During our trip to Australia we went from Brisbane to Cairns, which is like going from the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, to the top. Besides visiting some of the islands off the city of Cairns to snorkel the reef, we want to explore some of the neighboring towns of the city. One of our favorite stops was Palm Cove, only 20minutes north out of the city. Easily one of our North Queensland destinations, we stayed at the Alamanda, where we greeted by the friendly staff and the beautiful grounds of the estate. Situated on the beachfront, its numerous swimming pools and luxurious surroundings didn’t make us feel at home, it made us feel as though we were royalty. (You can read more about Palm Cove and what to do if you visit Cairns on our previous guide post HERE.)
Cairns – While the stingers may prevent you from being able to go into the ocean (especially during the summer months), there is a lagoon roped off on the pier that allows swimming. The marina on the pier houses countless boats and ferries to take guests to the Great Barrier Reef. We visited both island off Cairns, Green Island and Fitzroy Island and enjoyed the snorkeling around the Great Barrier Reef. Both islands are small and don’t require cars like many we visited off of Brisbane.
Upon arriving in Cairns we promptly boarded a ferry to Fitzroy Island (it’s a beautiful 45 minute commute), where we stayed at the resort for 2 nights in complete paradise. It’s a tropical paradise of rainforest and beaches surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef. It’s much less touristy then Green Island and both family friendly or great for a romantic escape.