6 Best Suburbs in Cairns

February 7, 2023
best suburbs in cairns

Key takeaways:

  • Cairns may be a small city, but it has five of the best suburbs in Australia.
  • The suburbs are perfect for people who want to avoid dealing with the daily struggles of city life.
  • Some of the suburbs are a short walk from the central business district, making them ideal for people who want easy access to restaurants, cafes, and many other amenities.

Palm Cove, Smithfield, Trinity Beach, Redlynch, Freshwater, Clifton beach, and Edge Hill are the best suburbs in Cairns. The Cairns suburbs are beautiful and secure, with some of the most beautiful Queensland beaches, making them the best places to raise families. In addition, Cairns is the best place to access the Great Barrier Reef.

While Cairns is one of the ideal places to live, finding a perfect suburb can be challenging. One of the challenges could be locating a suburb around Cairns city that meets all your needs.

Cairns suburbs are ideal for families seeking a place with many parks and rich Australian culture or one that is a short walk to the shopping centre or train station.

Suggested Reading: While you’re at it, why not learn about the worst suburbs in Cairns to get a full picture.

Why live on the northern beaches?

Cairns city boasts itself with many suburbs that are perfect for raising families. That’s why it’s one of the best places to live in Queensland. Since you’ll be spending more time on the northern beaches, you’ll want to live in a great place to have the best experience.

Natural beauty, cafes, and beautiful beaches surround numerous suburbs around Cairns. North Cairns has many family-friendly suburbs, including Smithfield, Trinity Beach, Edge Hill, and Palm Cove.

Palm Cove

Palm Cove is the best suburb for people looking for a family-friendly place with a tropical climate. Additionally, Palm Cove is a short walk from parks and great restaurants.

House for rent in Palm Cove (sold)

There are plenty of activities to do in Palm Cove, making it almost impossible to get bored. Palm Cove is surrounded by fishing spots, tennis courts, riding stables, golf courses, and people offering surfing lessons.

What makes it ideal to live in Palm Cove is you don’t have to go far from the city centre to participate in these activities.

Furthermore, Palm Cove offers many luxury hotels, cafes, and restaurants, making it easier to find a place that provides what you want to eat.

Check out more properties in Palm Cove QLD


House for sale in Smithfield SA

If your child attends James Cook University, Smithfield is the perfect suburb for you. Smithfield is also a short walk from Cairns CBD, so your dream home will not be far from restaurants and a shopping centre.

Additionally, Smithfield has a vast public transport network that stretches to all the corners of Cairns city. The suburb is surrounded by many tourist attractions and is a few minutes away from Cairns’ northern beaches. According to many Smithfield locals, the suburb has easy access to nature.

Check out more properties in Smithfield NSW.

Trinity Beach

Apartment for rent in Trinity Beach (leased)

Trinity Beach is an ideal suburb if you want to live in a great place with the best tropical atmosphere. Trinity Beach has stunning views, breathtaking beaches, restaurants, cafes, schools, and more.

The suburb is a favourite with many visitors and locals alike. It is not surprising that Trinity Beach is one of the best suburbs in Cairns.

Trinity Beach is one of the beautiful and quiet suburbs with almost no traffic. And the suburb is close to the city centre. Furthermore, Trinity Beach is also a few minutes away from the coral sea.

Amongst other numerous amenities, Trinity Beach offers a shopping centre and easy access to two primary schools. The locals praise Trinity Beach for its local facilities and peaceful setting. Additionally, Trinity Beach is close to the Cairns CBD.

Check out more properties in Trinity Beach QLD


House for sale in Redlynch (sold)

Redlynch is among the best suburbs that are perfect for people looking to raise families in Cairns. This stunning suburb is alongside Freshwater Creek. This popular area boasts lush greenery and natural beauty.

You find numerous walking trails throughout the suburb, allowing you to explore the mountains, waterfalls, parks, and more.

The suburb is close to the city centre, Cairns airport, and public transport. With more people choosing to live in Redlynch, the suburban population in Redlynch Valley has been growing fast since the 1990s.

Check out more properties in Redlynch QLD


House for auction in Freshwater (sold)

Freshwater is perfect for people looking for a suburb that offers almost everything. The suburb is close to the airport, city centre, train station, and art galleries.

The suburb has a train station for the Kuranda scenic railway that takes you to the village of Kuranda. The village allows you to explore Australian culture at markets, art galleries, and a zoo. Moreover, it is home to Barron Gorge National Park.

Check out more properties in Freshwater NSW

Edge Hill

House for sale in Edge Hill (sold)

Edge Hill is another gorgeous city located in far North Queensland. And this is where you can find the Cairns Botanic Gardens and Mount Whitfield Conservation Park. 

It is a quaint, stunning suburb filled with art, culture, and fabulous picnic spots!

Check out more properties in Edge Hill QLD.

Clifton Beach

House for auction in Clifton Beach (sold)

Clifton Beach is another scenic suburb/village great for raising a family. It is right by the beach and just a stunning place to live. It is by Palm Grove and has a walking and cycling connection.

Additionally, it is safe as it has a coast guard patrolling day and night.

Check out more properties in Clifton Beach QLD.

What else should I know about the best suburbs in Cairns?

Where can you find cheap houses for sale in Cairns?

If you’re looking for cheap houses for sale in Cairns, you can explore suburbs like Babinda and Manoora. Babinda’s median house price sits around $250,000 and the median house price is Manoora is around $410,000.

What is the most expensive suburb in Cairns?

The most expensive suburb in Cairns is undoubtedly the prestigious suburb of Edge Hill. It’s a highly sought after area with stunning properties, lush greenery, and fantastic amenities.

Having said that, if you’re looking for cheap units for rent in Cairns, Edge Hill offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for around $350 per week.

What are the best beachside suburbs in Cairns?

When it comes to the best beachside suburbs in Cairns, there are a few that come to mind. Palm Cove is a popular destination, with its beautiful beach, luxury resorts, and relaxed tropical lifestyle. Trinity Beach and Yorkeys Knob are also popular, boasting stunning beaches and an array of watersports.

Is Cairns Queensland a good place to live?

As for whether Cairns is a good place to live, it absolutely is! With its tropical climate, natural beauty, and fantastic outdoor lifestyle, Cairns is a wonderful place to call home. There are plenty of job opportunities, great schools, and a thriving arts and culture scene. Plus, it’s a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and many other incredible natural attractions.


Cairns North has excellent, accessible facilities such as Tobruk Memorial Pool which boasts an Olympic-sized pool with great amenities. The best suburbs in cairns are Palm Cove, Smithfield, Freshwater, Trinity Beach, and Redlynch. 

Palm Cove is family-friendly, Smithfield is a perfect suburb if your child is a JCU student, Trinity Beach is close to the Cairns CBD, Redlynch is a popular suburb near the Cairns railway station, and Freshwater is amongst the suburbs close to the central business district.

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