Palm Cove

Your guide to the best places to eat, drink and explore when visiting beautiful Palm Cove.

Far North Queensland is a destination within itself, and Palm Cove is the perfect outpost to base yourself to explore all that it has to offer. An easy 25-minute drive from Cairns City, Palm Cove is one of the most loved resort beach towns, it’s bounded by the lush tropics of Macalister Range National Park, and its palm-fringed esplanade and patrolled swimming beach graces many a postcard. Combine this with boutique shopping and world-class dining, and you have one destination you will be in no rush to leave. 

Here is your guide for all of the best places to eat, drink, and explore when visiting Palm Cove. 

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The best places to eat in Palm Cove
Nu Nu Restaurant
Hanging ferns with a lush open feel, Nu Nu Restaurant is a beachfront dining experience that kicks-off early in the morning and rolls on well into the night. Their three menus – breakfast, lunch and dinner – reflects tropical Queensland, with renowned chefs using fresh local produce. Sourdough bread is made in-house, and the coffee is roasted locally by Tattooed Sailor Coffee Roasters, while in the evening, the colourful plates light up the night.
Temple of Tastes Restaurant
Seaside dining is part of everyday life in Palm Cove, and whether you’re staying at the Pullman Sea Temple Resort or not, it pays to drop in to experience Temple of Tastes. The restaurant is set amongst the tropical gardens, and the menu is inspired by Southeast Asia. And their produce to plate ethos means, where possible, their menu is designed around organic, seasonal produce from the nearby Atherton Tablelands. Their signature dish, sashimi of black cobia with coconut dressing, is a must.
Watch the sunrise break through the palm trees at this seaside beauty. Vivo is an all-day dining experience that gets underway at 6.30 am. The interiors are open and breezy, with the outdoor terrace being highly prized for the views, while the menus change throughout the day. Each one though reflects the tropical region, but its global influence gives it a bit of spice, and for the pescatarians among us, you will love their seafood offering.
The best places to drink in Palm Cove
Chill Café
Surrounded by the lush tropics, Chill Café encourages you to do just that, chill. With uninterrupted views of the beach and swaying palms above, this laid-back hangout has a rustic charm. Craft beers, cocktails and wines are all on the menu, and being a café the food offering is local produce with international flavours. With chillout beats playing in the background, and doors that stay open till late, this really is the perfect hangout spot.
Apres Beach Bar & Grill
With a tree trunk shooting straight up through the roof and a collection of antique knick-knacks hanging from above the bar – this quirky bar has a whole lot of Aussie charm. The menu is jampacked full of pub faves (burgers, steaks, and pizzas) and every weekend there is live music, while karaoke nights are a real crowd-pleaser. And being only steps from the beach, cooling off with a bevvy in hand is the perfect way to finish up the night.
Jack & Shanan’s Espy Bar
This family-run business has been taking Palm Cove by storm, first with their restaurant and now with the Espy Bar, which also happens to be Palm Cove’s only piano bar. It’s all about good vibes here with live music every Friday and Saturday night, trivia nights, and free pool tables. By day, it’s kid-friendly with an all-day menu with a seriously impressive selection of food, and while the drinks selection is varied, it’s the cocktails you’ll want to pay the most attention to.
The best places to explore from Palm Cove
Great Barrier Reef
One of Australia’s biggest drawcards, the Great Barrier Reef traverses a whopping 2,300 kilometres and can be seen from outer space. The colourful marine life and reef system can be explored either by boat or up in the air, but our advice? Gear up and dive in with one of the many operators in and around Palm Cove. Quicksilver Group offer a variety of tours that will take you snorkelling, diving or for a cruise amongst the islands.
Daintree Rainforest
Two-hours north of Palm Cove is the Daintree Rainforest, and it makes for an incredible day-trip. There is so much to do, from Saltwater Crocodiles spotting along Daintree River to hiking the tropical lowland rainforest. Daintree also has Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in abundance and Cape Tribulation is where the rainforest meets the reef. A picture-perfect sight that you will never want to pull yourself away from. Jump on a tour and soak up natures finest.
Palm Cove Watersports
There is no better way to explore this region than by water. Join a tour or go-it-alone, it is a water wonderland that is just begging to be explored. There is a tonne of options to choose from, but local operators, Palm Cove Watersports, have several tours to pick from, such as their kayaking and turtle tours, sunrise tour, and kayaking and snorkel tours. You can also hire a kayak (singles or doubles) or paddleboards.
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