. Accommodation consists mostly of holiday homes and a caravan park.
Mission Beach is secluded but there is a variety of accommodation and restaurants. Mission Beach has 14 kilometres of sand in close proximity to the rainforest. Just off the coast is the Family Group of Islands. Booking early is important because despite the variety of accommodation they can become scare during school holidays.
It is important to know some of the risks at Cairns Beaches. During the period between November and May swimming is unsafe at the beaches because of jellyfish (stingers). It is this time of the year that jellyfish migrate to the North Queensland Coast. Jellyfish stings can have fatal consequences. During the jellyfish season most beaches in Cairns have stinger resistant enclosures and the presence of lifesavers which allow safe swimming. Before and during the jellyfish season beaches are monitored. If the beach has no nets swimmers must wear a lycra stinger suit to swim. Pets are banned on beaches that are attached to national parks. Beware of crocodiles if swimming at a beach near the river mouth.