Unveiling Cairns Hidden Gem: Why You Should Visit Trinity Beach Today

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Stay in Trinity Beach In Cairns for a more local and much quieter holiday

Tucked away in beautiful Northern Queensland, Australia, lies a hidden gem: Trinity Beach. This serene and picturesque seaside suburb, located just 15 minutes north of Cairns city, has been captivating the hearts of locals and tourists alike with its sandy beaches, range of accommodations, and a relaxed, laid-back vibe.

As someone who lived in Cairns for over a decade, I always found Trinity Beach to be a nice quiet locals beach. Unlike Palm Cove or Port Douglas, Trinity is way less tourist oriented and offers a great place to stay for couples, solo travellers and families alike.

Whether you’re here to relax or seek adventure, Trinity Beach serves as the perfect gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest. With ample car parks and easy access to the Captain Cook Highway, exploring the tropical north has never been easier.

Why Visit Trinity Beach Cairns?

So, why should you visit Trinity Beach Cairns? The simplest answer to this question is: because it’s a very relaxed beachside suburb in Cairns that has everything you need.

It is very much a local suburb but the beachfront esplanade and surrounds have some great food options, there is a nice walking path along the esplanade and a Super IGA (Supermarket) is just a few minutes drive from the beach.

Staying at Trinity means you escape the hectic Cairns city backpacker vibe so you can have a much more relaxing vacation. This also makes it a great option for families. Kids playgrounds are scattered around the suburb and the esplanade offers both sunny and shaded areas.

Double Island from Trinity Beach, Cairns
Double Island from Trinity Beach, Cairns

Discovering Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach is a perfect example of Cairns’ relaxed beach culture, with its palm-fringed shoreline and a reputation for safe swimming. Just minutes south of the Coastwatchers Shopping Centre and a short drive from Clifton Beach, Trinity Beach Tavern, and Trinity Beach Hotel, it’s a prime spot for a serene retreat or a lively beach day.

Beyond the beach, the Daintree Rainforest beckons, and the Great Barrier Reef lies just offshore, promising adventure and natural splendour.

Where is Trinity Beach Australia

Nestled between Cairns and Palm Cove, Trinity Beach offers the tranquillity of a small community with the convenience of highway access.

Navigating Your Way to This Coastal Paradise

Getting to Trinity Beach is a breeze, with direct routes that make navigating simple. Whether you’re flying into Cairns or driving along the scenic Captain Cook Highway, this lovely beachside community is conveniently accessible. With clear signage and well-maintained roads, the drive from the airport (or hire car depot) is only about 15 minutes long and is very easy to follow.

Cairns International Airport, which is well-connected to major cities in Australia and across the world, is just a 15-minute drive away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or a rental car to reach Trinity Beach.

If you’re already in Australia, you can also reach Cairns by train or bus. The city is connected to Brisbane, Sydney, and other major cities by the Queensland Rail network. Once you reach Cairns, Trinity Beach is just a short drive away.

Public Transport and Car Rentals

Once in Cairns, public transport options such as buses service the route to Trinity Beach, while car hire is readily available for those who prefer the freedom of their own vehicle. With ample car parks along the Trinity Beach Esplanade, finding a spot to begin your beach adventure is reasonably hassle-free.

Early evenings when everyone is making their way to the restaurants, parking can be in demand, however almost all accommodation along this strip offer off street parking for their guests.

For added convenience, taxis and rideshare services offer alternative ways to reach your beachfront accommodation.

Activities and Adventure: What To Do In Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach is the gateway to everything that Cairns has to offer. From ocean adventures on the Great Barrier Reef, to bungy jumping, white water rafting, spa’s and retreats or even shopping, almost everything is accessible from Trinity Beach.

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled excitement or a peaceful retreat into the wilderness, Trinity Beach is close to something to captivate your spirit and fill your holiday with unforgettable experiences.

Exploring the Great Barrier Reef

Step into the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, a vivid mosaic of marine life and coral gardens. This natural wonder, stretching thousands of kilometres along the Australian Coast, beckons to both snorkelers and divers. Glide alongside schools of tropical fish, and if you’re lucky, you might spot a gentle sea turtle navigating the reef’s intricate ecosystem.

Embark on a snorkeling or diving tour to witness the spectacular wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef. There are many tour operators who will pick up from Trinity Beach and who offer experiences suitable for all skill levels, from first-time snorkelers to seasoned divers.

Snorkeling and Diving Tours From Cairns

Almost all of the boats that operate from Cairns or Port Douglas have eco staff on board so not only can you snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, you can also learn what you can do to protect all ocean life and reefs globally.

Diving and Snorkeling Trips From Port Douglas

Port Douglas is about a 45 minute drive from Trinity Beach. Its a beautiful drive along the coastline however it does spend almost 20km of the trip on a range so you do need to be a little careful if you aren’t used to driving on the left.

Reef Trips from Port Douglas are a little closer than from Cairns, however not by much. There is the option to head to Low Isles as a half day trip instead of to the outer reef. Is it as good? No, not really, but the small isles are beautiful, there are sandy beaches which you don’t get at the outer reef and is very popular with families with smaller children.

Trinity Beach Esplanade Walking Trails

The Trinity Beach Esplanade is a picturesque route for walkers and joggers alike. This scenic trail hugs the coastline, offering panoramic views of the Coral Sea. As you meander along the path, the rhythmic sound of waves and the soft rustle of palm leaves create a tranquil backdrop for your leisurely stroll or energetic run. It’s the perfect way to soak in the coastal ambiance and take in the fresh sea air.

At the south end of the beach, you will come across a sign for Ron McKauge Walk. You just keep heading south and it will take you on a path around the edge of the water to a rocky outcrop.

Ron McKauge Walk Sign at the south end of Trinity Beach Esplanade
Ron McKauge Walk Sign at the south end of Trinity Beach Esplanade
The trail for the Ron McKauge Walk in Trinity Beach, Cairns
The trail for the Ron McKauge Walk in Trinity Beach, Cairns

There is a bench seat for you to have a rest or you can just sit on the rocks and appreciate this view below, out to sea. It would be 10 minutes at an absolute maximum from the sign to the viewpoint.

View from Rocky Point Lookout in Trinity Beach Cairns
View from Rocky Point Lookout in Trinity Beach Cairns

Alternatively you can walk the beachside path heading north and just past the entrance to Trinity Beach Tavern you will pass a toilet block. Just after and at the rear of the toilet block you will see a set of stairs. Climb up the stairs and keep following it to your right and you will find yourself in a bush setting once again. There’s not much up here, but the stairs add an extra kicker to your morning walk and the bush is always nice.

Bushwalk at the northern end of Trinity Beach
Bush trail Trinity Beach north end.

There is also a great walking trail that climbs up and over Earl Hill. To access the starting point you need to park at the boat ramp car park on the corner of Roberts Drive and Reed Road. From there as you face the beach, walk out onto Roberts Road turning left and after a few mins walk, you will see the start of the trail well signed on the other side of the road.

All Trails has this track listed as Earl Hill and Bakkara Track Loop. Its around 5km long and has 220 meters of elevation. If you get almost to the top and you are no longer commited to the summit, just head right instead of turning left to the summit.

View out to the Coral Sea from Earl Hill, Trinity Beach
The view out to the ocean coming off Earl HIll

Leisure and Water Sports

Water sports enthusiasts will find Trinity Beach an ideal spot to indulge in their passion. With the ocean at your doorstep, opportunities for aquatic fun are limitless. Engage in an exhilarating afternoon of windsurfing, or kiteboarding (in season) or take a more relaxed approach with a leisurely swim in the calm waters.

Trinity Beach has a swimming net that is designed for stinger protection over the summer months when they are at their worst.

Kayaking and Paddleboarding

Navigate the serene waters of Trinity Beach and Double Island with a kayak or paddleboard. These activities offer a unique perspective of the coastline and a chance to encounter local marine life up close. Rentals are readily available along the beach, and whether you’re paddling solo or with a guide, you’re in for an enchanting experience.

Pedro’s Fishing and Kayak Hire usually has a popup on the beach here, however if they aren’t there that will usually mean that the weather might not be ideal and they have closed for the day.

Prices start from $60 per hour and you will find more info on their Trinity Beach hire via their website.

Local Culture and Nightlife

Trinity Beach’s cultural scene is much less active than Cairns city. The Trinity Beach Hotel does often have live music, however if you are after some rousing evening entertainment, you will have to head into the city. Or you could head to Lunico’s and enjoy a cocktail while listening to the soothing sounds of the ocean.

Shopping and Markets

Primarily as it is a local residential area, there isn’t heaps of shopping on offer at Trinity Beach. The best places for shopping are Smithfield Shopping Centre about half way to the city, or Cairns Central which is right in the city centre.

Palm Cove does have some small boutiques and its a really pretty little shopping area so if you would like something closer, jump in the car and drive the few minutes to Palm Cove for a shopping fix.

For a piece of Trinity Beach to take home, explore the local Palm Cove Markets where local artisans and creators display their crafts. The markets are only on the first Sunday of every month. Their website has heaps of info to help you out.

The lovely shopping area at Palm Cove
The lovely shopping area at Palm Cove

Get Back To Nature

Trinity Beach is not only a coastal retreat but also a gateway to lush landscapes and diverse ecosystems. Cairns and Port Douglas are the jump off point to more than a few great bush and rainforest experiences.

Lush Daintree Rainforest Excursions

Escape to the heart of the rainforest with excursions that lead you through verdant jungles and cascading waterfalls of the Daintree. These guided tours offer an intimate look at the area’s rich biodiversity, including towering trees and exotic plants. Whether you’re trekking through ancient trails or ziplining above the canopy, experiencing the Daintree Rainforest should be on your list for Trinity Beach.

Most operators that run from Cairns will pick you up on the way through, however a great way to maximise your time is to book a Port Douglas departure and get yourself to Port that morning. You will get 2-3 more hours in the Daintree and Mossman Gorge so it is worth getting up early and driving yourself if you have a car.

Consider stopping at Vivo in Palm Cove for breaky on the way. They do wonderful breakfasts and the building is very Queensland in style.

Daintree Tours From Cairns

Food and Dining: Gastronomy by the Sea In Trinity Beach

Food is an integral part of any travel experience, and Trinity Beach Cairns doesn’t disappoint in this regard. The area is home to several restaurants and cafes that serve a variety of cuisines, from traditional Australian fare to international dishes.

Seafood lovers are in for a treat, as the local seafood here is fresh and delicious. From succulent prawns and juicy oysters to mouth-watering fish and chips, there’s plenty to satisfy your seafood cravings. And if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll be delighted by the thriving coffee culture here. There are numerous cafes where you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee while taking in the beautiful beach views.

Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as the Moreton Bay Bug (a type of lobster) and the Barramundi (a type of fish), both of which are absolutely delicious

Beachfront Dining Delights

Beachfront dining at Trinity Beach is an experience not to be missed, with venues like L’unico Trattoria offering Italian cuisine and Trinity Beach Tavern serving lunch and dinner on Trinity Beach Road.

In between the two above you will find Tuk Tuk By The Sea, the local Thai restaurant. They have sit down and take away options so if you feel like a night in, you can come down here and grab something to take home.

There is also another Thai restaurant one block back from the beach at Bluewater. It’s called YADA Thai and its just a few minutes walk back from the esplanade.

Whether you crave Italian or Thai delicacies, the beachfront restaurants offer a memorable culinary journey with the soothing sound of the waves as your backdrop.

Local Cafes and Eateries

For a more laid-back vibe, Trinity Beach’s local cafes and eateries provide the perfect spot to relax. Enjoy a coffee while watching the sunrise over the Coral Sea at Il Chiosco..

They are open for dinner as well and are very popular but personally – I think their coffee is the best in Trinity Beach.

If you come back from the beach about half way to the highway you will find a small shopping centre called Coastwatchers with a Night Owl (used to be the IGA) supermarket, a Japanese restaurant, a pizza place and even a kebab shop.

Trinity Beach early morning
Trinity Beach early morning

Wendy Wu Wanderlust Tour Sale

Best Time to Visit Trinity Beach Cairns

When planning your trip, it’s important to consider the best time to visit Trinity Beach Cairns. The good news is that this place boasts a tropical climate, which means that it’s warm and sunny almost all year round.

However, if you want to avoid the rainy season, which typically runs from November to April, the best time to visit would be between May and October. During these months, the weather is dry and sunny, making it perfect for beach activities and outdoor adventures.

It’s also worth noting that these months coincide with the Australian winter, which means that the temperatures are relatively cooler and more comfortable, especially for those not accustomed to tropical heat.

Accommodations – Your Home Away from Home At Trinity Beach

The range of accommodation options at Trinity Beach caters to every preference. Choose from plush beachfront resorts with panoramic ocean views to charming apartments in Trinity Beach that offer a homely touch. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect spot to unwind after a day of adventures in the tropical far north.

Quality Apartments for a self contained stay

For an indulgent escape, Trinity Beach’s range of self contained apartments offer unparalleled service and amenities. From infinity pools to spa facilities, these apartments are self catering but not lacking in resort facilities. With beachfront access and fine dining options, you’re poised to enjoy the best of Cairns’ breath-taking coastline in absolute comfort and style.

Amaroo Trinity Beach Cairns

Amaroo At Trinity Beach

Large nicely fitted out rooms at the north end of the beach. From $146.00 AUD per night

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Sea Point on Trinity Beach

Sea Point On Trinity Beach

Great value from only $185 AUD per night. Great small hotel on the esplanade.

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Sea Change Beachfront Apartments

Sea Change Beachfront Aptmts

$265 AUD (aprox) per night for 2 people. Self contained aprtmt with amazing views.

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Private Villas and Homes

If you have a larger group a private home might be the best bet for you. Blue Water Villas sleep 6, are right on the lake at Bluewater and have their own private pool. Expect to pay at least $500 per night, but between 6 that’s not terrible.

Nestles in the tree tops on the back of Earl Hill you will find Something Wonderful. This two bedroom villa sleeps 8 and also has a private pool.

The accommodations at Trinity Beach are designed to enhance your tropical getaway with a range of amenities. Many properties boast stunning ocean views, inviting you to gaze out at the sea from your private balcony. With features like swimming pools, barbecue areas, and easy access to walking trails, you’re equipped for both leisure and adventure.

Tips for Your Visit to Trinity Beach Cairns

Before I wrap up, let me share a few tips to make your visit to Trinity Beach Cairns even more enjoyable.

Firstly, don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong Australian sun. Also, remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re planning on doing a lot of outdoor activities.

If you’re planning to swim in the ocean, be mindful of the stinger season (usually from November to May), when dangerous jellyfish can be present in the waters. During this time, it’s safer to swim in the stinger nets provided at the beach.

Lastly, respect the local environment and wildlife. Don’t litter, don’t disturb the animals, and stick to the marked trails when hiking.

Queensland vibes along Trinity Beach
Queensland vibes along Trinity Beach

Trinity Beach Australia – A Relaxed Beach Vacation Spot

Just 30 minutes north of Cairns, Trinity Beach awaits. From your base at Trinity Beach, exploration is effortless. Within a 10-minute drive, you can ascend Earl Hill for panoramic views, or visit Yorkeys Knob for a different beach experience.

A shaded playground keeps the little ones entertained, and the cafes and restaurants within walking distance offer a taste of local hospitality. For the adventurous, a reef tour or a day at Fitzroy Island or Green Island will allow you to get into the water and face to face with the reef.

If you’re looking for a destination that offers natural beauty, adventure, relaxation, and a rich cultural experience, all rolled into one, Trinity Beach Cairns is the place to be. This hidden gem in Northern Queensland has something to offer for everyone, making it a perfect destination for solo travellers, couples, families, and groups of friends.

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She’s always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.