Exploring the Scenic Route from Cairns to Palm Cove

Cairns Airport To Palm Cove

Welcome to tropical North Queensland, where the journey is just as breathtaking as the destination. As you touch down at Cairns Airport, get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty that this region has to offer. One of the most spectacular drives awaits you as you make your way from Cairns Airport to the tranquil paradise of Palm Cove. Buckle up and join us as we explore the scenic route that will leave you awe-inspired at every turn.

Route Overview:

The journey from Cairns Airport to Palm Cove spans approximately 25 kilometers, offering a delightful mix of coastal panoramas, lush rainforests, and glimpses of the Great Barrier Reef. Take the Captain Cook Highway for an unforgettable road trip that encapsulates the essence of tropical North Queensland.

Cairns Airport to Smithfield:

As you leave Cairns Airport, the road meanders along the coastline, providing stunning views of the Coral Sea. The journey begins with a sense of excitement, and the azure waters on one side and lush greenery on the other set the stage for an enchanting experience. The first leg takes you through the suburb of Smithfield, home to the iconic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Smithfield to Kewarra Beach:

Continue along the Captain Cook Highway as you approach Kewarra Beach. The road hugs the coastline, revealing secluded beaches and captivating ocean vistas. Make a pit stop at Kewarra Beach for a stroll along its pristine shores or a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear waters.

Kewarra Beach to Clifton Beach:

Heading south, the road leads you to Clifton Beach, a serene stretch with palm-fringed shores. Take a moment to appreciate the coastal tranquility and perhaps indulge in some beachcombing before moving on.

Clifton Beach to Palm Cove:

The final stretch takes you through the charming village of Palm Cove. Known for its upscale resorts, palm-lined esplanade, and the iconic jetty, Palm Cove is a picturesque haven that beckons travellers seeking relaxation and natural beauty.

Must-See Stops:

  • Rex Lookout: A panoramic viewpoint offering breathtaking views of the coastline, perfect for photo opportunities.
  • Ellis Beach: A hidden gem with a laid-back atmosphere, ideal for a quiet beach escape.
  • Palm Cove Esplanade: Explore the vibrant esplanade lined with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll along the jetty for a stunning sunset view.


The journey from Cairns Airport to Palm Cove is not just a commute; it’s a voyage through the heart of tropical paradise. With every turn, you’ll find yourself captivated by the beauty that surrounds you – from the azure waters of the Coral Sea to the lush rainforest-clad hills. So, as you embark on this scenic route, savor every moment, and let the natural wonders of North Queensland leave an indelible mark on your travel memories. 

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