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Cairns Beaches Visitor Information

The beaches north of Cairns include many exclusive beach destinations popular for tourists from all over the world, such as Palm Cove and Trinity Beach.

However if you are looking for holiday accommodation in a quiet location where you can meet the locals we can offer you these destinations for apartment style, holiday house accommodation and cabins.

Included in this section are Machans Beach, Holloways Beach and Yorkeys Knob, which are located 10 - 15 minutes north from Cairns City Centre, and Ellis Beach, which is located 35 minutes north of Cairns.

For more information on Cairns Beaches contact The Tour Specialists or by Ph: 1300 761 612

Cairns Beaches Overview

Machans Beach

Machans Beach is the closest beach to Cairns and the first beach to be established as a residential area in the Cairns region.

Today this historical beach remains a quiet locals’ beach with the odd holiday house spattered along the coastline.

Machans Beach is a great option for visitors who want to be close to the city and experience an uninterrupted holiday away from the tourist hustle and bustle — Machans is your home away from home.

The quiet beach boasts views of the Great Barrier Reef and is the perfect place for a game of touch football or a long leisurely stroll.

Accommodation and Dining at Machans Beach

Seascape at Machans Beach is an absolute beachfront resort that sleeps up to 8 people.

This beautiful holiday home has a private pool and is just steps away from the beach.

O'Sheas is the best place to grab a bite while in Machans. It is open 7 days a week for dinner and on the weekends for breakfast and lunch.

Holloways Beach

Holloways is a beautiful local beach about 12 minutes from the Cairns CBD and centrally located amongst many of Cairns’ best attractions like Skyrail and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Holloways is an unpretentious beach that is bursting with character and looks out onto the Coral Sea. Holloways Beach is a perfect spot to go for a dip, have a picnic or cast a fishing line.

The beach itself is lined with beautiful coconut palm trees and the water temperature stays warm all year. The grassy park area behind the beach has BBQ facilities and offers an ideal spot for a picnic or to throw a ball around.

Accommodation at Holloways Beach

Cairns Beach Resort at Holloways Beach is located steps away from the beach and has plenty of facilities to keep everyone entertained.

The resort has a beautiful resort style pool with a BBQ area and a tropical garden surrounding. All rooms have one bedroom, a large spacious balcony and fully equipped kitchen and laundry.

If you are after a kind personalised service, David and Jo have created a lovely bed and breakfast called Beaches at Holloways that is sure to satisfy.

With a lovely pool and gardens throughout guests can fall asleep to the gentle sounds of waves crashing onto the beach.

Dining and Entertainment at Holloways Beach

If you’re looking for a quick hamburger, fish ‘n’ chips, salad or sandwich, look no further than Breezeway Snack Bar, a perfect place for a lunch on the go or cool refreshment.

Straight on the Beach is Holloways’ best kept secret with tasty food, excellent service and a great location — there is no wonder that this little gem has people coming back time after time.

Yorkeys Knob

Yorkeys Knob is a quiet little village tucked away off the highway on the beachfront just 10-15 minutes drive north of Cairns.

Yorkeys Knob is a village with a great shopping centre that offers all the major items you need for a holiday in Tropical North Queensland such as a grocery store, bottle shop, bakery, hairdressers, restaurants, medical and much more.

If its entertainment you are are then head off to the Yorkeys Knob Golf course and hit a round on the 18 hole golf course. Its a lovely playing course as it overlooks the ocean and also the native Australian bushland and mix of tropical rainforest.

Dont be surprised when some wallabies or kangaroos come along and steal your golf balls.  

The Yorkeys Knob boat marina is also home to some private charter boats and also the port of call for cruise ships to moor off the shore.

 Cruise ship passengers alight from the ship here to enjoy shore tours and excursions of the local tours and attractions in Cairns. 

Ellis Beach

Ellis Beach is located on the Captain Cook Highway about half way between Cairns and Port Douglas.

This lovely beach offers the same exquisiteness and charm as Palm Cove but is untouched by large resorts, restaurants and shops.

Ellis Beach is a long beach stretching just over a kilometre in length and is a wonderful spot to retreat to if you’re looking to get away from it all — if you’re lucky, you might have the entire beach to yourself!

The sight of Ellis Beach is absolutely magnificent. Picture silky azure waters with rocks speckled along the coast and luscious palm-fringed white sandy beaches tracing the coastline.

This beach is an excellent place to visit for the day if you are wanting to fish, swim or sunbathe; it is a calm beach with little swell and the temperature is warm all year round.

Accommodation at Ellis Beach

Ellis Beach Bungalows and Leisure Park offers guests a variety of accommodation options while staying in this tropical paradise.

Stay in an oceanfront bungalow and enjoy the magnificent views of the Great Barrier Reef while relaxing on the patio and enjoying an ice cold beer or cocktail. Budget cabins are another option and sleep between 2-5 people.

Located only 50 meters away from the beach, the cabins are equipped with everything you need; a kitchen fully stocked with all the necessary utensils, all linen and fully air-conditioned.

The caravan park at Ellis Beach hosts 8 caravans with immediate beach front and 39 others. People come back to the caravan park year after year to enjoy the picturesque surroundings and laid back feel of Ellis Beach.

Dining and Entertainment at Ellis Beach

The Ellis Beach Bar & Grill is great place for a bite to eat with plenty of food to choose from. Enjoy some fish ‘n’ chips, a hamburger or a salad, even a hearty meal such as lamb shanks, then head over to the bar and cool off with an ice cold refreshment while enjoying paradise. 

Getting There

Machans Beach: Machans Beach is right outside of the Cairns CBD. Follow the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns, past the airport and make a right hand turn at the first roundabout.

Holloways Beach: Holloways Beach is just outside of the Cairns CBD. Follow the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns, past the airport and make a right hand turn at the second roundabout.

Ellis Beach: Ellis Beach is located half way between Cairns and Port Douglas and is situated right on the Captain Cook Highway. From Cairns follow the Captain Cook Highway north and Ellis Beach is just after Palm Cove. From Port Douglas follow the Captain Cook Highway South for about 30 minutes and you will see Ellis Beach on the left side of the road.


Cairns’ beaches have two distinct seasons, dry and wet. During the green season December-March the air is humid, the temperature is hot and the rain is regular. During the dry season April-November there is little rain, less humidity and the temperature averages about 28 degrees.

For more information on other Cairns northern beaches accommodation, please select the specific destination below.