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Relaxing in tropical Palm Cove

Relaxing by the pool at


By Kip Brook


Heading to Cairns to dodge a chunk of one of the coldest New Zealand winters is a no-brainer. From minus three degrees to 27-31Cdegrees and still and sunny in the tropics was heaven, almost like a dream; but a fabulous break from a harsh winter. Most Kiwis have been to Sydney or Melbourne but it’s hard to believe that Cairns is 2000km north of Brisbane. It’s a four hour flight from Auckland so it’s not like a long haul to Los Angeles, or Singapore. I didn’t want to go to the islands as so often it can involve another small plane connection or a boat to another smaller island, dragging out a whole day’s travel. I left Christchurch in the morning and via Auckland, my Air New Zealand jet touched down at Cairns at lunch time. It was 32Cdegrees on arrival and in seconds I totally forgot about the wintry weather as I drove north to Palm Cove which had hundreds of ‘likes’ on Trip Advisor; and was just 25 minutes from Cairns, while Port Douglas was about an hour’s drive north of Cairns. Palm Cove is sleepier than Port Douglas, but plenty of adventure and action for those that craved it. I booked into the best five-star resort in Palm Cove – The Peppers Beach Club and Spa - see: I never met or know anyone at the Club but they were fantastic; great staff, top service and it’s so luxurious with three pools including a beach pool with its own sand for small children to safely play under the watchful eye of their mums and dads. For those without children, people lazed on loungers, tapped away on their computer tablets or gravitated to the thatched roof pool bar. This was an outstanding haven. The beach was straight across the road with a Palm Cove Surf Lifesaving Club guard. I even joined the club to support them. There are also a number of outstanding art galleries to drool over. I ran up and down the pitch and up and down the wharf which was popular for people fishing. Others headed out to the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea. The ocean water temperature was 23C degrees. So it was tough – beach or pool; pool or beach! But it was so warm and refreshing. This is serious crocodile territory. The salties (saltwater crocs) and the freshies (freshwater crocs) don’t cause people problem but there were plenty about. I went to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures 15 minutes drive north and saw a Steve Irwin type croc-lover feed a massive croc, just centimetres between them. Hartley’s is the ultimate eco-adventure for visitors who enjoy experiencing wildlife in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. Then someone mentioned there was an even bigger croc at Cairns Tropical Zoo just a minute’s drive south of Palm Cove. I saw Zach 4.7 metres long and weighing 450kg. Zoo wildlife keeper Kristy Jensen showed me Zont, a croc that ate 30 cattle up north before being safely located to the zoo which has about 100 crocodiles and alligators on site. I held one of the smaller alligators while Kristy took the photo. She told my Sally the reticulated python also there was two metres long and weighed 100kg. They have every reptile, dragon, lizard and Australian wildlife you could think of. I held Cooper the koala. He was a heavy dude and pretty relaxed much how I was feeling as I headed back to the Beach Club for some champagne by the pool. I’m heading back to Palm Cove in September – can’t wait!

Written by

Make Lemonade

30 Jun 2013

Interests We provide media publicity for all kinds of positive organisations and companies that provide benefit to New Zealand. Make Lemonade is a cool national media company run by Janelle Blythe and Kip Brook