Updated May 2018. Imagine absorbing the sights and sounds of a world heritage rainforest, stalking Nemo through a myriad of brilliant coral formations, or wiggling your toes into golden grains of sand at Trinity Beach Cairns and beyond. This and so much more awaits in Tropical North Queensland.
What You Will Find in This Post
Palm Trees, Blue Skies and dreamy Aqua Seas at Trinity Beach
This is Tropical North Queensland.
Cairns City sits at the corner of the Coral Sea and Trinity Inlet, with it’s beaches flung northward in a glittering line-up – Machans, Holloways, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity, Kewarra, Clifton, Palm Cove, Ellis. It seems unfair for one city to have so many things to do on their doorstep and I want to explore them all.
In a stroke of town planning genius the beaches have retained their individuality. They each have their own dedicated access road from the highway, cultivating an air of exclusivity. After Palm Cove the highway drives on through Ellis Beach (the end of the Cairns beaches) and then north to Mossman, Port Douglas and the far away Daintree and Cape Tribulation.
We’re going on a Trinity Beach holiday and you’re welcome to come along.
Why Stay at Trinity Beach Cairns?
Location. Location. Location.
Trinity Beach is one of Cairns northern beaches. Cairns City itself does not have a beach, although it does have many other attractions.
Trinity Beach is half-way between Cairns and Ellis Beach and only 9km from Skyrail Rainforest Cablecar, which can whisk you to Kuranda, the heritage market rainforest village on the Atherton Tablelands.
Using a combination of the Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail makes the day trip even better.
Or drive yourself from the beach, through the spectacular scenery of the Kuranda Range and then explore more of the Atherton Tablelands. It’s all possible from Kuranda.
You can explore Cairns from Trinity Beach.
It is only 20km from Cairns to Trinity Beach so it’s easy to return to Cairns and explore.
Here are our suggestions.
- Visit the Cairns Botanic Gardens in Edge Hill
- Explore the Edge Hill Cafe scene or try the Cafe in the Botanic Gardens
- Start at the northern end of the Esplanade and walk south to the Inlet.
- Divert to Rusty’s Market in Grafton Street in the CBD for souvenir shopping.
- Browse shops on the way to the lagoon pools for a dip or to photograph the iconic fish statues.
- Esplanade hop to the Marina checking out restaurants and bars to return to.
- Ogle the mega boats moored in the Marina
- Return to your chosen venue, enjoy the view and a cold drink.
A beach holiday experience had eluded us on previous trips to Cairns and to say we were excited about this one would be an understatement. We were looking forward to some intense relaxation time and then a sprint up the coast to Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, The Daintree and Cape Tribulation.
Tours for the above destinations pick up from the beaches at no extra cost.
Accommodation Trinity Beach Resort Cairns.
Coral Sands Beachfront Resort is in a prime location, with it’s reception on Trinity Beach Road and a large beach frontage onto Vasey Esplanade. Cars park along the esplanade but it is not a busy street and guests wander back and forth between resort and beach.
The resort comprises individually owned and rented apartments – and you know how we love the self-catering advantages of apartments. The kitchen had a message from the apartment’s owner, which I thought was a nice personal touch.
This is relaxation – Cairns Trinity Beach Style
The apartments form a relaxed U shape capturing the ocean breeze, with a reversed U shape resort pool slotted within the gardens. After checking in, Marty drove to the secure carpark beneath our apartment while I walked through tall red lipstick palms, flowering ginger plants and orchids and across a bridge to our door.
Our one bedroom ground floor apartment was in reality a two bedroom with one closed off. With living areas designed to accommodate twice as many people, we appreciated the apartment’s spacious feel. A walk in robe/dressing room connected the bedroom to ensuite shower over bath with toilet and there was also another toilet off the full laundry. Being on the ground floor was great for easy access and our balcony was large.
The apartment was large and comfortable enough to live in full time. If Only!
Pricing is dynamic with the rack rate of a one bedroom apartment in high season $240/night and in low season $190. In early-mid November when we booked, a one bedroom apartment for a three night stay was a great value $139/night. Click on their website for details, (like access to Coast Fitness Gym) and choose “Availability” for up-to-date rates.
Updated Prices May 2018. One Bedroom High Season $245/night and $135 to $120/night in Low Season depending on length of stay. Free Wifi.
What to do at Trinity Beach Cairns.
After a five hour drive from Townsville the first up was a lifesaving cuppa on the balcony. Although these are self-catering apartments we did find a welcoming starter selection of tea/coffee in the kitchen.
Relax by the Pool
Marty pulled a surprise manoeuvre and actually beat me into the water, but it didn’t take me long to follow.
Pure Cool Bliss.
I wanted to practice Yoga in a beachside pavilion, with ocean breezes, where I could hear the waves lapping. And I did!
Jen from Cairns Beaches Yoga, made it possible. She offers an 8.30 a.m. free flow class each Wednesday at Kewarra Beach Resort. It looked so amazing on line that I emailed her immediately to book in and secure my place.
Kewarra Beach is just 5 minutes north of Trinity Beach.
Before Yoga photo taken from the beach.
I practice body balance, a mix of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates and I’ve done a few classes in my time, but I’m certainly no Guru.
I wasn’t unduly worried though and relaxed even more when I met a friendly woman with a yoga mat tucked under her arm in the carpark. We walked together to the pavilion. I thoroughly enjoyed my yoga by the sea experience and the girls told me that the Kookaburras I could hear in the trees sometimes fly through the pavilion.
Take a Hike
Looking for a work out but yoga is not your thing? Earls Hill is the closest view point over Trinity Beach and it has a trail that will take you straight up 300 ft to the top. Click here if you’re up for the challenge.
Watch Wallabies in the Wild
There are Wild Wallabies at Trinity Beach. Who knew?
To find them turn into Trinity Beach Road from the Captain Cook Highway and take a quick left toward the Marlin Coast Bowls Club. As we collected hats, cameras and phones from the car, I looked in amazement at a thousand
meerkats wallabies standing to attention in the field behind the club.
Arrive early morning or late afternoon to see the wallabies. Being wild animals they get easily stressed, so with the busy highway nearby we kept our distance. Cute aren’t they?
Restaurants Trinity Beach Cairns – and Bars
It’s not difficult to find relaxed dining options at Trinity Beach. On our first night we wandered along the beachfront before settling at the Trinity Beach Bar and Grill. With the casual air of a beachside take-away it was a perfectly positioned footpath bar.
May 2018 and Trinity Beach Bar and Grill are still thriving in the same location at 28/30 Trinity Beach Road now in an upgraded facility.
From our perch we looked across the street to Restaurant/Bar Lunico. Full of Melbourne Cup Revellers then, it has recently been named as one of the Best Waterfront Bars in Tropical North Queensland.
Luncio is permanently closed. May 2018.
Then it was home to our cosy unit and an easy steak and salad. By the way, the kitchen had everything we needed to prepare, cook and serve our meal and a roomy table to dine at in style.
For self-caterers – there is a convenience store across the street for emergencies, a Night Owl 15 minutes walk away at Trinity Village and both Coles and Woolworths deliver. I also noticed a Coles Supermarket on the highway at Clifton Beach. Plenty of options to stack that family sized refrigerator!
On our second night, we met up with friends for drinks at the modern tropical inspired Lime Tree. The wine was delicious and one of the cocktails boasted pumpkin and spice…
We decided to stay on for dinner. While waiting two tasty and complimentary pre-dinner dishes arrived. Lime Tree was definitely a winner.
A walk along the esplanade was the perfect night cap. Palm trees, starlight and gently lapping waves.
Update May 2018. Lime Tree is now closed.
On the day we left for Port Douglas I needed a coffee… fast. Nursing a sore shin after picking a fight with a rock, we stopped at Trinity Village Shopping Centre.
While I scoped out the closed Martinelli for clues, Marty flagged me down from new kid on the block, Tranquillity Cakes. Our coffees there were good and strong and my cupcake – coffee frosting on a moist chocolate base – was just what the doctor ordered. Marty liked the flavour combo of his super-sized banana caramel muffin with sultanas and the air-conditioning was welcome.
Trinity Beach Cairns
Have you ever seen a more perfect tropical beach?
Relax on the Beach or take a 15 minute Walk
I had no preconceived ideas and was pleasantly surprised by an intimate and relaxed beach. We found the mix of sun and shade provided by the Beach Almond and Palm trees appealing (I am tanned and Marty fair skinned). It was easy to find a patch of beach to suit us both and the shoreline with island views proved to be a lovely walk. In my newly relaxed state I didn’t check the time, but it can’t have taken more than 15 minutes from north to south. Where the beach ended a paved track extended to a rocky point with views back to Trinity and around the corner to Yorkeys Knob Marina.
Watch the Sunrise over the Ocean
I joined the pre-dawn joggers, walkers and a couple of other photographers to watch the sun rise over the beach one morning. While contemplating why I don’t make the effort to see more sunrises, I came across the recently installed story panels explaining Trinity’s role as a wartime training area for thousands of Australian WWII troops. It was incredible to imagine the whole area taken over by combat troops.
War Training and Sunrise.
Ocean Swimming North Queensland Style
November through May a stinger enclosure is installed on the patrolled beach and June to October Trinity Beach Water Sports offers water trampolines, inflatable play sets, paddle boards and kayaks on the week-end. The inflatables are a big draw-card for families staying at the resort but I fancied the paddle boards and kayaks.
After my coffee had taken effect we aimed our vehicle for Port Douglas, but the conversation was all about how we would love to return for a longer stay.
Port Douglas Reef Tours
Kate from AdventureMumma blog lives in Cairns and has worked on the reef – who better to talk about the Port Douglas Reef Tours! Her blog post is written from a solid knowledge base, is super-informative and tells of her adventurous trip on Quicksilver from Port Douglas to the outer reef during strong winds (up to 33 knots). Don’t worry though because the ocean is normally calmer – for the rest of us, winds of up to 20 knots would make for an amazing day.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven wonders of our natural world.
Marty recommends Agincourt Reef for a pristine reef experience. I’ve not been there myself, but I did enjoy another Quicksilver trip – snorkelling amongst the blue and yellow fusiliers at Low Isles.
Another option is to catch a boat from Cairns to Fitzroy Island where you can snorkel directly off the beach or take a boat tour that stops at a snorkelling spot. Fitzroy Island has good coral coverage (May 2018). For more options read this post Hello Sunshine, the Official Travel Blog of Queensland.
There’s no getting around the fact that a Reef Experience can be expensive, but in my opinion it is definitely worth the splurge. It is a case of you get what you pay for, but finding an experience that suits you is probably more important.
Former Sugar Wharf/Ben Cropp Shipwreck Museum, Port Douglas.
Just 66 km or one hour north of Trinity Beach Cairns, Port has metamorphosed from a tiny fishing port to a glamorous resort destination. Controversial Millionaire Christopher Skase built Sheraton Mirage, a resort designed beneath tree top level, here in the 80’s and others followed his low-rise lead. Now home to mega yachts, reef catamarans and loads of tourists, Port Douglas is still charming. Expect great dining options (Salsa), a casual atmosphere and when everyone is away exploring, a return to it’s sleepy roots.
En route to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation is the country town of Mossman, the access point for Mossman Gorge. Beneath the huge rain trees on the highway, just near the stone church, you will find a busy Saturday morning market. There are some wonderful old buildings in town too.
Rollinia found at Mossman Markets – an awesome taste sensation half way between custard apple and lemon meringue pie.
Years ago there was just rainforest, gorge and the river tumbling over boulders into deep cold swimming holes. Today there is the added attraction of an Indigenous Eco Tourism centre through which the gorge is accessed. The water at the swimming holes is so refreshing and there is a raised platform walk through the forest, made from recycled materials. Buses connect the centre with a drop off point in the gorge, a distance of 2km. Guided dreamtime walks available.
The Daintree and Cape Tribulation
The very fact that a barge is needed to cross the Daintree River hints at the type of wilderness rainforest experience that awaits. Ancient trees and towering ferns cascade down mountains to mingle with mangroves, sand and sea. We took 8 hours for the return trip Port Douglas to Cape Tribulation, including stops for rainforest/mangrove/beach walks, view and lunch stops and ice-cream tasting. The river can be explored on a Daintree River Cruise including spotting wild Crocodiles and more.
HAVE YOU HAD A TRAVEL EXPERIENCE IN TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND? WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT IT?
We thank Coral Sands Beachfront Resort for providing two nights complimentary accommodation. We have expressed our honest opinion of the accommodation and our experience.
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