Top 5 beaches in and around Cairns

Top 5 beaches in and around Cairns

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 04/02/2024

Reading time: 3 mins

Cairns is a tropical paradise full of sun and endless swimming spots.

Known for its tropical weather and vibrant atmosphere, Cairns is a great holiday destination.
Below are five of the best beaches to check out while visiting Cairns!

1. Cairns Lagoon

Though it’s not exactly a beach, the Cairns Lagoon is a great place to go for a swim. One reason it’s such a popular place to swim is because it is open year-round, even during stinger season.

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon feels like a true beach thanks to the sand and palm trees that line its shores. There are even grassy patches surrounding the lagoon, providing a great spot for a picnic or sunbathing.

2. Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach is a gorgeous beach located just a 30-minute drive north of Cairns. This is a great spot for anyone from solo travellers to families alike. The beach is patrolled and there are stinger nets in place, which makes this beach easily accessible year-round.

When you’re not swimming, you can have a barbecue or lunch at one of the nearby picnic shelters, or check out the nearby restaurants. There is also a 2.3-kilometre hiking loop that takes you along the coastline and offers the chance for wildlife spotting.

3. Holloways Beach

Another fantastic beach in northern Cairns is Holloways Beach. The beach is just a 10-minute drive north of Cairns, making for a nearby escape from the city.

The beach is bordered by warm, gentle waters, which create a great location for swimming. There are stinger nets during stinger season, and the beach is patrolled year-round. There are also plenty of lodging options nearby, as well as charming cafes and restaurants.

4. Clifton Beach

Located between Cairns and Port Douglas, Clifton Beach is a great spot to stop on a drive north of Cairns. This is another beach that is safe to swim in all year thanks to lifeguards and stinger nets.

There are many things to enjoy when you are not soaking up the sun or swimming in the sea. If you’re a fan of golf or tennis, stop at the nearby Paradise Palms golf and tennis complex. If you enjoy shopping, visit some of the retail outlets located in Clifton Beach. There are also lots of dining options for when you want a bite to eat.

5. Palm Cove Beach

Last but not least on our list of top Cairns beaches is Palm Cove Beach. This beach borders the quaint seaside village of Palm Cove. The village is known for its spectacular spas, gorgeous scenery, and tranquil waters. As with the other top Cairns beaches, this beach is safe to swim at all year thanks to the stinger nets and lifeguards.

Hire a kayak and spend the day exploring the coastline or watching the colourful sunrise. You can also bring your dog to this beach, as there are plenty of pet-friendly options for accommodation in Palm Cove.

Pack your swimwear and get ready for a day on the sunny beaches of Cairns!

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.