If you Googled something along the lines of ‘tropical holiday Australia’ I’m pretty sure that it’s a picture of Palm Cove that would come up.
There’s not much more to this little town than a beach-side road - a road that is lined with palm trees, restaurants, cafes, and hotels - the white sandy beach, and the clear blue ocean that stretches out to the Great Barrier Reef.
This is the perfect base from which to explore everything that this region has to offer – snorkelling or scuba diving trips out to the reef, whale watching, expeditions to the Daintree Rainforest, or just relaxing on the sand and working on your tan.
The best way to get to this region is to fly in to Cairns. There is public transport and shuttle services, but hiring a car will give you a lot more flexibility and independence. Palm Cove is a short drive north of Cairns, heading along the picturesque Captain Cook Highway which winds along the coast.
If you’re holidaying for any length of time, then a self-contained apartment is perfect - you can cook some of your own meals, do your washing, and really relax and create a bit of a home-away-from-home kind of vibe.
I had good intentions of being a bit budget-conscious and cooking my own meals, but there were just too many good cafes and restaurants right on my doorstep – favourites were the Rising Sun, the Chill Cafe, and Vivo. Huge breakfasts, amazingly fresh seafood, and great coffee. It’s reassuring to know that wherever you are in Australia you can get really good coffee.
Although the beaches are beautiful, most of the swimming is done out on the reef – the coastal beaches are the preserve of jellyfish and crocodiles.
I always think that it must be tough having to work somewhere tropical like this region - it must be incredibly tempting just to strip down and head to the beach. But perhaps over time, you become a little desensitised to the blue skies, the squeaky white sand, and warm water of this tropical paradise. Perhaps.
Palm Cove feels very much like a grown-up kind of holiday. Restful, relaxing, stylish, and sophisticated. This is a pace of life that I could definitely get used to.