Cairns is a natural for family holidays on the coast. We are on Australia’s eastern seaboard between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range. Therefore, this virtually guarantees us a tropical monsoon climate all year round. From November to May, copious rains fill our rivers and our waterfalls come tumbling down. But we can still swim in the ocean on Cairns luxury family holidays. That’s because the water is a delightful 27–28 °С right around the year. June to October are somewhat drier months attracting light showers.
If the weather is unfriendly, and the rain is drifting down, we have a bucket load of heritage sites to visit. And get you into the spirit of the history of this place we call home. However when the weather is good our beaches become the natural attraction. Who can resist the call of the sun, the sand, and the warm water when we have hot, humid summers and milder temperatures in winter. We have some super water parks too. Not to mention a marina offering cruises to the Great Barrier Reef not far away.
Great Beaches to Try on Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
The best beaches in Cairns are to the north of the city, where currents and tides create ideal conditions for surfing and swimming. We will be touching on most of them. For now all you need know is they form a 26-kilometre chain. And their names are Barron River Bridge, Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove and Ellis Beach respectively. There is a local bus service stopping at all of them except the first and the last.
We recommend visiting the Regional Council‘s pages before leaving for the beach. North Queensland Surf Life Saving patrols Ellis, Palm Cove, Clifton, Trinity, Yorkeys Knob, Holloways, and Branston beaches. Box Jellyfish may come close inshore between November and May. Thus please do follow the lifeguard’s instructions. We want our guests to enjoy every moment of their Cairns luxury family holidays at Wanggulay.
Machans Beach Closest for Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
This part of Machans Beach is not really for swimming, because they built a stone sea wall to protect the houses from erosion. It’s a great place for a gentle stroll after a delicious Sunday lunch at a local restaurant, because it is only ten minutes from the Cairns CBD. In addition, if you walk as far as the south end of the bay there is an open stretch for seaside games. In fact the gradient is so gentle the beach becomes wider than it is long at low tide.
The folk living at Machans Beach describe themselves as ‘down-to-earth working class people’ as you can see from the photo. They have successfully kept large hotels and resorts at bay, and live in a quiet community with a subtle ‘hippie’ feel. For dining out, they have unassuming privately-owned restaurants. A general store with petrol station, post office, community town hall, and sports club cater to the needs of the approximately one thousand permanent inhabitants.
Cairns Luxury Family Holidays Come Together at Holloways Beach
Holloways Beach is a popular destination for families with kids, being sixteen minutes from Cairns bypassing Machans Beach on the way. The beach is just a few metres wide, owing to sand erosion. They may eventually build a promenade sea wall to protect the first row of houses. That said, Holloways Beach is a super spot to cool off while enjoying the fresh air. It is also one of the top Cairns fishing spots.
If you want to be away from the crowds, take a right turn at the Beach Park roundabout which has a water tower in the middle. Follow the road right to the end, park the car, and take the trail down to the beach. In stinger season, please swim inside the protective nets they put up. The small town has the usual amenities, including convenience store, news agent, video shop, launderette, and sports shop. And you can be back at our accommodation for Cairns luxury family holidays in less than half an hour.
Yorkeys Knob for Great Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
Yorkeys Knob was once an isolated retreat belonging to a Yorkshire-born fellow and his wife. Nowadays it is a tourist attraction with a marina looking across to Double and Hancock Islands. Yorkeys Knob is across a narrow channel from Holloways Beach. The riverine estuary is great for fishing. The beach is also a popular destination for kite and wind surfing.
Having well over two thousand permanent residents means Yorkey’s Knob has the usual small shops, plus three restaurants including one on the marina deck. The main swimming area is at the north of the promenade, where there are barbecue and picnic facilities, plus public toilets and showers nearby. The golf club attracts a great collection of bird life. In the evenings, flying fox bats come out in search of prey.
Sheltered Trinity Beach Between Two Headlands
Trinity Beach is a mere 21 kilometres from Cairns. It is an almost perfect example of the legendary North Queensland tropical setting, with a broad selection of free-to-use barbecues and picnic tables. Moreover, Trinity Beach has takeaways offering fried fish and chips and other favorites, as well a several restaurants and small shopping centres.
The swimming beach enjoys protection from twin headlands, and with a lifeguard in attendance is an idyllic swimming destination for kids on Cairns luxury family holidays. It is also easy to find after a relaxing half-hour-drive along Captain Cook Highway traveling north. Take a right turn at the sign and follow the road to the end. Then you can turn either left or right to parking spots fronting the generous beach and ocean.
Try Clifton Beach if You Want to Tan and Send a Card
This beach is near a dormitory village 23 kilometres from the city along Captain Cook Highway. This makes it ideal for guests staying at Wanggulay, especially on weekdays when much of the population is away at work. Clifton Beach has largely escaped tourist development, so what you find is a laid back atmosphere on a sandy beach with palm trees swaying in the background. As an added bonus, it has a shopping centre with cafe and takeaway, a supermarket, restaurants, and a post office in case you want to send a card.
To reach Clifton Beach follow Captain Cook Highway north from Cairns for around 35 minutes. After you pass the BP and Mobile petrol stations turn right immediately. Take another right turn at the end of the road. Then following a winding road to the beach with playground equipment, barbeques, and picnic tables. If you prefer to be away from crowds, continue driving south until you find a quiet spot.
Palm Cove Beach Just the Spot for Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
Imagine being a half hour away from Cairns, yet sitting on one of the most perfectly pristine beaches in Queensland you imagined possible. The Great Barrier Reef 30-kilometres offshore to the east provides shelter and relatively calm water. While the Macalister Range National Park to the west forms part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area.
The small, close-knit community believes in keeping life simple. Thus there are no schools or major shops. In fact, if you want anything out of the ordinary head for Clifton Beach a few kilometres to the south. Instead, team up with the locals. Jog, walk, or cycle along palm-lined paths, or take a dip in an enclosed swimming area. If you enjoy fishing, the Palm Cove Jetty has a good supply of mackerel, giant trevally, and shark swimming by.
Ellis Beach What a Find on Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
You may almost find Ellis Beach deserted at the end of your 29-kilometre journey from Cairns, excluding the side shoots to the other beaches we mentioned. This is because the permanent population was under 40 when we last looked, and the bus service does not call. As such, it is almost entirely undeveloped. What you see in the photo is what you get.
The long, thin beach stretches a whole kilometre and a little more. There is not much surf or swell on account of a rocky outcrop and Double Island. The fishing is good and there of quiet spots to catch a suntan. The Ellis Beach Surf Lifesaving Club does its best to keep a watchful eye. But we don’t recommend entering the water on your own, when nobody else is present. You never know and it is always best to take care. And now it time to think of returning to your gracious Wanggulay holiday rental home for a rest.
Wanggulay, the Epitome of Style for Cairns Luxury Family Holidays
We have reached the last of the beaches in the necklace to the north of Cairns when we come to Ellis Beach. After a happy day out in the surf and sun it’s good to know your home from home has been waiting for you patiently. Our villas each sleep up to twelve people in comfort with all the features of a luxury 5 Star resort. We are kid and pet friendly which some of them are not. You will be so glad you earmarked us for your Cairns luxury family holidays. See you soon!