aerial image of four mile beach port douglas

Plan Your Trip

4 day island and beach hopping

Craving a slice of sandy paradise? Keep palm and follow this 4 day island and beach hopping itinerary through Palm Cove, Fitzroy Island and Port Douglas.


Day 1

Fitzroy Island

Cairns – Fitzroy Island

Depart Cairns for Cairns for todays island destination- Fitzroy Island. This island utopia is just a short 45 minute boat ride from the mainland and is packed with activities, so you can choose to do as much (or as little) as you please!

snorkelling with turtle on fitzroy island

Explore the Great Barrier Reef

Head to the Fitzroy Island Sports Hub (FISH) to get your gear and choose from snorkel gear, SUPs and kayaks. There’s even guided snorkel tours for those who really want to make the most of the fringing Great Barrier Reef. If you’d rather stay dry, head onto the glass bottom boat tour to see the reef sans water or join a tour of the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, which cares for injured and sick marine turtles.

fitzroy island great barrier reef

Relax on the beaches

If more beach time is calling, you’re in luck! The island is home to two stunning beaches, Welcome Bay, which, as its name suggests, is where the boat first pulls in, and Nudey Beach. Before you start stripping off we will warn you, this spot is 100% not a nudist beach. Nudey Beach can be reached by a 45 minute walk down a winding rainforest track. You’ll know when you arrive as your jaw will drop at the view – think aqua oceans contrasting with white coral beach and tumbling boulders – although our description certainly does it no justice.

Couple having sunset drinks at Foxy's Bar at Fitzroy Island

Sunset at Foxy’s Bar

As the last day boat pulls away, the island becomes a serene haven. For sunset, pull up a pew at Foxy’s Bar and sip cocktails to the sound of the clinking of coral as the sun sets the sky alight over the sea. Tuck into a hearty dinner, or if you are after something a little more fancy, Zephyr Restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine a la carte style.

Fitzroy Island Welcome Bay Suite

Stay – Fitzroy Island Resort

Rest your head island style in your room at Fitzroy Island Resort.


Palm Cove

Zephyr Restaurant Fitzroy Island

Breakfast at Zephyr Restaurant

Wake up in paradise and head to the resort’s on-site restaurant, Zephyr Restaurant. Watch the palm trees sway and the waves lap the shore as you tuck into breakfast. Then board the boat and sail the seas back to Cairns.


Palm Cove sunrise

Palm Cove

Kiss goodbye to Fitzroy Island as you hit the ocean bound for the mainland. Veer north to Palm Cove, a relaxed beach village around half an hour north of Cairns.

Palm Cove

Relax on the beach

Take a wander down the iconic palm tree avenue next to Alamanda and take a shot for the ‘gram if that’s your vibe. Next, lay your towel down on the golden sand and while the day away in paradise.

Palm Cove has a lifeguard all year round and is equipped with a swimming enclosure from November to May.

Check into Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa

Check into your room at Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort and Spa, which has its very own private path to a quieter part of the beach. Choose from a range of room options, including swim-out apartments and plunge pool apartments. After you’ve dropped off your bags, relax at the pool bar with a cocktail or turn your relax to the max with a spa treatment at the award-winning Vie Spa.

More Palm Cove accommodation

The Beach Shack Kewarra Beach

Dinner at Beach Almond

Head down a few ‘burbs to Kewarra Beach Resort to the Beach Shack (pictured) for food, drinks and live music each Friday and Sunday evening during winter and spring.


Stay in Palm Cove and dine with your feet in the sand at Beach Almond. The menu is suitably seafood-packed for its ocean front location and features mouthwatering morsels such as chilli mud crabs and banana leaf barramundi.


Optional Detour –

Sunrise paddle to Double Island

Got an extra day to spend in Palm Cove? Start at first light and join Palm Cove Watersports for a sunrise kayak tour to Double Island and watch the sun breach over the ocean.

Palm Cove Watersports

Day 3

Great Barrier Reef Drive

Chill Cafe

Beach-side brunch at Chill by Portofino

Fuel up with brunch at Chill by Portofino, which is so close to the ocean that you can feel the sea breeze while you tuck into your brunch.

Great Barrier Reef Drive Ellis Beach

Beach hop the Great Barrier Reef Drive

Head north onto the Great Barrier Reef Drive for a stretch of coast dotted with beaches that are so quiet, you may not see a single footprint in the sand. Just past Palm Cove you will find Ellis Beach, which has a lifeguard on weekends and school holidays and a swimming enclosure in the warmer months, making it a great place for a dip.

Keep heading north to find your perfect patch of private golden sand – keep your eyes peeled for a place to pull over on the side of the road. Rex Lookout, just north of Wangetti Beach, provides sweeping views over the coastline, Double Island and Haycock Island.

Thala Beach Osprey's Restaurant sunset

Ospreys Restaurant

Pull over to Thala Beach Nature Reserve and wander through the beautiful palm tree plantation. Dine amongst the treetops at Osprey’s Restaurant for views of the rainforest canopy stretching to the Coral Sea and keep your eyes peeled for resident birdlife.

thala beach lodge

Stay – Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Stay in a bungalow perched in the rainforest at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Watch the sunset from your private balcony then rest your head ready for another beach-filled day tomorrow.


Continue on to Port Douglas for an array of accommodation options.

Day 4

Port Douglas

choo choos at the marina

Breakfast at Choo Choos at the Marina

Day four starts with more waterfront views, this time of the Port Douglas Marina. Choo Choos at the Marina is the perfect place to pick up a brekky or brunch and is home to the historic Bally Hooley train.


two young women walking along four mile beach

Four Mile Beach

Hit Four Mile Beach for a morning of relaxation. Choose a shady spot under a palm tree and relax with a book or make a splash in the designated swimming area.

If you fancy something a little different, hire a bicycle and peddle the whole way along Four Mile Beach.

snorkelling low isles

Low Isles

Don’t bother washing off the salt from the beach, the afternoon calls for another ocean destination. Hop aboard Sailaway for an afternoon at Low Isles, an idyllic coral cay just a stone’s throw away from Port Douglas. Join a marine biologist to explore the underwater coral tapestries of the Great Barrier Reef. Relax on the catamaran and watch as the sun sets over the shimmering Coral Sea.

seabean tapas palm cove

Dinner at Seabean

Finish your trip with Seabean and tuck into tasty Spanish tapas.

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