Edge pool at Lizard island resort

Blog Post

Sleep tight in paradise

Kevin the cassowary

TNQ Writer

Rest your head easy on a visit to Tropical North Queensland. From sleeping on a luxury island to pitching a tent on the beach, here’s your guide to an unforgettable stay in the tropics.

Island life

Fitzroy Island

Get away from it all at Fitzroy Island Resort, just a 45-minute fast cat ride from Cairns. Stay in a bungalow, beach cabin, studio room or suite and spend your days snorkelling, kayaking and hiking in the surrounding national park. Walk to the summit, the historic lighthouse at the eastern end of the island, which was a military base during World War II, or to the two main beaches, Welcome Bay and Nudey Beach.

Recently named the best beach in the country, Nudey Beach is a secluded stretch of pristine sand, backed with protected rainforest. The resort has a beachfront bar Foxy’s, a restaurant called Zephyr and a pool with a swim-up bar. Kids will love the arcade games room, movie theatre and playroom.

Under canvas

Tent with a view

Pitch a tent between the palm trees metres from the sand at Ellis Beach Oceanfront Bungalow & Leisure Park. On a 6 kilometre-long beach halfway between Cairns and Port Douglas and just five minutes’ drive north of Palm Cove, the park has a range of beachfront campsites with views across the water to Double Island.

Stock up on bread and milk, hire fishing rods and buy bait from the general store and head across the road to Ellis Beach Bar and Grill for bistro-style meals and live music on some Sunday afternoons. If glamping is more your thing, Ellis Beach also has bungalows and budget cabins.

With the birds

Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Doze off among the treetops at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, a bush-covered property criss-crossed with paths taking you through native forest to secluded coves. The family-owned beachfront eco-retreat between Cairns and Port Douglas has 83 bungalows, including the treehouse-like Coral Sea Bungalows, which are built on stilts. Relax on your private timber deck and take in the views over Oak Beach as wallabies, possums and sugar gliders go about their business in the trees around you.

Complimentary guided wildlife walks with onsite rangers are available, as well as bird watching tours, tree planting and stargazing. The retreat’s Osprey Restaurant is perched high on a hill, offering modern Australian cuisine with panoramic views across the Coral Sea and north to Cape Tribulation as gentle breezes keep diners cool.

In the lap of luxury

Lizard Island

Splash out with a trip to the northern-most accommodation on the Great Barrier Reef, the luxurious Lizard Island Resort. A one-hour flight from Cairns, the property was designed in harmony with nature. Take a guided tour to the research station, hike to the top of Cook’s Look or indulge in a treatment at the Essential Day Spa. Order a picnic hamper and get dropped off by boat at one of the island’s 24 beaches for a private lunch.

At night, soak up the 180-degree views from Salt Water Restaurant or liaise with the chef on a menu for a seven-course degustation dinner on a private beach pavilion at Anchor Bay.

Explore more of the tropics

More places to stay that will take your breath away

Crystalbrook Riley
Luxury places to rest your head

Escape to luxe island hideaways, indulgent outback retreats or tranquil ancient rainforests. Kick off your shoes, take some much needed R&R and discover the unique landscape of Tropical North Queensland.

Read more
pullman palm cove
Port Douglas
Dive into this guide of swim-out hotel rooms

Walk in: swim out. For that added splash of luxury to your weekend getaway, family holiday or romantic retreat the following hotels will get you as close as you can to the most convenient and luxurious pools in the region.

Read more
Riley Pool
Cairns & Northern Beaches
8 Ways Crystalbrook Collection combines sustainability with luxury

If you haven’t met them already, there are three hotel siblings in Cairns you should really know by name – Riley, Bailey and Flynn. 

Read more
outdoor bath tub at silky oaks lodge
10 relaxing ways to sleep in the rainforest

This summer, swap your inner city stresses for cool, rainforest rejuvenation, checking into one of these accommodation providers in the rainforest.

Read more
Palm Cove sunrise
Palm Cove
Palm Cove accommodation guide

The clue is in the name when it comes to Palm Cove, the palm tree flanked, charming coastal village found 25 minutes north of Cairns’ CBD. Palm Cove delivers guests a zesty cocktail of laidback lifestyle, decadent dining and reef and rainforest, all set to the backdrop of its famous palm-fringed beach. This Palm Cove accommodation guide will help you find your home away from home.

Read more
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Where to stay in Cairns, Port Douglas & Palm Cove with Accor

Choosing to visit Tropical North Queensland is easy. Choosing where to stay, that’s a lot harder.

Read more
campervan driving through chillagoe
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Home is where you park it: 10 caravan parks to stay at

Have caravan, will travel. Say bye-bye to bricks and mortar accommodation and check out these incredible caravan parks in Tropical North Queensland.

Read more
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Accessible accommodation in the Cairns region

When it comes to exploring the Tropical North, there’s a wondrous world of accessible adventures and activities to indulge in. To add to the mix, the Tropical North is proud to offer a range of accessible accommodation options that work for everyone.

Read more
Cape York
Cooktown accommodation guide

Considering exploring is in Cooktown’s DNA, you’ll want to spend a night or two in the capital of Cape York to discover what’s on offer for yourself. This Cooktown accommodation guide will help you choose your perfect home away from home.

Read more
Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Daintree & Cape Tribulation
Guide to Daintree & Cape Tribulation Accommodation

Where else but Tropical North Queensland can you sleep soundly in a spot where two World Heritage listed sites meet?

Read more