If you want a beach pretty much to yourself, Ellis Beach is beautiful, undeveloped and less popular than bustling Palm Cove to the south. Stretching for about 2 km, the beach is bordered by Captain Cook Highway with forested hills further inland. Just park on the road and enjoy direct access onto the sand. The beautiful sandy beach is located on the northern side of a rocky outcrop about 12 miles (20km) north of Cairns.
Overlooking the start of the Coral Sea, Ellis Beach has a steep sloping beach and particularly calm waters. There’s a sand bar just offshore that is exposed at low tide. There is very little swell as the bay is sheltered by nearby Double Island and a rocky outcrop (Buchan Point) at the southern end which separates it from Palm Cove.
The tree-lined highway includes several mango trees planted by the original settler, Dick Ellis, around 1940.
Home to the Ellis Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, you may well see competitions taking place. Patrols are generally on the centre of the beach where swimming is considered safest. There is a “stinger net” on the beach between November and May to keep out “stinger” jellyfish.
The fishing is excellent from the beach at high tide and it’s a lovely spot for sunbathing, facing northeast.
Despite its remote and peaceful ambience, Ellis Beach has a camping ground, shops, beach bar and grill overlooking the stunning sandy beach with its shady leaning palm trees.
- Good fishing
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