Jump in your Cairns rental car as we welcome you to Cairns! It’s time to explore the best beaches in Cairns. Our gorgeous northern beaches stretch from Cairns to Ellis Beach, which is just a short 30-minute drive past some of the best beaches in north Queensland. So hop in your Cairns hire car, head north from Cairns and let’s check out our favourite beaches and Cairns restaurants.
If you head north along National Route 1 in your Cairns rental car and turn right onto Machans Beach Rd (just after crossing the Barron River), you’ll arrive at Machans Beach. This short 15-minute drive brings you to a cute coastal town that is literally on the beach. With a population of around 1000 people, it’s a quiet and secluded spot that’s the perfect foil for the hustle of Cairns City.
There’s only one cafe and it’s right on the beachfront. Open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner Friday and Saturday. Mayhem at Machans is just the spot to chill out for a few hours between dips in the ocean and long walks on the beach.
To get to Holloways Beach from Machans Beach you need to drive back out to National Route 1 and take the next right onto Holloway Beach Rd. That takes you only 6-minutes in something like our legendary Ruby, so it’s just a short hop in your Cairns rental car. With just over 2000 residents, Holloways Beach offers a relaxed, tropical vibe with plenty of cafes, beach-side dining and one 5-star resort.
Check out the Holloways Beach Seaside Markets which operate on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 8 am to 1 pm. For a bite to eat check out Strait On The Beach or the Two Blocks Café – two of our favourite spots in Holloway Beach.
If you head back out onto National Route 1 in your Cairns car hire and take the Yorkie Knob Road, you’ll arrive at Yorkeys Knob! It’s only another 15-minute drive north from Holloways Beach but well worth it. With a population of nearly 3000 people, Yorkeys Knob offers safe swimming beaches, restaurants, shops, a world-class marina, an 18-hole golf course and resorts.
Another 10-minute drive back along Yorkeys Knob Rd in your Cairns hire car, turning right onto McGregor Rd then State Route 44 followed by another right turn onto Trinity Beach Rd brings you to Trinity Beach! With a population of more than 5000 people, Trinity Beach is a tropical paradise well worth a visit.
Offering plenty of accommodation, places to eat, things to do and a fabulous beach, the 22-minute drive straight from Cairns is a very small price to pay for a day in paradise. Check out L’Unico Trattoria Italiano for authentic Italian fare, Tuk Tuk By The Sea for awesome Thai food or the Trinity Beach Tavern for great Aussie meals.
A short 7-minute drive in your Cairns car hire takes you back up to National Route 1 (now called Captain Cook HWY) followed by a right onto Poolwood Rd brings you to Kewarra Beach with a population of over 5000. A favourite with local dog walkers, Kewarra Beach offers secluded beaches and plenty of accommodations and restaurants. Check out The Beach Shack at the Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa for absolute beachfront food, drinks and live music.
Hop in your Cairns hire car and head back up to Captain Cook HWY until you see the right turn for Clifton Beach. This 5-minute drive brings you to a secluded, quiet and unspoilt part of the world with a fabulous beach lined by swaying palm trees and no high-rise buildings! With a population of more than 3000 people, you might be hard-pressed to find anyone on the beaches, it’s that secluded! Check out Coco Mojo for global street food or Cuppa at Clifton for breakfast or brunch,
Just 4-minutes in your prestigious vehicle such as our E300, Cairns rental car back along Captain Cook HWY followed by a right turn onto Warren St then a left turn onto Cedar Rd brings you to Palm Cove. With a population of just over 2000, Palm Cove is a charming resort beachside village with swaying palm trees and 500-year-old Melaleuca trees. It offers great accommodation, restaurants and designer shopping. Check out O’Donnells for awesome steaks, Nu Nu Restaurant for fine dining or the Surf Club where the locals eat!
Another trip back onto the Captain Cook HWY heading north brings you to Ellis Beach with a population of 24 people in the last census! If you want a peaceful and unspoilt beach then this 30-minute drive straight up from Cairns in your hire car hits the spot. Apart from the beach, there’s not much here except the Ellis Beach Oceanfront Bungalows and the Ellis Beach Bar & Grill. The Grill offer delicious food and live music on Sundays.
To book your Cairns hire car for your trip of a lifetime, call us on 0447 809 899 or BOOK ONLINE today.