If you're looking for a beach front hideaway, then Sea Temple Resort & Spa, Palm Cove should fit the bill. Located overlooking the ocean at Palm Cove, this award winning resort offers 5 Star accommodation in the form of 126 luxury private apartments.
The spacious, super cool lobby instantly soothes the soul after the tropical humidity outside. The whole resort is light and breezy, as befitting it's seaside location, 25 minutes north of Cairns.
We (Family with 2 young children) stayed in a two bedroom apartment overlooking the swimming pool and giant Paperbark Trees, which I was glad had not been removed during development (as were the local Rainbow Lorikeet population I assume).
The highlight of our Asian style apartment was the verandah with its wide, comfy day bed. The apartment was well appointed with modern sleek lines and artworks. The resort itself had 3 different pools and a spa to choose from. We gravitated towards the shallow lagoon pool with waterfalls which kept the children busy most afternoons.
Mii Spa provided excellent treatments for anyone needing to relax and re-energise after all that swimming. From 8am - 8pm they offer massages, facials, various signature therapies and a double Vichy Rain spa. They use organically grown products by Pevonia Botanica in their delightfully indulgent treatments.
Temple of Tastes is the Resort Restaurant with the option of tables indoors or out and an Australian - Asian Fusion Style menu featuring local, fresh produce. The poolside Lagoon Bar (open from 10.30am) offers unique Sea Temple Cocktails, brunch, snacks and lunch menu. Sea Temple Resort & Spa also has a full a la carte In Room Dining service 24 hours a day. There are plenty of other dining options in nearby Palm Cove Village and some stand out day trips to keep everyone entertained (see below).
Palm Cove Village is a laid back alternative to Cairns, with modern cafes along the foreshore and 400 year old Melaleuca Paperbark Trees lining the streets. From take away fish (guaranteed fresh) and chips on the beach, to the sophisticated Nunu Restaurant, all dining budgets are catered for.
It was a five minute saunter northwards along the beach, from Sea Temple Resort & Spa to reach Palm Cove Village. As it was officially jellyfish season (December to March), we joined the locals for a refreshing swim in the ocean between the jellyfish nets and red and yellow flags.
Make the most of your time in Far North Queensland by visiting The Great Barrier Reef, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and the largest coral reef system in the world.
Green Island is the closest option from Cairns, with an abundance of marine life inhabiting the reef. During summer (December to March), there are dangerous jellyfish in the water, so snorkeling is only possible wearing a protective wet suit. It is also possible to view the reef through a glass bottom boat, scuba dive, semi-submarine or Seawalker (helmet dive).
Kuranda is a colourful village tucked away in the Cairns Hinterland. They are famous for the Wednesday and Saturday markets, which are full of local handicrafts and unique artistic pieces.
Children will love a visit to the Australian Butterfly Farm for a chance to have a giant Ulysses Butterfly land on thier hand and see 1500 butterflies all at once.
Skyrail Cableway takes you soaring above the World Heritage Rain forest. The 7.5 kilometre journey provides stunning views of the Hinterland ravines and waterfalls and is a fun way to reach Kuranda. For the return journey, back down the mountain, try the Kuranda Scenic Railway. This must see journey takes you back in time to the pioneering days of the 1800s.