This road trip north of Cairns takes you to the pretty resort town of Palm Cove, along a stunning oceanfront drive to Port Douglas, on to Mossman Gorge for a swim and a forest walk before heading back to Cairns. The best highlights and good (campervan-friendly) campgrounds are mapped below.
Kewarra Beach Resort beach bar.
This beach has a pub at the north end, a wonderful open beachfront Italian restaurant called L'Unico at the midpoint of the beach, and a walk to the point at the south end. There is netted swimming here during stinger season and free gas BBQs along the beachfront.
This is a quieter more residential beach, which is part of its charm. It is fringed with parkland and has a couple of free gas BBQs at the entry where the car park is. Kewarra Beach Resort has a beach hut that serves drinks and live music on the weekends.
Palm Cove is nestled beneath coconut palms at the end of a spectacular sweep of beach. A beachside path meanders through lush gardens with the Coral Sea to one side and restaurants, cafes, bars, galleries and boutiques on the other. Cook a meal at one of the free beachside gas BBQs. Relax, take in the sea views and people watch at the Surf Life Saving Club bar. Camp at the beachfront caravan park. Stroll along the jetty and watch locals catch fish. Hire a kayak and go for a paddle. Ellis Beach also offers beachfront camping in a more natural setting a little further north.
The drive to Port Douglas is amazing in itself, hugging the coast with amazing views of the turquoise Coral Sea. This resort village sits on an inlet amongst lush vegetation with a Seven Mile Beach stretching along one side.
Drive to Port Douglas. Photo: aero.aus via Instagram
This emerald green river is beautiful to look at and very cold to swim in. So if you're here in midsummer and the heat and humidity becomes too oppressive, this is guaranteed to cool you down. The paved path takes you through some lush rainforest with thick vines and fan palms, across a suspension bridge - fun! - to a lookout.
Swimming in Mossman Gorge. Photo: Cairns Lifestyle.
Mossman Gorge. Photo: runningboffin via Instagram
Camping on Ellis Beach. Photo: elisecook via Instagram
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Ellis Beach. View from campervan. Photo: jojoflynnflynn via Instagram
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