I'm a writer living in Newtown Sydney. I love travel, coffee, sweet indulgence and finding new things to do with with my husband, son and crazy dog. Check out my blog at lastboardingcallforgate77.wordpress.com for more.
Published March 31st 2016
Located in Tropical North Queensland, only a short flight from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, Palm Cove is one of those rare destinations that has it all. Whether you are looking for complete relaxation, outdoor adventure or a luxury indulgent escape, there is something for everyone. Known as the spa capital of Australia, Palm Cove is also a wonderful family holiday destination.
We stayed in August last year for 5 nights with a toddler and had one of the best holiday breaks we can remember. Here is my guide to the top 10 things to do with your family when you visit.
1. If you or your littlies are early risers, like my 11 month old was, take a stroll out along the Palm Cove Jetty. Watch the sunrise over Double Island and Scouts Hat and look for the local Sea Eagles that hold court on the lamp posts. Afterwards be sure to grab a coffee and breakfast at one of the local cafes. My favourites were Chill cafe for friendly staff, delicious food and good coffee. We also had a decent breakfast and coffee at the child friendly the Pantry.
2. Enjoy lunch or dinner with a view at one of the beachfront restaurants or cafes. There are plenty of good options. Our favourite was Beach Almond where we enjoyed a delicious meal and cocktails while our toddler danced to a live Jazz band on the deck. We also loved our meals at Vivo. Alternatively, most of the restaurants do take away. We enjoyed a seafood feast of prawns, oysters, fish and chips with champagne on our balcony overlooking the lush tropical gardens of our apartment whilst our little guy slept.
3. As busy and tired parents it is nice to be indulged. Bliss out in one of the many award winning Wellness and Day Spa's that line the foreshore. I had a gorgeous facial at the Peppers Beach Club Resort.
Peppers Day Spa - Image Courtesy of Peppers Beach Club Resort
4. For those with older kids, book a Kayak or snorkelling tour through Palm Cove Watersports. Paddle out to Double Island and Scouts Hat to get a closer look at the islands, commune with nature and enjoy spotting the marine life. Enjoy the fantastic views looking back along the coast.
5. Take a break from the beach and float above World Heritage rain forests. Catch the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail to take in the beauty of the rainforest, Baron River, Baron Gorge and Baron Falls.
6. If you haven't been to the Great Barrier Reef, be sure to tick it off the bucket list and take a day trip to the outer reef. We visited the outer reef with Wavelength Boat Charters who offer small (albeit pricey) group snorkelling and diving excursions and are fantastic. But it is a day that you will never forget.
Marine Scientist briefing us about the Reef aboard the Wavelength boat
7. For the littlies, the Palm Cove playground is a great space in a beautiful location for the kids to burn up some energy and play. Bring your esky and have a BBQ lunch or dinner on the foreshore, play in the sand or cool off in the waters afterwards.
Palm Cove Playground - Image Courtesy of Palm Cove Net
8. Test your fishing skills and throw a line off the Palm Cove Jetty, try to catch the local specialty of Mackerel or Trevally to cook up on the BBQ for dinner. The food van near the jetty or the caravan park across the road from the jetty rent out fishing equipment and sell bait.
9. Have a day at the beach, walk along the beach and find your own piece of paradise or gather the family for beach cricket or a picnic under the palm trees. Take advantage of the hammocks dotted along the esplanade and catch a nap whilst the little ones sleep. If you are feeling more active, hire out a stand-up paddle boards, have a family lesson or try meditating on your board to test your balancing skills. You can book through Stand Up Paddle Boarding Cairns.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding - Image Courtesy of Travel For Less
10. Visit the Palm Cove Markets. Held on the first Sunday of every month between August and December, walk along the esplanade and stock up on local produce, kid's clothes, bespoke jewellery, food, beauty products and enjoy the live entertainment.