Palm Cove Beach Activities
The standout beauty of our beaches in Tropical North Queensland is that the rainforest meets the reef, literally.
You have beautiful shady trees with birds and butterflies right there on the beach with you. No need for an umbrella; just choose a tree.
There are even some beaches that have lagoons and rivers on them as well but we strongly recommend you only swim in the sea as these rivers, lagoons and billabongs are homes to the prehistoric crocodile.
Look out for the crocodile warning signs before entering all waterways. Achtung!
The Palm Cove beach regularly holds Events and festivals throughout the year. In October every year thousands of people converge on the beachfront for the Palm Cove Fiesta. Tourism Palm Cove, who have been responsible for hosting the event since 2002 create a two day and two night event of divine food and entertainment.
On a beautiful Sunday in October the whole of the Palm Cove Esplanade is lined with stages of bands. There is also the traditional food stalls and a long line of street theatre on Sunday afternoon. All in all it is a magnificent event when the Palm Cove Esplanade comes alive and celebrates with unforgettable food and wine; it's an event not to be missed.
On Saturday night a decadent progressive dinner is hosted where people can travel from one restaurant to the other for entre, mains, desserts and pre and post dinner drinks to experience as many aspects of Palm Cove's award winning Restaurants as possible.
The sunlight shining on Palm Cove is very strong, making it a popular venue for sunbathing. However, Queensland has the highest melanoma (skin cancer) rate in the world, so you need to ensure you always wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and re-apply sunscreen lotion throughout the day. On clear sunny days (which are most days at Palm Cove), you can begin to burn in less than 20 minutes so ensure your sunscreen is water resistant. Make sure your children are well covered as their baby skin will burn very quickly.
During the afternoon at Palm Cove the sun sets behind the rainforest mountains located westward of the beach, so after 4:00pm you begin to run out of sunshine for your tan to be just in time to get ready for a relaxing spa treatment or a Sundowner drink in a beachfront cafe or wine bar before getting ready for dinner.
Swimming at Palm Cove is great at all times of the year, but just as a precaution you are better of to restrict your swimming to inside the swimming enclosures during the summer period. At all times of the year it is advisable to swim between the Surf Life Saving rescue flags, coloured yellow and red. Our Australian lifeguards are another famous icon.
They patrol the Australian beaches all year round rescuing swimmers who have got into trouble and help keep our beaches clean and tidy. They also have a Nippers Club which teaches young Australians about surf safety and rescue techniques and also help to educate them on the importance of keeping fit and looking after others. The Surf Life Saving Association is a volunteer organisation that watches over swimmers all year round and is funded mainly by donations so if you are having a good time and feeling generous all donations are very kindly accepted by this great Aussie icon.
During summer (November to May) it is important to take precautions and swim inside the enclosure. These stinger nets are constructed of a robust floating tube that defines the swimming area. Hanging from this floating tube is 25mm square mesh that descends to the ocean floor and is weighed down by chain. The stinger nets create a safe swimming environment and are designed to prevent jellyfish and jellyfish tentacles from entering the enclosure.
The Irukandji jellyfish is found all over the world from Thailand, Hawaii, Ireland and the United Kingdom in cold climates to warmer climates and the local university, JCU, is a world leader in the study of these animals. See the JCU website for more details.
Palm Cove has a very gentle slope as you enter the water which is safe for all age groups, and in just a few metres out you have enough depth to get your head under to float around in the beautiful Coral Sea. The only time it tends to get rough is if a strong southerly is blowing. There is no surf in Cairns or Tropical North Queensland due to the fact this region has the largest mass of coral in the world which prevents the wave action you have on beaches further down in southern Queensland so don't plan on bringing your surf boards and boogie boards.
The soft sand at Palm Cove is ideal for a beach volleyball game. Find a place on the beach where there aren't a lot of people (usually away from the flagged area) and throw yourself into an energetic exchange of sport. Get some other visitors or locals involved to spice the competition up.
This is a classic beach activity. At low tide Palm Cove becomes wide and flat, making it great for Frisbee.
The authentic Australian family and friends' beachside and backyard sport of choice. No wonder we are so good at it! Cricket is never so much fun as when it is played on the beach. Throw your body around, become an acrobat, and take diving catches that will amaze your friends.
Rugby Union, which Australia also excels at, is another sport of choice and can be played by all ages from 5 years to 100 years. For the more gentle game of Union for these age groups we call this touch football, or the young bulls versus the old bulls, where you are not allowed to physically tackle the person with the ball; you are only allowed to touch them. A game for the ladies and men in a civilised manner.
Fishing from Palm Cove
With a beach Fishing rod you can fish directly from the beach. Cast out as far as you can with live or dead bait and allow the undercurrent to drag your line under the waves into deep water. Passing fish will swoop on your line and become instant dinner. Fishing from the Jetty is another highly popular place to fish. Fishermen here have a high vantage point and have close access to the narrow channel between Double Island and the mainland. Common species caught here are mackerel and grunter.
At dusk, try your luck fishing for squid with a special squid-jig lure! It's a lot of fun, but watch out for the ink! At varying times you see a mesmerising display from dolphins and whales cruising past Double Island from the jetty. The sunset and sunrise views from the vantage point of the jetty is a must see activity all year round and dont forget the camera. If you want to go fishing with a local this can be arranged as the fishing boat charter companies pick you up to take you out for the day and show you all the tricks of the trade for the varying species of fish.
Rent a kayak for a sunset or sunrise tour or bring your own. If there is a good swell you can surf the waves into the beach. Why not awake early for a paddle around glorious Double Island? On the seaward side of the island is a small private beach protected from the wind and ocean swell. Maybe drag a line whilst your at it but watch out and don't catch a Spanish Mackeral as they are likely to take you for a long ride.
Sailing a small catamaran (Hobie cat) up and down the length of Palm Cove is one of the best and most relaxing ways to see the tropical beach. You can hire catamarans, but only do this if there is enough wind to propel you through the water. If there isn't enough wind, try the next option!
Paddle Wheel Bikes
Great fun for kids or for adults when there isn't any wind. Paddle Wheel bikes are a common sight at tropical tourist beaches, and Palm Cove has a good supply.
Significantly faster than paddle wheel bikes, jet skis are action packed adventure boats. Otherwise known as PWCs or personal water crafts, they are terrific fun for thrill seekers. The jet skis can be hired at Palm Cove.
A safe fun children's playground is located near the enclosed swimming area. There are wooden bench seats for the adults to sit on as the kids play, and a public toilet block is located on the opposite side of the road. The playground area is completely safe and is securely fenced to prevent children from running onto the road. A great place to sit and enjoy lunch or dinner on the beach with your children whilst they are being amused by the slides and swings.