Clifton Beach is a beautiful quiet beach, with palm trees, a sandy beach and beautiful views of the coral sea.
Located in the Cairns Northern Beaches area, approximately 23km north of Cairns, or 30 minutes by car.
This is the beach suburb just before popular Palm Cove, but unlike Palm Cove, Clifton Beach is mainly residential, and has a quiet, laid back feeling to it.
While there are no kids activities at Clifton Beach as such, apart from a few small playgrounds, the beach itself is lovely, lined with palm trees and wide meandering walking and cycling paths – perfect for kids on scooters. These paths are also suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
There are tables and benches at various locations all the way along the paths, so you can stop at any time to admire the views.
At the main part of the beach, near the lifesavers hut and the stinger nets, there are BBQ’s, shelters, toilets and a small, but popular playground.
This spot can get very busy at times, and it can sometimes feels more like a beer garden here on a Sunday afternoon when locals and tourists settle in for the day, not that drinking is allowed on the beach, but it just has that feeling of everyone being happy.
It’s not uncommon to see big groups of people here, where there might be someone playing a guitar. This is also a popular spot for children’s birthday parties, though you would have to arrive early to secure a table.
The playground is suitable for kids of all ages, though over 10’s might get bored relatively quickly. There are swings, monkey bars, slides, bridges, platforms, tunnels, climbing nets and balancing discs.
There are a number of apartments and holidays units on the beach front, however there are no beach front cafes or restaurants here, and so lacks that touristy feeling.
There are bikes and walking paths that connect Clifton Beach with Palm Cove. You can access the board walk from the most northern end of Upolo Esplanade over the new pedestrian bridge, that is part of the Northern Beaches Leisure Trail.
This excellent video, posted by the Cairns Regional Council, outlining the new paths, has some stunning video footage of the area.
The other access point is through silver Crescent Park – off Osterland Street. This lovely small park also has a small playground, fitness equipment and a fenced off-leash dog park. Both of these access points will lead through to the mango board walk, which is a lovely trail through the mangoes and over the creek (yes crocodiles do live here – stick to the paths and you will be safe).
The board walk isn’t that overly long, you should be able to walk it in around 10-15 minutes, however very young kids may be better in a stroller. The boardwalk finishes just behind the Pullman Hotel in Palm Cove – from here it’s another good 10 minute walk to the heart of Palm cove.
Clifton Beach is located just off the Captain Cook Highway heading from Cairns to Port Douglas direction. There are two entry roads to choose from. Take the first entry to the right for the beach and playground and the second entry for the shopping centre and restaurants.
Clifton Beach has everything you need from a large Coles supermarket, small department store, doctors, dentist, butcher, liquor store, service station, health store, hairdressers, restaurants and take-aways – they are just located out of site of the beach area, near the main highway, with the exception of Coco-mojo restaurant, located one street back from the beach.