When we think about holidays in Australia, it is hard to look past Tropical North Queensland. The sun, sand, and crystal-clear waters are waiting to welcome guests. And the sleepy village of Palm Cove is the perfect part of the region for those travellers looking to experience everything tropical North Queensland has to offer in a truly luxurious setting.
Palm Cove is a hidden gem that doubles as both the gateway to experiencing Tropical North Queensland’s many attractions and the perfect place to spend your entire vacation. Famous for beautiful weather, century-old Melaleuca trees, and palm trees that line the beach where the coral sea laps against the shore, Palm Cove offers something to all holiday makers.
So, besides the stunning landscapes and the exclusive boutiques you can spend hours perusing, how else can you spend the day when you stay in Palm Cove? We’ll tell you about some of our favourite ways to pass the day.
Explore the Great Barrier Reef Up Close and Personal
The idyllic setting of Palm Cove is more than enough to attract visitors, but a major drawcard for the area is the ease in which you can access the natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef.
The expansive Reef covers approximately 348,000 square kilometres, making it the world’s most extensive coral reef system. Home to over 2500 stunning coral reefs, more than 1500 species of reef fish and other marine wildlife like rays and turtles, the Reef also encompasses over 900 tropical islands.
Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1981, the Reef has been enjoyed by local and foreign travellers for decades. And thanks to tour companies like ABC Snorkel Charters, you too can see this natural beauty up close and personal.
Offering one-of-a-kind tours, ABC Snorkel Charters enables you to immerse yourself in the Great Barrier Reef where you can have encounters with schools of clownfish, butterfly fish, Maori wrasse angel fish and many others. You can see the gorgeous coral gardens up close or from the boat as you make your way out into the gentle waters of the Reef.
Each tour is guided by a local marine biologist or naturalist, and you will be in even more awe of the Reef after their on-boat presentation. And what’s even more astonishing about the Charters with ABC, is their unique concept of eco-tourism. Unlike any other tours in the area, they practice small group and low-impact Reef tours. This means that only a small group of no more than 12 people can book a tour per day, with snorkelling locations varying each day.
This way, you can enjoy an uncrowded, exclusive tour, where you can snorkel at your own pace, while simultaneously minimizing your environmental footprint on the Reef.
Day Trip to a Tropical Island
Tropical North Queensland is peppered with pieces of paradise, and many are within easy reach of Palm Cove. In fact, one of our favourites makes for the perfect way to spend a day.
Fitzroy Island is an unspoilt and luscious tropical island that offers its visitors stunning seascapes and majestic landscapes. You’ve probably heard the saying, “where the rainforest meets the reef”, and Fitzroy Island is the perfect example of this.
A 339-hectare island, which is 97% national park, Fitzroy Island has a number of activities to enjoy and places to explore, perfect for the traveller looking for a little bit of adventure.
A popular activity for visitors is hiking, with many self-guided options on hand for all levels of fitness. The Secret Garden track offers a trail that takes you through the rainforest that is rich in flora and fauna. Or if you’re ready for something more challenging, the Summit Lighthouse walk might just be for you. When you reach the summit of this one, you will be rewarded with 360-degree vistas of the island itself and the reef inhabited waters below. And if it’s the right time of year, it can be the perfect place to watch the whales migrating.
You can also take a trail that will lead you to Australia’s Best Beach (crowned in 2018), Nudey Beach. The seclusion and relaxing environment of Nudey Beach makes it the perfect place to have an afternoon picnic and watch the world pass by. If it does get a little warm in the sun, you have the tropical waters right at your feet to help you cool off.
While on the island you can explore the waters surrounding Fitzroy Island, with many water sports on offer. Other than swimming, you can try sea-kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or snorkelling. Or you can head out on a glass bottomed boat.
And if you’re an animal lover, you’ll appreciate the animal welfare work in the world-class Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on the island. This is a facility that’s dedicated in the rescue and maintenance of sick and injured turtles. They are nurtured at the centre until they’re ready to go back in the wild. This facility to open for daily tours, but it is popular, so make sure you book your visit online before you arrive.
Fitzroy Island is easily reached via a 45-minute ferry from Cairns (25 minutes from Palm Cove) and makes a great day trip from Palm Cove.
Experience the True Meaning of Relaxation
Quite possibly our favourite way to spend a day is right here in Palm Cove – at the Reef House Spa. Whether you’ve worn yourself out with sightseeing and exploration, or relaxation is the mantra of your holiday, you can experience an enchanting spa wellness sojourn coupled with the tranquil ambience provided by the sea and the surrounding lush gardens only here at The Reef House!
The Reef House is an award-winning boutique colonial-style hotel that offers world-class accommodation for soloists, couples, and small groups.
And the Reef House Spa, also with many accolades, is a must-visit when you are in the spa capital of Australia. The range of treatments and services have been carefully curated by the internationally trained spa’s director Isabelle. The treatment menu offers you the chance to have a one-of-a-kind and truly personalised spa experience. Some of our favourite spa rituals include:
Signature Spa Ritual
If you’re in need of some all-out pampering from head to toe, you can indulge in our Signature Spa Ritual. This ritual marries botanical body exfoliation, full body hydration massage, orange crème hair treatment and the seasonal botanical spa into one ultimate sensory escape.
Ocean Spa Ritual
Ocean Spa Ritual is a combination of salt crystal exfoliation, full body hydration and sea breeze marine facial. This massage is so relaxing it will lull you into sleep. You’ll leave this ritual feeling fresh and reenergized.
Hand and Foot Therapy
If whole body massages are not your cup of tea, you can still experience other therapeutic and rejuvenating services Reef House is renowned for.
You can have your hands pampered with our Moroccan Rose Manicure. This treatment entails a skin-softening hand soak, raspberry crème smoothing exfoliation and focused fingertip attention. Our relaxing hand massage and nail polish completes the whole process. Your hands are certainly in good hands.
Your feet will experience a Pineapple Mint Pedicure which will restore beauty and suppleness, with bathing rituals and pineapple exfoliation. Your feet will also be treated to a rich spearmint and gingko foot massage and toenail polish.
The Reef House is Calling
To really make the most of all that Tropical North Queensland has to offer, there is no better place to situate yourself than Palm Cove, and more specifically right here at the Reef House.
Our colonial style boutique hotel was created to welcome guests into a world of relaxation and luxury. And it doesn’t get more luxurious than our beachfront property. Our restaurant offers you the chance to taste the local fare, our Spa allows you to unwind and begin your journey to wellness, and our staff ensure that your time at the Reef House is exactly what you want it to be, with personalised service at every step along the journey.
Unwind and enjoy full range of complimentary activities and immerse yourself into the Tropical North Queensland lifestyle at the Reef House today.