Clifton Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Relaxed Beach in Tropical North Queensland

 

Clifton Beach Visitor Guide

 

Table of Contents

To make my guide about Clifton Beach much easier to follow, I have arranged it into the following sections below:

1. Introduction
2. Where is Clifton Beach?
3. Best Time To Visit Clifton Beach
4. What Facilities do they have at Clifton Beach?
5. How to get to Clifton Beach
6. Things to do at Clifton Beach
7. Clifton Beach Accommodation
8. Where to Eat at Clifton Beach
9. Final Thought
10. FAQs

I hope this post inspires you to visit this superb Tropical North Queensland beach!

(My post about Clifton Beach may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 8 Minutes

 

Introduction

Sometimes within the travel industry, the term ‘[destination X] has it all’ needs to be taken with a pinch of salt. However, in the case of Clifton Beach, it would appear perfectly justified.

Clifton Beach is one of a string of outstanding beaches in Tropical North Queensland. Occupying a central point, it sits on a six kilometre point that is sandwiched by Kewarra Beach at its southern end and Palm Cove to its north. Aside from the golden stretch of sand and swaying palm trees that define these coastal suburbs, what makes it such a special place to visit is that it has nothing in the way of high-rise buildings.

Instead, this residential beach is a great place to come for a nice long walk or relaxing break away from the tourists. It is also a place where you can book yourself onto scuba diving, snorkelling, whitewater rafting, coral viewing or reef and marlin fishing trips. Or enjoy a round of golf at the nearby Paradise Palms, a fabulous golf and tennis complex which is considered one of the best in the world.

For those who want to venture further afield, this coastal suburb also makes a terrific base to explore the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands. You can even make way over to Green Island, Dunk Island or Fitzroy Island, via Cairns. So, maybe, just maybe, Clifton Beach does have it all.

Please read on to find out more.

 

Set around the Coral Sea, this fabulous coastal suburb is sandwiched in between Palm Cove to the north and Kewarra Beach at its south, both of which you can walk to on the sand.

 

Where is Clifton Beach?

Clifton Beach is a quiet residential beach in Tropical North Queensland that is located about 23km north of Cairns. It resides in the Djabugay (Tjapukai) traditional indigenous country.

Set around the Coral Sea, this fabulous coastal suburb is sandwiched in between Palm Cove to the north and Kewarra Beach at its south, both of which you can walk to on the sand.

It is framed by the silhouette of Macallister Range of mountains, which borders the Kuranda State Forest, while the Captain Cook Highway, which is the main thoroughfare that leads you from Cairns towards Port Douglas, flanks the suburb.

The local population of Clifton Beach is currently around 3192 people.

 

Distance to Other Beaches in TNQ

  • Trinity Beach (7km)
  • Cow Bay (98 km)
  • Newell Beach (60 km)
  • Wonga Beach (72km)
  • Wangetti Beach (18km)
  • Bramston Beach (104km)
  • Four Mile Beach (40km)
  • Kewarra Beach (4km)
  • Palm Cove (3km)
  • Etty Bay (121km)
  • Ellis Beach (6km)
  • Holloways Beach (17km)
  • Yorkeys Knob (13km)
  • Machans Beach (17km)
  • Best Time To Visit Clifton Beach

    As it is located in the tropics, Clifton Beach is somewhere you can visit all year round. However, because it is located in Tropical North Queensland, you might want to time your trip to coincide with the dry season, which runs from May to October.

    At this time, while much of the rest of Australia shivers through the crisp chill of winter, the region is blessed with clearer skies, much lower humidity and temperatures that range between 23 – 31 degrees Celsius. All of which are ideal conditions for relaxing beach days.

    That said, at other times of the year Clifton Beach is still a fabulous place to visit. However, the high humidity and blazing sun make staying hydrated, wearing plenty of sunscreen and sitting under shade, essential.

    Generally speaking, this fabulous Queensland Beach doesn’t get too crowded. However, during the school holidays and the weekends it is more likely to be busier than at other times in the week.

    Like most other beaches in the region, crocodiles have been known to frequent Clifton Beach. Therefore, you should never swim in the Coral Sea when no one else is about. Also try and avoid coming here when it is dark. That said, try and make it down to its stunning sands in time for sunrise, as the hues of the rising sun in the dawn light are nothing short of sensational.

     

    View from Clifton Beach in Tropical North Queensland

     

    What Facilities do they have at Clifton Beach?

    Clifton Beach has a good range of facilities which make it a terrific place to spend a relaxing day. For those who want to swim over the summer months there is a stinger net in place and the beach is patrolled by lifeguards. There is also a fabulous children’s playground right on the beach under big shady raintrees, which also has barbecue facilities for families to cook up a storm.

    If you bring your bike or roller skates with you there is a pathway that links Clifton Beach to Palm Cove, which provides stunning views of the coastline as you traverse it.

    Close to the beach, you will also find a major shopping centre, which is air conditioned – very handy for when the afternoon sun gets too intense. This complex features a Coles supermarket, bakery, butcher, dental and medical services and a chemist.

     

    Clifton Beach is a lovely beach to spend a lazy day swimming, sunbathing, walking or beachcombing. But if you bring kayaks, wakeboards, paddleboards or jet-skis with you, it is also a fabulous place to take them out onto the shimmering waters of the Coral Sea.

     

    How to get to Clifton Beach

    Clifton Beach is an easy destination to get to by car. It is just a 15 minute drive from the Cairns International Airport, which is the main gateway for tourists arriving by air and around a 25 minute drive from Cairns.

    If you don’t have access to a car you can hire one from the airport from companies like Europcar, Enterprise and Budget who all operate from there. You will need to drive along the Captain Cook Highway before turning onto Endeavour Road. From there you can turn onto Elford Street where you should easily find parking.

    For those who don’t want to drive, you can book an Uber easily from the Cairns Esplanade or other suburbs within the region. Alternatively, you can catch the 110 bus which will take you right to the beach – the bust stop is by the Yule Ave Hail ‘N’ Ride. From Palm Cove or Kewarra Beach you might even be able to pick up an electric bike as well.

     

    Distance to other places in Queensland

  • Cairns (23km)
  • Cooktown (299km)
  • Port Douglas (44km)
  • Townsville (369km)
  • Mission Beach (161km)
  • Kuranda (25km)
  • Mackay (754km)
  • Airlie Beach (642km)
  • Brisbane (1729km)
  • Noosa (1597km)
  • Hervey Bay (1466km)
  • Longreach (1006km)
  • Mt Isa (1135km)
  • Surfers Paradise (1797km)
  •  

    Things to do at Clifton Beach

    Clifton Beach is a lovely beach to spend a lazy day swimming, sunbathing, walking or beachcombing. But if you bring kayaks, wakeboards, paddleboards or jet-skis with you, it is also a fabulous place to take them out onto the shimmering waters of the Coral Sea. In addition, if you are into photography, you should find plenty of inspiration among the backdrop of the palm trees.

    Away from the sand, as Clifton is nestled between Port Douglas and Cairns, it provides you with the option to visit the Great Barrier Reef – both are departures points to the world’s largest coral reef system. Whilst at the reef, you will be able to visit idyllic cays and other islands such as Green Island, Fitzroy Island or Dunk Island. Instead of going to the reef, you could also book a whale watching tour, if you happen to be in the region between July and September when Dwarf Minke and Humpback whales are often spotted in the area.

    If you would prefer to stay on the mainland, you can also take the opportunity to visit the Daintree Rainforest which crocodiles and cassowaries freely mix. Alternatively you can check out the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

    Other activities you can do include sky diving, extreme white water rafting, horseback riding on the beach and bungee jumping. Various companies run tours around these activities and some even pick you up from the Clifton Beach accommodation you are staying in.

     

    Gorgeous day at Clifton Beach Tropical North Queensland

     

    Clifton Beach Accommodation

    If you are wondering where to stay in Clifton Beach, you will quickly discover that the area has no high-rise buildings. Indeed, the only beachfront accommodations in the area are low-lying holiday apartments, homes and self-contained units that seamlessly blend into the lush foliage. This makes it an excellent destination for those wanting a quieter break from home, such as families, retirees and couples on a romantic break.

    Some of the best places to stay include:

  • Agincourt Beachfront Apartments
  • Beachfront on Arlington
  • Clifton Beach Holiday Villas
  • Tropicana Villas
  • Sea Turtle
  • Karinya
  • Clifton Views Resort
  • Cairns Northern Beaches Holiday Retreat
  • South Pacific Bed & Breakfast
  •  

    You can make a reservation at any of them here.

    If you would prefer to stay in a larger scale resort, your best bet is to book somewhere at Palm Cove. You will find a good selection there including the Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort, the Peppers Beach Club and the Alamanda.

     

    There aren’t that many places to eat near the oceanfront at Clifton Beach. However, one of my favourite places is the Coco Mojo Bar & Grill which in my opinion is the best restaurant in town.

     

    Where to Eat at Clifton Beach

    There aren’t that many places to eat near the oceanfront at Clifton Beach. However, one of my favourite places is the Coco Mojo Bar & Grill which in my opinion is the best restaurant in town. It is located on Clifton Road and has a lovely outdoor dining area.

    Their ‘Bites of the Caribbean’ main dish is exceptional (especially the Jerk Chicken!) while the lemon salt and pepper calamari is also divine. If you are in a celebratory mood, you can always try their ‘Big Lobster’ which requires 24 hours notice and will set you back a whopping $209! (Though you won’t need to eat for a week after!).

    Over at the Clifton Village Shopping Centre, you will also find a handful of cafes and restaurants, one of the most notable of which is Roberto’s, a charming Italian pizza venue that offers takeaway and dine-in options. There is an air-conditioned café that offers meals staples from breakfast through to afternoon tea in a pleasant setting.

    Should you want more options for breakfast, lunch or dinner, head to Palm Cove. There are several eateries lining the beachfront that provide lots of different culinary options. If you fancy something a little bit fancy, try Nu Nu. The food, service and location is impeccable.

     

    Final Thought

    If Clifton Beach was located on the Gold Coast it would be teeming with tourists, but the fact that it is a remote, largely resident’s only beach is perhaps its biggest drawcard.

    Its pristine shores provide an excellent backdrop for a tropical paradise experience, while the amenities and facilities in the surrounding area provide you with everything you need.

    Whether you come here for a day trip or choose to stay for a longer sojourn, the laidback nature of this coastal suburb is sure to lift your spirits and reinvigorate your soul.

     

    FAQs

    How Far Is Clifton Beach from Cairns?

    Clifton Beach is located about a 22 minute drive and 22 km north of the Cairns Esplanade. You can easily reach it along the Captain Cook Highway by car, Uber or bus.

     

    Can you swim at Clifton Beach?

    Clifton Beach is a beach you can swim at as it has a stinger net and is patrolled by surf lifesavers. However, because stingers are present in the water it is important you always swim between the net's protective barrier to avoid getting stung.

     

    Can you walk along the beachside from Clifton Beach to Palm Cove?

    Yes, there is a walking track that connects the two beaches. It will take you about 30 to 40 minutes to walk along it from its start at Clifton Beach to its end at Palm Cove. Along the way you will see awesome views of the coastline and Coral Sea.

     

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    Hi! My name is Spencer and I have created Beach Scenes to help you find the perfect travel destination for your beach holiday in Queensland.

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