Machans Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Pleasant beach 10 minutes from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland

 

Machans Beach Visitors Guide for Tropical North Queensland, Australia

 

Table of Contents

Welcome to my Tourist Visitor Guide to Machans Beach in Tropical North Queensland! To make it easier for you to follow I have organised it into the various heading below:

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

Please read this visitor guide until the end. If you do, I hope it will have inspired you to visit this fabulous Tropical North Queensland beach!

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

Read Time: 7 Minutes

 

Introduction

Machans Beach is a pleasant beach and coastal village just a short 10-minute drive from the centre of Cairns.

A quiet, local beach, it holds the distinction of being the closest beach to the Cairns CBD. However, despite this, it is actually a lovely place to escape the crowds. Defined by its rock wall that runs the entire length of the Esplanade, it accommodates a decent stretch of beach. However, as it is not patrolled and doesn’t have a stinger net, many tourists choose to visit nearby Holloways Beach instead.

That said, those in the know are aware that residents of Machans Beach have a fierce sense of pride about living there, evidenced by the various social and sporting events they organise on a lush greenspace within the Esplanade that is also perfect for picnics.

Overall, what differentiates this coastal suburb from other beaches near Cairns is its laidback and eclectic nature. It doesn’t have large resorts or hotels to stay at. But there are plenty of holiday homes and privately-owned units and apartments, which you can rent out on a long- or short-term basis.

 

It is the closest beach to the Cairns CBD and Esplanade area and is also just 6km from Holloways Beach which is the nearest patrolled beach.

 

Where is Machans Beach?

Machans Beach is a coastal suburb and beach that is situated about 10km north of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. It is the closest beach to the Cairns CBD and Esplanade area and is also just 6km from Holloways Beach which is the nearest patrolled beach.

The quiet suburb has a population of less than 1000 people. It is sandwiched by the Coral Sea to its east and the Captain Cook Highway to its west. The Barr Creek and Barron River provide its northern and southern boundaries.

Like at many beaches in Tropical North Queensland, The Yirrganydji people (Tjapukai) are acknowledged as the traditional owners of the land.

 

Distance to Other Beaches in TNQ

  • Trinity Beach (14km)
  • Cow Bay (115 km)
  • Newell Beach (77 km)
  • Wonga Beach (88km)
  • Wangetti Beach (35km)
  • Bramston Beach (92km)
  • Four Mile Beach (57km)
  • Clifton Beach (17km)
  • Palm Cove (20km)
  • Etty Bay (109km)
  • Ellis Beach (23km)
  • Holloways Beach (6km)
  • Yorkeys Knob (11km)
  • Kewarra Beach (14km)
  • Best Time To Visit Machans Beach

    Thanks to the tropical climate of North Queensland, Machans Beach is one that can be enjoyed all year-round. However, as the area has two distinct seasons – the dry season and the rainy season (aka the green season) – when you decide to go might affect your experience.

    The dry season runs from May to December and is a time characterised by low rainfall and humidity, with temperatures averaging out between 24 and 29 degrees Celsius. By contrast the rainy season takes place between January to April. At this time you can expect higher temperatures that often exceed 32 degrees Celsius, higher humidity and heavy rainfall that can lead to spectacular thunderstorms.

    Machans Beach is known as a terrific spot for fishing. If you are planning on coming here specifically for that purpose the best time to do so is over the rising tide. Just be mindful of Crocodiles which are rife around the Barron River. Here is some more information on how to be Croc Wise while you are there.

     

    My tourist Visitor Guide to Machans Beach in Tropical North Queensland in Australia

     

    What Facilities do they have at Machans Beach?

    Overall, there isn’t that much in the way of facilities at Machans Beach, which is perhaps another reason why tourists tend not to visit it that much. Along the esplanade that flanks the rockwall you’ll find toilets, some picnic tables and a few benches. There is also a playground for children to enjoy themselves at the southern end of the walkway.

    For those who want to go fishing, there is a boat ramp adjacent to the State School on Christenson Street which you can utilise.

     

    For those who want to visit it, Machans Beach offers a laidback and relaxing beach experience where you can lay down a towel, sunbathe with your Spotify playlist and read a good book.

     

    How to get to Machans Beach

    As it is the closest beach suburb to the Cairns Airport, Machans Beach is a very easy destination to get to by car, taxi or bus.

    If you are driving, or have hired a car from the airport – Enterprise, Europcar and Avis all have offices there – you should follow Airport Avenue until it takes you to National Route 1. From there you will need to turn on to Machans Street, which will take you straight to the beach.

    Should you need to take a bus, the 120 and 120N will take you directly to the beach from the Cairns CBD. In addition, taxis and Ubers are readily available.

     

    Distance to Other places in Queensland

  • Cairns (10km)
  • Cooktown (321km)
  • Port Douglas (61km)
  • Townsville (357km)
  • Mission Beach (149km)
  • Kuranda (23km)
  • Mackay (754km)
  • Airlie Beach (630km)
  • Brisbane (1729km)
  • Noosa (1597km)
  • Hervey Bay (1466km)
  • Longreach (939km)
  • Mt Isa (1132km)
  • Surfers Paradise (1797km)
  • Things to do at Machans Beach

    For those who want to visit it, Machans Beach offers a laidback and relaxing beach experience where you can lay down a towel, sunbathe with your Spotify playlist and read a good book. It is also a decent spot to go for a walk, especially with your dog.

    Unfortunately, due to it not being patrolled or having a stinger net, swimming is not recommended here, especially as there are crocodiles in the area. However, if you are into fishing you will find it an excellent spot. Surrounded by the Barron River, you can snare huge salmon, barramundi and mangrove jack in the area, especially after heavy rainfall when they tend to chase the bait that gets flushed out from the creek. Additionally, you can also lay a crab pot into the flowing waters of the Barron River to try and catch yourself some lunch or dinner. If you don’t have any fishing gear with you, rods and tackles can be hired out from Gone Fishing at the Cairns Marlin Marina.

    If you don’t consider yourself an angler, the calm and shallow waters of the Coral Sea are perfect for catamarans and kayaks. When the tide is high, you can also go kite surfing and jet skiing. For those who want to venture out, you can catch a reef cruise from Cairns or embark on a diving or snorkelling excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.

     

    Read my Machans Beach Tropical North Queensland Tourist Visitor Guide

     

    Machans Beach Accommodation

    Machans Beach is a residential area, so there are no major hotels or resorts here. Indeed much of the holiday accommodations are privately-owned and marketed, however a good option right on O’shea Esplanade is the Makilaki Ulysses Machans Beach Cairns.

    This property has two bedrooms that are comfortable and stylishly appointed. It also has a full kitchen and a flat-screen TV. In addition, it also has an adjoining terrace complete with a charming outdoor dining area.

    You could also try the Coral Sea Cottage which has two bedrooms and bathrooms as well as a fully equipped kitchen. This makes it a good option for two couples or a family who are holidaying to this part of Tropical North Queensland together.

    For more extensive accommodations, there are plenty of terrific luxury hotels in Cairns as well as other places to stay.

     

    Another good food option over at Machans Street is the fabulously named Mayhem Cafe, a funky cafe that serves what they describe as progressive food and delicious coffee.

     

    Where to Eat at Machans Beach

    At Machans Beach, you’ll find dining options are few and far between. That said, a couple of options stand out.

    My personal favourite is O’Shea on the Waterfront which is located on the O’Shea Esplanade and offers superb beachfront views on a wonderful al fresco deck. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day of the week except Tuesday, they serve up a range of classics including a superb Big Brekkie and a sinful Deep Fried Crumbed Camembert.

    Another good food option over at Machans Street is the fabulously named Mayhem Cafe, a funky cafe that serves what they describe as progressive food and delicious coffee.

    If neither of these appeal there are plenty of options available in the Cairns Esplanade and CBD area, as well as neighbouring Holloways Beach.

     

    Cairns Restaurants and Cafes

  • Wawawa Izakaya (Japanese)
  • Tamarind (Modern Australian)
  • The Backyard by Shangri-La (Seafood)
  • Iyara by Sakare (Thai)
  • Rocco (Middle Eastern)
  • Vitalia's Italian Restaurant (Italian)
  • CC’s Bar and Grill (Steak)
  • C'est Bon French Restaurant Cairns (French)
  • Piato Mediterranean Cuisine (Mediterranean)
  • Marinades Indian Restaurant (Indian)
  • Final Thought

    For those looking for a low-key place to stay during their holiday in Tropical North Queensland, Machans Beach fits the bill nicely. Striking the perfect balance between not being too busy or too quiet, it puts you close enough to the action in Cairns, without being smothered by it.

    With plenty of beach to enjoy and a nice esplanade area to stroll upon and some decent eating options, couples wanting a romantic getaway or families a peaceful to stay, will find that this delightful coastal suburb should fit the bill nicely.

     

    FAQs

    Where is Machans Beach?

    Machans Beach is just a 10 minute drive north from the Cairns Esplanade. It is the closest beach to the city.

     

    Can you swim at Machans Beach?

    Unfortunately you are not able to swim at Machans Beach as there is no real stretch of sand to sunbathe on or swim off. You will find impressive rock wall art up and down the esplanade and plenty of good spots for swimming though.

     

    Is Machans Beach Dog Friendly?

    Yes, Machans Beach is one of several dog friendly beaches in Tropical North Queensland. It has a specific off-leash area where you pooch can run around.

     

    Previous
    Kewarra Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)
    Next
    Newell Beach: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…

    Welcome to Beach Scenes

    Spencer

    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.

    I hope the reviews and recommendations on my site inspire you to book an Australia Queensland vacation!

    Follow Beach Scenes

    YouTube
    Instagram
    Pinterest