Yorkeys Knob: Best Visitors Guide 2024 (UPDATED)

Dog-friendly beach between Cairns and Palm Cove in Tropical North Queensland


Yorkeys Knob Visitor Guide


Table of Contents

Welcome to my information guide for visiting Yorkeys Knob in Tropical North Queensland! It is quite a long post, so to make it easier for you to read I have arranged it into the sections below:

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

Hopefully, you will like what you have read and once you get to the end of the post you will be inspired enough to visit this fantastic beach in Tropical North Queensland!

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

Read Time: 10 Minutes



Located pretty much smack in the middle of Cairns and Palm Cove, Yorkeys Knob is one of the more central coastal suburbs within the Cairns Northern Beaches region. Residing just a 15-minute drive from the Cairns CBD and about 20 minutes from Palm Cove Esplanade respectively.

It is also one of the most picturesque too. Sitting behind a headland that pokes out into the shimmering waters of the Coral Sea, it is easy to bypass enroute to other beaches near Cairns. However, if you are wanting to visit a place where you can relax, unwind and escape the crowds, there are few better destinations in Tropical North Queensland where you can enjoy a heady mix of seclusion and tropical vibes.

Aside from the beach, one of the best things to do here is enjoy a meal or drink at the local Yorkeys Knob Boat Club, which offers tremendous views of Trinity’s Beach’s headland – complete with milion dollar yachts and Half Moon Bay. A round of 18-holes at the Half Moon Bay Golf Club also showcases pristine scenery.

For those into fishing, Yorkeys Knob is a prime spot. There are several areas around the beach, mangroves and bay, where you can cast a line. Alternatively, rent a boat and veer off into the open waters of the Coral Sea to enjoy a day of deep fishing in tranquil surroundings.


As Yorkeys Knob is located in the tropics it is a destination you can go to all year round. However, given that Tropical North Queensland has two distinct seasons – the wet and the dry season – these periods may impact your overall enjoyment of visiting it.


Where is Yorkeys Knob?

Yorkeys Knob is located in Tropical North Queensland about 17km north of the city of Cairns. It is the third beach suburb going northwards from the CBD after Machans Beach and Holloways Beach and makes a nice alternative place to visit from both.

Once a small fishing village, the suburb is named after George Lawson Yorkey, a Yorkshireman who was both an entrepreneur and fisherman and lived in the area in the late 19th century. The Djabugay (Tjapukai) people are the traditional owners of the land on which it is currently located.


Distance to Other Beaches in TNQ

  • Cow Bay (110km)
  • Trinity Beach (10km)
  • Wangetti Beach (27km)
  • Bramston Beach (99km)
  • Wonga Beach (84km)
  • Newell Beach (73km)
  • Four Mile Beach (53km)
  • Holloways Beach (10km)
  • Kewarra Beach (11km)
  • Clifton Beach (13km)
  • Ellis Beach (18km)
  • Etty Bay (116km)
  • Machans Beach (11km)
  • Palm Cove (16km)

    Best Time To Visit Yorkeys Knob

    As Yorkeys Knob is located in the tropics it is a destination you can go to all year round. However, given that Tropical North Queensland has two distinct seasons – the wet and the dry season – these periods may impact your overall enjoyment of visiting it.

    The wet season typically runs from November to March. Although there is still plenty of sunshine to be enjoyed at this time, the region is prone to having high humidity and rainfall which can sometimes manifest itself as tropical monsoons and severe thunderstorms. If you go to the beach at this time you will need to factor this into the equation. However, due to the unpredictable nature of the weather you might find some cheaper hotel deals available at this time.

    By contrast the dry season runs from April to October. At this time, the mercury tends to be lower, though still at very pleasant temperatures and the skies are much clearer. Hotel prices tend to be more expensive, especially during the school holiday time.

    Whatever time of year you arrrive, be aware that Yorkeys Knob is a known hotspot for crocodiles. So you should avoid going to the beach when it is dark and steer clear of the mangroves. Here is some more information about how to be mindful of crocodiles.


    My visitor guide to Yorkeys Knob Tropical North Queensland Australia


    What Facilities do they have at Yorkeys Knob?

    Yorkeys Knobs is patrolled by Surf Lifesaving Queensland for six months of the year and there is a stinger net in place, so you should be able to swim without issue, so long as you stay within the flags. If you don’t, the surrounding waters of the Coral Sea are inhabited by Irukandji, Bluebottles and Chironex which can cause serious consequences to your health if you are stung by them.

    In addition, you will find public toilets and showers at the beach, as well as drinking water, benches, free electric barbecue facilities and picnic areas.

    At the nearby Half Moon Bay Marina you will find a public boat ramp that is well looked after by the Cairns Regional Council. Close to the beach, you will also find a small store and newsagent on the beachfront, close to the main swimming zone. Not far away is also a bakery, bottleshop, supermarket and post office, along with several other shops.

    There is also a free car park near the dog-friendly area of the beach that has plenty of spaces available.


    The easiest way to get to Yorkeys Knob is to drive. If you are coming from the Cairns CBD you should take the National Route 1 north until you see the signs for Yorkeys Knob Road, which will take you directly to the beach.


    How to get to Yorkeys Knob

    The easiest way to get to Yorkeys Knob is to drive. If you are coming from the Cairns CBD you should take the National Route 1 north until you see the signs for Yorkeys Knob Road, which will take you directly to the beach. For those who do not have a car, you can hire one from the Cairns International Airport. Most of the major players in the industry, including Enterprise, Avis, Budget and Europcar have offices there. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi or Uber from the city centre straight there.

    Yorkeys Knob can also be reached by bus, with Translink operating there everyday of the week. The 112 bus runs every hour during the day from the Smithfield shopping centre. To get to this shopping complex you will need to get the 120 bus from Cairns CBD. During the busy times of the year, the 113 bus is a direct service that runs to Yorkeys Beach in the afternoon. You can check out the Translink timetable here.


    Distance to Other places in Queensland

  • Cairns (17km)
  • Kuranda (29km)
  • Port Douglas (57km)
  • Mission Beach (155km)
  • Cooktown (320km)
  • Townsville (363km)
  • Airlie Beach (637km)
  • Mackay (749km)
  • Longreach (1003km)
  • Mt Isa (1131km)
  • Hervey Bay (1461km)
  • Noosa (1592km)
  • Brisbane (1724km)
  • Surfers Paradise (1792km)
  • Things to do at Yorkeys Knob

    For those visiting Yorkeys Beach in Tropical North Queensland, you’ll find the patrolled swimming area and stinger net located at the north end of Sims Esplanade. Though it is only in place for six months of the year. It is important to stay between the flags when you enter the water as there have been cases of drowning at the rocks located not too far away from it.

    The beach stretches for a good couple of kilometres, so it is a nice place for beachcombing and to go for a walk – especially with your dog who can run off-leash at the area near Hidden Cafe. Just be extra vigilant around the mouths of Yorkeys Creek and Richters Creek, as there are often crocodiles in these areas.

    For those who want to enjoy the Coral Sea, kite-surfing is a popular activity here, with the beach hosting competitions throughout the year. If you are new to the sport and want to give it a go, you can take lessons from local companies based at the beach who will teach you the basics.

    If you enjoy fishing, you will love the opportunity to cast a line for Sailfish, Mangrove Jack, Black Marlin, Nannygai and Barramundi around the Great Barrier Reef. There are several fishing tour operators that operate in the area, though if you have your own boat you can launch or park it at the nearby Yorkeys Knob Boat Club.

    Just off the beach there is a lovely esplanade that features plenty of spots for a picnic with terrific views of the sea, headland and yachts at the marina. There is also a playground for kids to enjoy.


    My visitor guide to Yorkeys Knob TNQ Australia


    Yorkeys Knob Accommodation

    For tourists, Yorkeys Knob provides a good range of accommodation options for their Tropical North Queensland holiday, many of which convey breathtaking views of the Coral Sea.

    A terrific place to stay is the Golden Sands Beachfront Resort. They offer a good selection of self-contained apartments that come with either a patio or private balcony and air-conditioning. They also have secure parking underground and a nice range of amenities included a heated, lagoon-style, outdoor swimming pool, a basketball and tennis court and an excellent restaurant onsite. Best of all it is only a 1-minute walk to Yorkeys Knob Beach.

    Another good option is the Villa Marine which is about a 5-minute walk from the beach on Rutherford Street. If you make a reservation here you will be able to procure a self-contained studio that comes with a kitchen and sitting area. You will also be able to use their lagoon swimming pool, rent out fishing equipment and wash you sweaty clothes in an onsite coin-operated laundry.


    Talking of incredible views, it is hard to look past the deck of the Yorkeys Knob Boat Club. From there you can enjoy a sensational panorama of the Coral Sea and surrounding landscape.


    Where to Eat at Yorkeys Knob

    Both on the main esplanade and in the surrounding streets that lead up to it you will find a good selection of family-friendly cafes and restaurants, some of which are dog-friendly.

    One of my personal favourite places to eat is hidden@yorkeys. It is situated on the corner of the Sims Esplanade within the Golden Sands Beachfront Resort and is open for breakfast and lunch every day except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The food menu here is great (try the beef cheek burger which comes with chips and onion rings) and the views are spectacular. It is also a lovely place to escape the heat.

    Talking of incredible views, it is hard to look past the deck of the Yorkeys Knob Boat Club. From there you can enjoy a sensational panorama of the Coral Sea and surrounding landscape. They offer a delicious meal of seafood and other classics like burgers, steaks and curries and also have a very good wine and beer list.

    Other options in the area include Tasty at Yorkeys, which has very good menus for kids and vegetarians, and Ten 06 Cafe Bar, which is known for its vegan dishes, happy-hour food and for serving some terrific cocktails.


    Cairns Restaurants and Cafes

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

    If you are looking for the best beaches to visit near Cairns you should definitely add Yorkeys Knob to your list.

    Despite being just a short drive from the Cairns Esplanade, its laid-back and friendly nature makes it seem like it is a complete world away. You’ll love going for beach walks here, especially if you take your dog with you. Moreover, if you enjoy fishing or kitesurfing, you won’t find too many other better places to do either.

    There are also plenty of places to eat and drink and some nice accommodation options too. so, if you are a couple, family or solo traveller, a tropical getaway in this part of Tropical North Queensland is something you should definitely consider booking.



    Is Yorkeys Knob worth visiting?

    Absolutely, the feeling of seclusion and the tropical laidback ambience that defines the area makes it a must-visit destination for those wanting to relax, unwind and escape from the daily pressures of life for a bit.


    Can you swim at Yorkeys Knob?

    Yes you can. During the months of November until May you should find lifeguards and stinger nets in operation at the northern part of the beach where the lifesaving huts are located. As always with any beach in Tropical North Queensland, make sure you swim in the stinger net. Also be mindful of crocodiles who have been known to frequent the area and do not visit the beach before sunrise or after sunset.


    How did Yorkeys Knob get its name?

    Yorkeys is apparently named after one George Lawson who was a fisherman based in Cairns. The name derives from his nickname - a reference to him hailing from Yorkshire in England - and the meaning of hill being a 'knob.


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