A glorious stretch of unbroken beach runs for some 18 miles along the coastline of northern Queensland and the picturesque little town of Clifton Beach enjoys a prime position here. The town is part of the Cairns’ beaches, all within close proximity of the city of Cairns, the tourist hub for tropical Queensland.
Clifton Beach is an idyllic, unspoiled town, offering visitors a typically Australian beach holiday but also close enough to the biggest local tourist attractions and thus making holiday accommodation here a superb choice.
Clifton Beach is a tiny township just 25 minutes from Cairns International Airport and has a quite stunning white sandy beach, fringed by palms, that stretches into the neighbouring townships of Palm Cove to the north and Kewarra to the south. The gorgeous clean waters positively invite swimming, surfing and other water sports activities, but like all beaches in the area, there is a risk of stingers (box jellyfish) during the summer months. A stinger net will be in operation at that time and swimming is only allowed inside its protective barriers.
Its pretty setting, bars and restaurants make Clifton Beach a popular destination for Cairns’ residents and for travellers from further afield. The town has an excellent variety of holiday accommodation, from apartments to houses and villas, and ranging from budget to luxury prices.
While its laidback beach-based lifestyle is Clifton Beach’s biggest attraction, the town is also blessed by its proximity to the superb tourist attractions of tropical Queensland.
Cairns Tropical Zoo is just minutes away at Palm Cove where visitors can see close up the incredible wildlife native to Australia. The zoo’s six hectares of tropical landscape gardens feature reptiles such as snakes, alligators, crocodiles and dragons; cockatoos, parrots, emus and pelicans; koalas, wombats, lemurs and possums.
The Daintree Rainforest National Park is around an hour’s drive north and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This ancient rainforest – said to be the oldest surviving rainforest in the world – can be explored from on high via a Skyrail cableway that whisks you to the forest canopy.
The hippy enclave of Kuranda is also accessible – take the scenic railway to the town or climb aboard its Skyrail to explore this arts and crafts centre where native culture mixes naturally with modern life.
A little further away are the Atherton Tablelands where volcanic crater lakes and waterfalls are a breathtaking site. One of the best and most exciting ways to see this unique landscape is from the basket of a hot air balloon – Cairns is known as the hot air balloon capital of Australia and there are a large number of operators offering trips.
One trip, of course, not to be missed is to the Great Barrier Reef, that colossal natural coral reef than runs for some 1600 miles down the Queensland coast. From a glass-bottomed boat that gives a gentle glimpse into the marine life below the surface to scuba diving or even walking underwater, a trip to the reef is likely to be the first thing on a visitor’s to-do list when unpacking in holiday accommodation in Clifton Beach.
Northern Queensland has a tropical climate that brings warm weather all year round but also tropical thunderstorms that appear and disappear in an instant. Expect cloudbursts in late afternoon and evening if you’re visiting Clifton Beach during the summer months from January to March. In between times, you’ll experience average daily temperatures of 31°C – do take care when out in the baking hot sun as visitors from the northern hemisphere are not used to this heat. Look for holiday rentals that offer air conditioning so you can enjoy a break from the tropical weather when indoors.
UK travellers heading to Clifton Beach are likely to fly into Brisbane International Airport first. There are flights to Brisbane from London’s Heathrow Airport and connecting flights to Cairns, which is around 1000 miles north of the state capital. You can arrange a pick-up when organising your holiday accommodation in Clifton Beach and the town itself is just 25 minutes’ drive from Cairns’ airport. Car rental is a good option if you’re looking to explore northern Queensland at your own pace and the airport has branches of all the major car hire firms