Have you been to Palm Cove yet? Or are you planning to go there soon? Palm Cove is rated one of Far North Queensland’s top destinations. Fringed with beautiful palm trees, golden beaches and warm tropical waters. Palm Cove is the perfect location to jump on the kayak turtle tour and explore neighbouring tropical reefs that extend out from close by Double Island. Here you will have close encounters with marine life such as green turtles, hawksbill turtles, rays, and lively schools of fish. Pacific Watersports Kayak Turtle Tour is the perfect way to experience this.
When you get to Palm Cove, one of the first things you notice when you look out on the ocean is a striking two peaked island called Double Island. Double Island has a huge coral reef that extends out from it about 1 kilometre from the actual island. To get to the reef, we head off from Palm Cove beach on the Pacific Watersports Kayak Turtle Tour and within about 20-30 minutes you are literally right on the reef. We call this reef Double Island Reef.
Double Island Reef
Once you arrive on Double Island Reef, thats when the fun begins. This reef is home to a large number of sea turtles and other marine life such as blue spotted lagoon rays, shovel nose rays (commonly known as the shovel nose shark), eagle rays, reef sharks and reef fish that congregate around the coral reef. One the Kayak Turtle Tour we spend a good amount of time exploring the reef and spotting marine life along the way.
Double Island North Side
After exploring the south side of Double Island, it is well worth checking out the north side. On the Kayak Turtle Tour, we do this most of the time, unless there is a wind blowing from the north. Usually the weather somes from the south east, so the north side offers glassy flat protected conditions. Here you will find rugged coral beaches, a lime stone cave that is accessible on a low tide and massive coral formations that can be snorkelled on the tour if the visability is good.
The Resort Beach
The resort beach is where we like to pull up and spend some time chilling out. On the Pacific Watersports Kayak Turtle Tour, we take you for a tour around the island and show you quite a few cool surprises.
After all is said and down, exploring Double Island by kayak is a must do Cairns activity if you don’t mind some low pace exercise and want to connect with the nature in Cairns. Truth is, most people in Cairns have never actually been to Double Island. When they get there, they are usually blown away. I’m sure you will be too. Check us out and come on our tour. You will love it!
Pacific Watersports – The Home of Watersports in Palm Cove
Here at Pacific Watersports, it is our honour and privilege to offer you watersports in Palm Cove. We are obsessed with getting out on the water ourselves because we know how great it makes us feel, and we want you all to experience it too! Whether you come on a kayaking tour, take a kitesurfing lesson or try paddleboarding, we will help you to have fun on the water.
Watersports in Palm Cove- What do we offer?
We offer 4 awesome watersports experiences in Palm Cove. Whether you are here on holiday or are a local looking for adventure, we’ve got you covered!
Double Island Kayak Turtle Tour
That’s right, TURTLE tour! On this Kayak tour, we head out to Double Island and look for Turtles. There are many Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles hanging out around the coral reef just to the south of the island. As we cruise over the reef on our kayaks, we look down through the clear blue shallow water and count the turtles as they pass underneath us. Sometimes they pop their heads up to take a breath too! This is an incredible experience for the whole family and one of our most popular watersports in Palm Cove.
Double Island is just a short paddle from our base at the South end of Palm Cove beach. After we have paddled over the reef, we go around the island, stopping on a beautiful secluded beach for drinks and snacks and a quick dip. We then enter Double Islands secret cave, before heading back to the mainland.
Perfect for those that want to be out on the water for half a day.
Island Hopping Kayak Tour
We don’t just have Double Island within arms reach of Palm Cove… We also have Haycock Island (aka Scouts Hat). Scout’s Hat is Double Island’s little brother and just sits slightly to the north of Double Island.
On our Island Hopping Tour, we do everything that you do on a Kayak Turtle Tour (above) AND we explore Scout’s hat by foot, spend time snorkelling around the islands and have a relaxing lunch over on the islands (provided).
Perfect watersports in Palm Cove for those that want to be out on the water for the whole day!
Perfect for those who want to try adrenaline fuelled watersports in Palm Cove!
Learn to fly with us! We will teach you how to become independent and confident riders here in paradise Palm Cove. We take our lessons in 2 different locations, Yorkeys Knob and Palm Cove. The Kiteboarding community in Palm Cove is awesome! If you are a local that has wanted to learn for a while, the support network available here will really help you to get comfortable with this sport quickly.
Paddleboarding Tours and Beach Lessons
Paddleboarding is the perfect activity for the whole family. Whether you come on one of our Kuranda Rainforest Paddleboarding Tours, or just take a paddleboarding lesson at the beach, you are sure to have an awesome time. It doesn’t take long before everyone gets the hang of this awesome watersport activity.
We hope to see you soon trying some watersports in Palm Cove!
Want to add some Cairns Adventures to your Bucket List?
Cairns, Far North Queensland is an incredible part of the world. There is so much to do here, which is why so many people return here for their holidays time and time again. The tropical climate of the Cairns area means we all spend a lot of time outdoors and Cairns Adventures are usually part of everybody’s experience in Far North Queensland.
Join us for a morning kayak adventure to the magnificent Double Island. Double Island is situated just 1km from the coast of Palm Cove. Our Kayak Tours leave Palm Cove daily at 7 am (click here to book a spot!) and return at around 10.30 am.
On our Kayak Turtle Tour, we paddle over to Double Island on our Kayaks (25-minute paddle) as a group. To the south side of the island is some amazing coral reef, so we slow it down a bit here to look for some of the green turtles and hawksbill turtles that feed here. We often see other marine wildlife too, including rays, reef sharks and a variety of different tropical fish. We then continue our paddle around the back of the island, pulling up on a pristine and secluded tropical beach for some drinks and snacks (provided by us). On our way back to the mainland we explore Double Islands secret cave and have plenty of time for taking great pictures. This is one of the Cairns adventures not to be missed!
Explore Tropical Islands
Island Hopping Tour
Another morning kayaking adventure not to be missed! On our Island Hopping Tour, we leave Palm Cove daily at 8 am and return at 1.30 pm. In this tour, we explore double Island and the surrounding reef in much the same way as the Double Island Kayak Turtle Tour, but we also explore Haycock Island. Haycock island is the small island that sits just to the south of Double Island. Within this tour, we have more time for snorkelling over the reef, as well as exploring Haycock island by foot.
Visiting the rainforest is a must when you are visiting Cairns. Another of our Cairns Adventures not to be missed!
Join us on a rainforest Paddleboarding adventure. This tour usually operates in the afternoon (from around 2pm-5pm) and pick up is available from anywhere in Cairns should you need it. We start the tour with an introduction to paddleboarding on the river bank, before jumping on our sups and cruising downstream. The rivers gentle current carries us down, with minimal effort needed! We travel down the river, observing the beautiful rainforest all around us. This tour really is suitable for the whole family, from kids to seniors.
Palm Cove is one of the top holiday destinations of Far North Queensland. And with its pristine palm-fringed beaches and clear waters, it’s easy to see why! In this article, we will share with you some of the best things to do in Palm Cove, whether you are a local seeking adventure, or visiting our tropical paradise.
Palm Cove sunrise
Top 6 Things To Do In Palm Cove
1) Double Island Kayak Turtle Tour
Here at Pacific Watersports, we offer an amazing tour for adults and children alike, to Double Island. Double Island is a stunning tropical island 1km off the coast of Palm Cove. It’s a 25-minute paddle on our kayaks out to Haycock Reef- an amazing area of Coral Reef which sits to the south of Double Island. Here we slow down our paddle and observe the sea life through the clear waters below. We nearly always see Green Turtles or Hawksbill Turtles (see our Turtle blog for more info about these amazing creatures!) and often see small reef sharks, rays, all sorts of colourful fish and if you are really lucky… Dolphins!!
The tour lasts for 3 and a half hours, departing Palm Cove at 7 am daily, and returning at around 10.30am.
Our Island Hopping Tour is the perfect tour for those that want to be out on the water a little longer!
This is another Kayak Tour that we offer here at Pacific Watersports and is the perfect activity for those with a sense of adventure. Lasting 6 hours, on this tour we visit Haycock Island (a.k.a. Scout’s Hat- the small island next to Double Island) and explore its beaches and surrounding reef. We do some snorkelling, turtle spotting, explore the cave on Double Island and pull up on some of Double Island’s secluded beaches for a lunch break (lunch is provided).
The Tour starts at 8 am daily, and we return to Palm Cove at around 2 pm.
Without a doubt, one of the most relaxing tours that you can do in the area. Our Rainforest Paddleboarding Tour is actually in Kuranda (about a 35-minute drive from Palm Cove into the Rainforest), but we pick everyone up in Palm Cove (or from anywhere in the Cairns Area).
On this tour, we cruise down the Upper Barron River and through the Rainforest on our Paddleboards. This really is an activity suited to the whole family- we recently had a 75-year-old do the tour and really enjoy it! Suitable for all ages, from kids to the older generations. The smooth surface of the river makes it the perfect place to try Stand Up Paddleboarding for the first time and the tour is down-stream, meaning you don’t need to work too hard to get moving!
Within this tour, we leave the main river and take a detour through a smaller river deep into the rainforest- a truly magical experience. We also stop on a sandy bank for snacks (fruit, cake and juice provided) and a swim in the river.
If you are looking for things to do in Palm Cove that the whole family will enjoy and you haven’t been into the rainforest before- this is the tour for you!
If you fancy spending the day at the beach but want activities to do in between beach naps (!) why not come and try a Paddleboarding lesson with us at Pacific Watersports? You can find us (and our trailer) at the very South end of the Palm Cove Esplanade (opposite Jack and Shanans and Portofino restaurants). It’s usually best to book in for a lesson with us as it can get busy in the peak season, but you are also welcome to drop past and say Hi and see if we have a board available for you to play around on.
30 minute or 1-hour lessons are available. The perfect lazy day activity!
5) Kitesurfing Lessons
Here in Palm Cove, we can get quite a lot of wind in the afternoons during our winter months (May-October). But this doesn’t have to mean that you need to retreat from the beach… Learn to Kitesurf instead!!
We offer Kitesurfing Lessons on Palm Cove Beach, at Yorkey’s Knob and at Double Island. The perfect activity for the adrenaline junkies in the family! The first lesson is usually on the beach, learning how to fly the kite safely and with good control. We then introduce the board and take your new kite skills onto the water! We usually recommend 2 or 3 lessons if you are really serious about learning the sport and becoming independent on the water. However, we also offer ‘taster’ lessons for those that want to see if this may be the sport for them, and group lessons if a few of your want to try Kitesurfing together.
So if you are looking for things to do in Palm cove when it’s windy, this is a great option for you!
Hartig Yoga offers amazing yoga classes, for all levels, on Palm Cove Beachfront. So if you are looking for things to do in Palm Cove in the mornings and early evenings, a beachfront yoga class may be right up your street.
Hartig Yoga’s Beach classes are held at the south end of the Palm Cove Esplanade, on the grassy beachfront area in front of Alamanda resort and NUNU restaurant. The classes are multi-level, meaning everybody of every age, shape and fitness level is welcome to come- and is sure to get something out of it. Practising yoga on a paradise beach front, under swaying palm trees is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and a must try for tourists and locals alike.
Here at Pacific Watersports, we offer 2 awesome adventure tours out to Double Island. We have our Kayak Turtle Tour and our Island Hopping Tour. Within both of these tours we go turtle spotting, spending time looking for these awesome sea creatures around Double Island Reef and Haycock Reef which run along the south side of Double Island.
There are two main species of turtle that can be found at Double Island, the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle. In this blog article, we will share with you a little more information about these turtles, so you are full of cool facts before you come on a Kayak Turtle Tour or Island Hopping Tour with us!
Amazing Island Wildlife
Green Turtles are only 5cm long when they are born (how cute?!) but can grow to a whopping 1.5m in length. Fully grown, they weigh between 65-130kgs, meaning they are the largest hard shell sea turtles in the ocean.
Although they are called Green Turtles, their shells come in many different colours – including green, olive, brown and even black. Why are they called green turtles then? They are called ‘Green Turtles’ as they have a thin layer of green fat which lies underneath their shells. It is thought to be green because of their vegetarian diet of sea grasses and seaweeds. The green turtles feast of the sea grasses and sea weeds around Double Island, so we often see them as we are cruising over Double Island Reef.
Green Turtles can spend up to 5 hours at a time resting underneath the water. When they are more active (travelling or feeding) they will come up for air every few minutes, which is when we usually spot them as we paddle over the reef in our kayaks to Double Island. We usually see them popping their little heads up to take a breath, or cruising underneath the kayaks in the shallower waters of the reef. Double Island Reef and Haycock Reef are the perfect environment for these turtles. There is plenty of food here, and areas for them to seek shelter to rest.
Green turtles population has been greatly threatened in recent years and they are now considered an endangered species. Poaching, taking their eggs, fishing (turtles often get caught in the fishing nets), pollution and loss of beaches to nest on, have all contributed to the decline in Green turtle numbers.
Beautiful Green Turtle
Here in Cairns we have the Cairns Turtle Rehab Centre which is dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. They rely completely on donations from supporters and volunteers, so if you would like to find out more and donate to this important cause, follow the link below.
Hawksbill Turtles are named after the Hawk due to their beak-like pointed mouth. They use their beak to find food in the cracks and crevasses of coral.
Considered to be one of the smaller species, adult Hawksbill turtles weigh between 45-90kg
Hawksbill Turtles can be mostly found in shallow waters of coral reefs, mangroves, tropical islands and shallow coastal areas. They have a very particular diet, pretty much exclusively eating sea sponges from coral reefs. They are very important for the health of the Great Barrier Reef, as without their appetite for sea sponges, coral reef can become suffocated when the sponges grow too big.
Hawksbill Turtles are now classed as being critically endangered. Their beautiful speckled shells are used in products displaying ‘tortoise shell’ and many are killed every day. Although it is now illegal to poach a Hawksbill turtle for its shell, many people still do it, and shells are sold on the black market. We can help by not buying anything with tortoise shell, and spreading awareness of this problem.
It’s amazing that although they are both endangered species, they are flourishing at Double Island and we get the opportunity to spend time with these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.
Double Island snorkelling – Double Island is a small island situated about 1.5 kms off the coast of Palm Cove, Cairns. It is a beautiful island surrounded by fringing reefs. Double Island is probably the closest point to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns. Here at Pacific Watersports we we have been given special permission to run kayak snorkelling tours to the fringing reefs of Double Island.
Double Island snorkelling – Kayak Turtle Tours
On our Kayak Turtle Tours to Double Island, we also stop at our secret snorkelling spot, provided the conditions are suitable. There the coral is thriving and beaming with life. It is also a great place to spot Hawksbill and Green sea turtles.
The conditions for snorkelling at Double Island really need to be nice and calm. The wind can pick up from time to time making the water visibility not the best for snorkelling. However, the tour is still a great way to see sea turtles and other marine life. We also use the sail on the guides kayak to sail back if the wind picks up.
Best time to visit
Palm cove and the surrounding areas are beautiful all year around. The winter months (May – November) bring cooler nights and warm days. The summer months (December – April) bring very warm tropical conditions
How to book
You can book your kayak tour right here on our website by clicking this link. You can also contact us by phone or come see us down the beach at 41 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove.
We dont see crocodiles as an issue here at Palm Cove. I personally have only seen 1 crocodile in the ocean in the last 6 years. Crocodiles live in the rivers and tend to use the ocean as a way to get to another river. However, it is never a good idea to go swimming at night anywhere in Queensland.