Cairns Holiday Specialists

Don't Dream it, Book it!

Palm Cove Travel Guide Main Shot

Palm Cove Tours & Attractions

Palm Cove Australia is located in the absolute best position for easy access for all the major sightseeing Activities North, South, East and West than any other holiday destination spot in Cairns making tours from Palm Cove a breeze.

Palm Cove is just a twenty minute drive to Cairns City itself and only 20 minutes to half an hour to Port Douglas. Palm Cove is only 10 minutes to the world famous Skyrail, Cable water Skiing, Go Kart racing, Putt Putt Golf and driving range, the beautiful Paradise Palms and lots and lots of other places and activities which are on offer in just a short stroll or drive.

All the tour and Sightseeing companies pick guests up from the Hotels and apartment complexes in and around Palm Cove at around 7.30–8.30am everyday of the year and return you back around 5.30–6.30pm.

A lot of the local tour companies also realize that Palm Cove is a destination which attracts guests that have come here for a quiet unhurried experience and have thus created departure times for those that like to have a sleep in and a lazy breakfast and then maybe do a half day tour or a mid-day tour.

Choose from evening dinner tours to Aboriginal Cultural Parks or Wildlife Zoos or an authentic Australian outback meal in the city of Cairns dining on crocodile, kangaroo and eel, to enjoying a dinner cruising through waterways and past the Esplanade of Cairns on a catamaran.

Even a romantic candlelit rainforest dinner for you to listen to the stories of the Aboriginal journey, or a night time Australian wildlife spotting experience. There are many many choices of activities to do based on your personal interests and capabilities.

See below for some of the most popular tours as chosen by our Palm Cove guests

For All Tours & Attractions visit
The Tour Specialists
Logo | By Cairns Holiday Specialists The Tour Specialists Shot

Palm Cove Great Barrier Reef Tours

You do not need to be a world record holding swimmer to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. Anyone can do it as all the boat operators carry flotation equipment for those that are young or not so confident in the water. The Great Barrier Reef has no surf due to the vast amount of coral reef; it can just get a little choppy on very windy days. All the boats have staff members on safety watch for the whole period of time you are in the water. Before you snorkel you are given full instructions on how to use the equipment safely. And if you feel you are in a spot of trouble or tired, they will show you how to get their attention.

All boats provide you with both morning and afternoon tea, as well as a lovely buffet lunch, which is included in your ticket price. Any extras such as packets of chips, sweets, or alcoholic beverages are payable by cash on the vessel. Please note you will not be permitted to purchase alcohol until all guests are out of the water and the vessel is preparing for the journey home. The same goes for scuba diving. You will not be permitted to scuba dive if the crew perceives you have had too much alcohol the night before as this would put your life and possibly theirs in danger. The vessels have relaxation areas for those that want to catch the sunshine or those that would like to stay away from the sun’s rays. Bathroom Facilities are on board and some boats have showers and locker facilities.

Boats that go to permanently moored pontoons on the reef offer all the toys for the day: semi-submersible submarines for non-swimmers to view the fish, coral, snorkellers and divers; glass bottom boats an alternative for the non-swimmers; and helmet diving if you want to go to the ocean floor without getting your hair wet.

If you suffer severely from seasickness, choose either a larger vessel called the Wave Piercer or a boat that has built in stabilizers which ensure a better ride across the ocean. Otherwise choose a motor powered catamaran. This will provide more stability than a single hull.

Each vessel offers passengers a ginger tablet to assist with motion sickness. For some stronger alternative medication, you can go to the chemist or drug store at Palm Cove or Clifton Village Shopping Centre, which is just five minutes drive or a 20 minute beach walk away.

As mentioned earlier, all boat operators pick up from Palm Cove for trips to the Great Barrier Reef.

Great Barrier Reef Facts

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the largest reef structure in the world? It extends for 2300 kilometers along the north-eastern coast of Australia and consists of about 2900 individual reefs—covering an area about the same size as the United Kingdom, half the State of Texas or the length of the entire Japanese Island chain.

Wow it’s going to take some snorkeling to cover this area on your holiday!

Pontoons on the Outer Barrier Reef

Larger vessels are great for groups of families and friends, travelers who suffer motion sickness, and little children. The larger boats go out to permanently moored pontoons on the edge of the Barrier Reef. Some of these pontoons have permanent staff who live here. They maintain the pontoon on a daily basis and keep off unwelcome visitors.

They also do some important Marine Biology research. These pontoons have a lot of technical equipment on board which the Australian Government, Weather Bureau and Universities who undergo Marine Studies utilize constantly. They provide invaluable information on the conditions of Marine Life, under water currents etc.

These outer barrier reef pontoons are used regularly for large Conference and Incentive groups for early morning breakfasts prior. If you were so inclined or wealthy enough, you could charter a helicopter and have the whole pontoon with breakfast all to yourself to make a romantic proposal to a loved one.

These pontoons have all the toys for the swimmers and non swimmers like semi-submersible submarines, glass bottom boats, underwater observatory, and helmet diving. You can book to go on a snorkel tour with a qualified Marine Biologist or Marine interpreter.

Taking a Scenic Flight on the Great Barrier Reef

You can choose to fly in a helicopter out to the Great Barrier Reef and cruise back on the boat or vice versa. Or enjoy a scenic flight when you are out at the reef. When you get to experience the view from above in the helicopter, you will be amazed at the colours and how close the coral is to the surface. The marine life makes it even more exciting for great photos to take back home and share with friends.

It’s a must do activity, just like swimming with the whales. How many times in your life can you do this? Just think about it and just do it. You can’t take it with you. But you definitely need to book in advance and you need to disclose your true weight.

Yes, your true weight, otherwise you may not be granted take off if you have greatly underestimated your weight which is then combined with other passengers if you are doing a shared helicopter charter. Think of the great pictures you will get!

Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Pontoon

Quicksilver is probably one of the best known Reef operators in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland and the largest operator of Marine vessels in Tropical North Queensland. Their company motto is “Quicksilver is the Great Barrier Reef.” They provide an award winning 5 star level of service 365 days of the year and cater for families with prams, people with disabilities and provide hydraulic lifts to get the guests in and out of the water. They have all the best toys, great food, great facilities and a great team of people working for them.

The Quicksilver vessel also operates out of Port Douglas and travels to Agincourt Ribbon Reef. Quicksilver is the largest Wave Piercer in Cairns and is just the most favourite boat to go out on if you suffer from seasickness or if it is a windy day. Quicksilver’s hull is designed to cut through the waves that ensures a smooth and very fast ride to the Outer Barrier Reef. Quicksilver is a very professional company and they ensure a day with 5 star service standards for all to enjoy.

Quicksilver has two permanent pontoons out at Agincourt Ribbon Reef. These pontoons have all the toys such as glass bottom boats, semi-submersible submarines, and helmet diving where you don’t even get your hair wet, scuba diving, an underwater observatory where again you experience the reef without getting wet, snorkel trips with a Marine Interpreter, and of course yummy morning and afternoon teas, a big buffet lunch as you work up a big appetite with all the toys and activities throughout the day.

Quicksilver has helicopters that take you out to the Agincourt pontoon from Port Douglas. Or you can just have a scenic flight over the reef. All in all, it’s a wonderful day and no time to get bored at all. So much to see and do that the whole family will enjoy themselves.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Quicksilver Silversonic Reef Tour

Silversonic has a rare whale license permitting swimmers in the water with the Dwarf Minke Whales and is part of the award winning Quicksilver Group of Companies. Silversonic has the same hull design as Aristocat and travels from Port Douglas to the same spectacular region Agincourt Ribbon Reef. Silversonic has the luxury of owning a multitude of licenses for visiting varying reefs on the Australian Continental Shelf.

Two of Silversonic’s biggest selling features are the stabilizing ride control system which is great for travelers who experience motion sickness, and the fact it also has hot water shower facilities. Silversonic also has a rare whale license permitting swimmers in the water with the Dwarf Minke Whales and is part of the award winning Quicksilver Group of Companies.

As soon as you board Silversonic, you can dine on tasty fruit muffins, Danish pastries, foccacias, biscuits, tea and coffee. You are then separated into the three groups that are snorkellers, introductory divers and qualified divers. You will then be fitted with your equipment for the day, briefed on safety procedures and how to use the equipment properly. On the way out to the reef, they also give a great talk on the reef which is fascinating and gets you excited about jumping in the water to meet all your new friends. And yes the fish are very friendly. Lots of them have been named by the boat crew as they live on certain reefs for most of their fishy lives.

During your day on Silversonic you can have underwater photographs and DVDs taken of you so you can relive the amazing experience you had. All in all a great boat and a great boat crew as well it’s a lot of fun. Silversonic is part of the Quicksilver Group of Companies.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Aristocat Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef Tours

Aristocat has a very rare Whale Licence which allows them to approach and swim with humpback whales during their annual migration from Antarctica to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park breeding grounds. Aristocat departs from Port Douglas and travels to three idyllic locations during the day on the Agincourt Ribbon reef area just on the edge of the Australian Continental shelf.

This new vessel was launched in 2006 and is one of the most technologically advanced of its kind in the region. The environment was totally thought about whilst this vessel was being designed and built along with taking into consideration guests comfort and safety. The engines on Aristocat are environmentally responsible and the seating has been ergonomically designed for guest comfort. On board the Aristocat there is an eco library for you to learn about the reef, its ecology and see some of the marine life you are going to meet during the day. This boat is surveyed to accommodate 90 guests per day but they choose to only accept 60 to ensure a luxury experience for all.

Aristocat is also licensed to visit over 40 reefs which is a very rare thing as these licenses are very highly prized and are only given to a handful of responsible boat operators in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. These licenses are not allowed to be sold or transferred without the stamp of approval from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Another feature of Aristocat is this vessel also has something that is indeed very, very rare: a license to approach and swim with the whales during their annual migration.

Every year around 8,000 humpback whales make their way to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park breeding grounds from the Antarctica. Of course, you cannot swim with these giants but you can definitely swim with the small inquisitive Dwarf Minke Whales. They are so cute and playful and have been known to stay with swimmers for hours, just hanging around and wondering what you are. They come up so close you can just about touch them. This is definitely a once in a life time experience which is highly recommended. Hire a good quality underwater camera to prove you really did have a close up encounter with a whale.

On board, Aristocat has hot water showers, a cappuccino machine for the coffee lovers, and lockers for your personal items. This is a great boat to see the best of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as you travel to three locations during the day—each one very different. A great boat for the professional divers as you are separated from the intro divers and everything is scheduled beautifully. For intro divers, you could not ask for a better place in the world to see coral reef like the Agincourt Ribbon reef area and of course the same goes for the snorkellers. Just a tip, ensure you pre-book all diving otherwise you may miss out.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Poseidon Port Douglas Great Barrier Reef Tours

During the annual whale migration season Poseidon has a Whale License allowing ten snorkellers at a time to be in the water and have close encounters with little Minke whales. What can we say... No wonder the Aristocat, Silversonic and Poseidon reef boats are so popular considering they are the only ones in Tropical North Queensland with the “whale swimming permits”. Poseidon is the same sized vessel as Aristocat and Silversonic. Poseidon travels to the Outer Barrier Reef area and Agincourt Ribbon Reef traversing three different spots each day of the year.

Poseidon does not travel to the same reef every day as they like to spread the human traffic all over the reef to give it an opportunity to re-generate and show off the region with its variety of reef structures. During the annual whale migration season, which is normally May to September (this can extend either side, subject to water temperatures) Poseidon extends a long line of rope off the side of the boat that allows ten snorkellers at a time to be in the water and have close encounters with these little Minke whales. The absolute thrill of a lifetime! You could be innocently snorkeling away and up pops a Minke to have a look at you! Wow!

Poseidon has a very good reputation with the locals and visitors alike and the family company of owners also have two other reef vessels that operate out of Port Douglas. These are called Sailaway and Shaolin. Sailaway offers a five star cruise to Low Isles. While, Shaolin is a restored Chinese Junk which also goes to Low Isles a little later in the day, for those guests wanting to enjoy a lazy breakfast and lazy tropical day. Sailaway and Shaolin are highly popular boats as they only carry up to 30 passengers each for a personalized Great Barrier Reef experience.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Reef Magic Cruises

What a popular boat Reef Magic is! This company’s pontoon on Moore Reef is called Marine World and that is exactly what it is.

Reef Magic has all the toys: glass bottom boat, semi-submersible submarine, underwater observatory with fish feeding conducted daily, spacious sun decks with sun lounges, Marine Biology presentations, and a helicopter pad for scenic flights as well.

There is even a safe swimming enclosure for the little ones, so it’s great for families. The children are so well catered for. They provide little swimming masks, snorkels and fins for them to join their parents in the fun water activities.

Moore Reef is a professional diver’s dream. This reef is so pristine and vibrant with the diversity of coral and marine life, it really is Reef Magic. Join a Biologist on a snorkel tour and get to know the reef and its biodiversity intimately.

We highly recommend this tour from Palm Cove.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Palm Cove Golfing Tours

Koala Golf

There are many golf courses in the Palm Cove area. Play a round of golf while overlooking the Coral Sea, tropical wetlands and rolling hills. Paradise Palms is just minutes from Palm Cove and is rated one of the 25 best courses in Australia.

Take a 30 minute drive north along the stunning Captain Cook Highway and play at a 5 star golf course in Port Douglas. There are so many to choose from. That is why so many people come for a long weekend to play golf on our beautiful affordable golf courses. This is another sport where Australians excel, with Greg Norman known as the Great White Shark who is one of our best known Australians.

We highly recommend this tour from Palm Cove.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004





Palm Cove Horse Riding

Blazing Saddles - Horse Riding

Set amongst Eucalyptus trees and rugged Australian bushland, Blazing Saddles offers half day - morning or afternoon - horse riding tours, picking you up from your hotel or accommodation house. A great one for learners and first time riders. If you are interested in horseback riding through cool World Heritage-listed rainforests, streams and pristine beaches, Wonga Beach Horseback Riding offers morning and afternoon tours for all skill levels—even the first timer.

You can even have a private guided tour for yourself or with a friend. The horses here are very well educated and a mixture of Australian Stock horses and Quarter horses. So if you are an experienced rider, you will enjoy this ride. There are not too many places left where you can freely canter along the beach with the wind in your hair. We highly recommend this tour from Palm Cove.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Palm Cove ATV - All Terrain Vechiles

Blazing Saddles - ATV

ATV stands for “All Terrain Vehicle”, also known as quad bikes. Blazing Saddles at Kuranda provides ATV tours through the rugged Savannah lands. Feel the adrenaline as you speed through the bush negotiating the many obstacles on track. This activity is especially great fun in the Green Season where you slip and slide thru the gullies and grasslands. Great fun for the whole family from 12 years of age upwards. We highly recommend this tour from Palm Cove.

Call us to book on 1300 799 004

Palm Cove White Water Rafting

Adrenaline junkies can experience grade 2, 3 or 4 rapids while white-water rafting one of three rivers in the region: Tully River, Barron River and Russell River.

Full and half day trips are available where safety, service and fun are paramount.

Even the little ones can join in this activity paddling down gentle rolling rivers in safety.




Palm Cove Fishing

For the thrill of a lifetime, come aboard one of Cairns’ many shared Fishing boats, or charter your own private tinny or luxury vessel.

Choose from fly-fishing, heave tackle, light tackle, game fishing, sport-fishing; reef, estuary or river fishing.

Cairns is known worldwide as the best fishing ground for the awesome Black Marlin. Presidents, movie stars, rock stars and millionaires come back year after year to chase these mighty elusive fish.

You can too from just $390 a day which includes your lunch, morning and afternoon tea.

A once in a lifetime experience for some—it just has to be done. Another famous fish in Cairns Tropical North Queensland is the Barramundi.

Famous for two reasons: one, its fighting capabilities, and two, it is one of the most beautiful fish you could ever taste—soft white flesh with a very mild palatable flavour that suits everyone.






Palm Cove Tandem Sky Diving

Mission beach and Cairns skydiving is an exhilarating, adrenalin pumping, unforgettable adventure that leaves you feeling high three days after your feet have returned to the ground!

From over 10,000 feet in the air, you will have views of 14 kilometres of golden beaches, lush World Heritage-listed rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef, famous Dunk Island and nearby tropical islands.

Give this one a go if you are game; it's a real thrill!




Palm Cove Helicopter Tours

View the amazing Great Barrier Reef from above and soak in the immensity of this world wonder or fly to the Australian outback to a cattle station for lunch.

Helicopter tours can take you to untouched locations that offer complete seclusion and isolation.

Go wherever your fantasies take you and tailor your trip to suit you! See whales, dolphins, manta rays dugongs and turtles. The photographs and lifetime memories you will have will never be forgotten.

Soar above the oldest rainforests in the world and hover over cascading waterfalls, landing on an idyllic spot for a cool swim and a bite to eat.

Visit outback Aboriginal communities or fly to a secluded coral cay for that all important proposal.

Helicopters are not as expensive as most people think so have a look what is on offer and go for it; you will be amazed.

Conference groups can even charter helicopters at great prices and do amazing things.





Palm Cove Luxury Boat Charters

An absolute specialty in Cairns and Tropical North Queensland. A boater's paradise!

The Coral Sea offers all sorts of spectacular activities for the sea loving person. Relax in the calm turquoise water with tropical islands and coral cays emerging on the horizon.

Whether it's a peaceful sail, or a scuba diving excursion, a sunset cruise, or an exciting game fishing excursion, there is a multitude of vessels available for charter for each and every individual activity, for day trips and extended overnight trips from Cairns to Cape York, to Lizard Island, the famous Cod Hole and beyond.




Palm Cove Daintree Rainforest Day Tours

From the mighty Daintree Rainforest to Cape Tribulation you can see it all in a day from Palm Cove with tour operators picking you up early in the morning and taking you deep into the spectacular rainforests that are classed as the oldest in the world.

Swim in pristine waterfalls or have a snorkel tour through the rainforest rivers to see turtles, fish, eel and other marine life. See the prehistoric crocodiles in their natural habitats on the river bank or at feed time in a wildlife park jumping skyward from the water to eat the chicken on the end of the stick the ranger is holding.

Visit the quaint rainforest village of Kuranda by combining the Skyrail cableway that glides above the rainforest canopy, and the Kuranda Scenic Rail, a characteristic train that meanders through the World Heritage-listed rainforest and deep through the mountainside.

This village has been well known since the sixties and seventies as a hippie type of town with people who like the alternative lifestyles rather than the busy city, consumer style of living. Great markets and shops here to meander thru.

Visit the Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, the Venom House or pick up an Aboriginal didgeridoo or painting to show your friends back home. Lots of street musicians and activity to look at here. Kuranda attracts people from all over the world.





Cairns Holiday Specialists Friendly Advice

We are happy to assist you with any facet of your Palm Cove holiday, so if you require further information on Palm Cove’s Location, please contact us.

Connect on Facebook

Websites Trading as Cairns Holiday Specialists PTY LTD ABN: 52 135 883 180 © 2010-14 Cairns Holiday Specialists PTY LTD. All Rights Reserved ITO Licence 3395314