The Best Things To Do In Palm Cove (Queensland)

Your hardest decision in Palm Cove will be your first. Where to begin?

Staying in Palm Cove means staying in paradise.

So what will your dream day look like?

Maybe a stroll along Williams Esplanade, bracketed by the palm trees that give the area it’s a bewitching name, will awaken a sense of contentment that stays with you well after departure and is a favourite of locals and tourists alike. 

Following which, Palm Cove jetty is a great way to get close to the pristine water for the first time. Marvel at the anglers catching mackerel and giant trivially from the beautiful structure or just take in the gently rolling sea air, energising you for the adventures ahead. Constructed in 1986, the jetty has been a meeting point and social hub for Palm Cover for over 30 years. 

But if you’re looking for more stunning scenery and unforgettable experiences, here’s how to make the most of your time in Palm Cove.

Double Island

With freshly stretched legs and a clear mind, you might just be ready to jump in a kayak and discover Double Island under your own steam.

A day trip to this sought after location can include snorkelling amongst impossibly blue water, combing the beach for hidden treasures, a picnic nestled in the stunning natural surroundings and much more.

Keep an eye out for blue-spotted lagoon rays, mangrove rays, eagle rays, shovelnose sharks and endless varieties of fish and crabs. Should your journey require illumination, the Double Island Lighthouse will be happy to oblige.

The Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most famous locations in the world – and for good reason! 

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed reef is one of the most remarkable and inspiring experiences on the planet. 

Made up of over 2,900 individual reefs stretching across almost 350,000 square kilometres, it is the world’s largest reef system and can be seen from outer space. 

You can get an up close and personal look to experience the reef first hand. In fact, tours of the reef will allow you to not only see the wonder for yourself but give you a front row seat to the activity below the surface. 

You can cruise the reef in luxury, snorkel amongst the endless majesty of sea life or simply bask in the sun and soak up as much of the surrounding beauty you can. 

More than a jaw-dropping scene, according to the outdoor team from Cheaper Trees, heading on holidays can actually boost your mental health, saying “the outdoors has a huge benefit on our mental health. Chronic stress can make it tougher for our bodies to resist infection, maintain vital function, and avoid injury. And with the Corona Virus as it is, those boosts can only be helpful. Going on holidays isn’t just a relaxing experience, it’s actually beneficial for your long-term physical and mental health too.”

Longer trips allow for scuba lessons with professional and friendly instructors that will earn you an internationally recognised PADI certification. 

Hotel transfers are available for each day of the course and the climax will have you exploring the Great Barrier Reef on open-water dives. 

great barrier reef

The Daintree Rainforest

The Great Barrier Reef is just one of the incredibly diverse and naturally complex ecosystems in touching distance of Palm Cove. With the Daintree Rainforest just a short drive away there is so much more to see and enjoy. 

Believed to be the oldest rainforest on Earth, ethical tour operators can immerse you in the history of the unspoiled, awe-inspiring beauty while uncovering hidden delights and unparalleled insights. 

Perhaps the best description of the area featuring both the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest comes from UNESCO; an organization that has championed the natural beauty of Northern Australia for decades. 

“The Wet Tropics exhibit exceptional natural beauty, with superlative scenic features highlighted by extensive sweeping forest vistas, wild rivers, waterfalls, rugged gorges and coastal scenery. This is particularly apparent between the Daintree River and Cedar Bay, where exceptional coastal scenery combines tropical rainforest and white sandy beaches with fringing offshore coral reefs.”

daintree rainforest


If a gentle roll through some of the most stunning scenery in Australia is more your pace, the Kuranda Scenic Railway will fit the bill perfectly. 

As the heritage-listed train weaves its way through the rainforest, your senses will feast as the landscape and wildlife seem within touching distance. 

One of the must-see attractions is a stop at the village of Kuranda. This gives you the opportunity for a visit to the largest butterfly aviary in the Southern Hemisphere. And don’t forget that the heritage market is open every day with stalls displaying a huge selection of locally-produced souvenirs and food offerings too!

Those envious of the birds’ graceful patterns above can even take a skyrail cable car journey to get on their level and see the lush, multi-coloured forest from above. 

table full of food in palm cove

Palm Cove Food

The food options throughout Palm Cove will amaze and delight you in equal measure. To get the day started, breakfast can be enjoyed while the sun rises magically over the ocean, often creating a one-of-a-kind backdrop for dolphin pods playfully twisting and turning just off the beach. 

Allow the beachfront to be your dining table as you dive into an infinite range of flavours bursting from the freshest seafood found anywhere.

Local cuisine is a vivid collection of tastes and styles that will leave you spoilt for choice and supremely contented. The team from Richmond Kitchens have noted an increase in outdoor kitchen renovations so they’re not surprised at seeing how many people head to Palm Cove for the food. They explain “kitchens are so much more than places to prepare food. We’re seeing more and more clients request kitchens that are functional spaces to eat, play and socialise. This is happening around Australia, more and more people are seeing how food is social, and that can only be good in the long run.”

If you are wanting hand-caught seafood, quintessential Australian fare, European delights, Asian extravagance, a perfectly prepared pub meal or anything in between, Palm Cove has everything you could ever desire.

Are you ready to relax in Palm Cove paradise?

We will just let Trip Advisor do the talking when it comes to finding pure comfort and peace in Palm Cove. 

“Australia’s most popular spa destination is a gorgeous beachside haven of relaxation, boasting top wellness centres and pristine beaches. Indulge your body in a mud bath, body wrap or soft coral scrub. Whether you choose to be pampered in an open-air pavilion or a private cabana, your perfect spa experience can be found in Palm Cove.”

So the only question left to ask is…what activity are you going to do first in Palm Cove?

Let us know in the comments!

Published by jparson35

Freelance writer and content creator. Blazing my own trail, one article at a time.

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