Cairns Region Guide

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Palm Cove Review

Travellers Tale!
Submitted By: Jane Hodges - Australia
Updated: 23-May-2008

A week of sun, sea, good food and fresh air are just the ticket for the work weary. Jane Hodges reluctantly travelled to the resort enclave of Palm Cove to test the theory.

If you're anything like me, you're always in the market for a foot massage. One of the best I've ever had was at Palm Cove, Tropical North Queensland. Embark on a seemingly routine barefoot stroll along Palm Cove Beach and you're literally walking the line between pleasure and pain. Under foot is a delicious mix of smooth shells and gritty coral sand - that at once exfoliates, scratches and soothes. Just when you think you can't take any more a cool frothy wave washes over your tired feet, and you know everything's going to be alright.

At just over 20 minutes drive north of Cairns, Palm Cove is the perfect low key getaway. It's the kind of place celebs could and do feel comfortable relaxing. Hugging the coast and lapped by the Coral Sea, the village captures apartment and resort-style accommodation, relaxed beachfront dining, art galleries, a championship golf course, and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and nearby rainforests.

If you're looking for luxury digs the choice is wide. For a pampering experience book into the newly refurbished Angsana Resort and Spa, Great Barrier Reef, Palm Cove's only absolute beachfront resort. The elegant Sebel Reef House set amid the melaleucas and opposite the beach is also in the luxury range. Families travelling in style are well looked after at Marriott's Courtyard Great Barrier Reef Resort, the Novotel Palm Cove and the Ramada. The Reef Retreat, a street back from the beach, offers luxury in spacious self-contained apartments clustered around a tranquil pool dotted with giant melaleuca trees just made for lazing under. Many have kitchens on the balconies, blurring the line between outdoors and in. Rest assured - wherever you stay in Palm Cove, you're no more than a minute's walk to the water.

If you're a foodie, you won't be disappointed with more than a dozen restaurants and cafes, many specialising in local seafood and tropical produce.

A must-do is sunset cocktails and canapes overlooking the beach at the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant on the deck of Sebel Reef House. Also recommended are Far Horizons, the Garden Terrace's buffet, Clippers for seafood and the weekly Surf Club barbecue is hard to beat too.

The Coach House specialises in local bush foods with crocodile and kangaroo regulars on the menu. For light bites, Cockies at the Cove and the Apres Beach Bar are just a few steps from the beach.

When the time comes you'll leave Palm Cove energised and refreshed, albeit reluctantly. 

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