Five “secret” beaches to explore in FNQ
WITH more than 70 per cent of Australians living on the continent's coast, you wouldn't think there was much to still discover.
Fortunately, up here in Far North Queensland, much of our coastline is still regarded as wilderness.
There are some amazing beaches out there to find, but most of them are so remote, you can only access them via boat or on foot.
There is even one beach hiding in plain sight, but you just need to know where to look.
Check out these five "secret" beaches, that are well worth discovering.
Emmagen Creek is known as the creek right at the start of the Bloomfield Track, that unless you have a four-wheel drive, you cannot cross in a regular car. It's a lovely creek in its own right, and there is a great swimming hold further upstream. But what not many people know about this creek is, it flows out onto an absolutely stunning beach. Accessed through a partially-hidden trail through the rainforest, Emmagen Beach is jawdroppingly beautiful. There is coral growing in clear water right next to the shore line, and the rainforest creeps onto the sand. You can see all the way down to Cape Tribulation, and there is enough shade from the trees to sit in the shade and just chill with a picnic.
How to find it: The Emmagen Beach walk leaves from the dirt road about five 5km north of Cape Tribulation in Daintree National Park. There is small carpark on the western side of the road a few hundred metres south of Emmagen Creek (opposite the huge fig tree). The track begins opposite the carpark, in behind the fig tree.
Those who walk south-north along the Thorsborne Trail on Hinchinbrook Island are in for a treat by the time they end their trek. Ramsay Bay is the final beach you encounter, and after four or five days of hiking, it makes the whole trip well worthwhile. The beach has golden sand and - highly unusual for FNQ - small waves. So being mindful of the risk of marine stingers during certain times of the year (November-May), you can get some bodysurfing in here. It's the perfect place to cool your heels. The beach is fringed by a high dune that extends through scrubland to an estuary, which is great for fishing.
How to find it: Ramsay Bay is on the north eastern end of Hinchinbrook Island, so is only accessible by boat. There are ferry and charter services that can take you here for a day trip, or for the full Hinchinbrook Island experience, hike the 35km Thorsborne Trail.
If the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach was ever based on a true story, this would be the place where it all happened. Cedar Bay was legendary as a hippie commune, until it was famously raided by police in the 70s, involving a helicopter, light aircraft, and even a Navy vessel. The beach itself is paradisial. It is remote - only accessible by sea or a two-day walk - and it has white sand beaches, and calm, blue waters. The beach itself is palm-fringed. And if you stroll along the beach, you can find sheltered campsites. Drink in the history and the scenery, all in one visit.
How to find it: Cedar Bar is 40km south of Cooktown or 10km north of Ayton. Lying between Cape Tribulation and Cooktown, Cedar Bay is accessible only by boat or on foot via the Home Rule track.
If you've ever driven the Captain Cook Highway between Palm Cove and Port Douglas, then you know how amazing this coastal route is. There are plenty of spots to stop check out the view, but this little beach is where you can quite happily spend a few hours. Located just south of Wangetti, Borderline Beach is another one of these golden sandy stretches, but despite it being right next to a 100km/hr zone of the highway, when you venture down to the shore, it still somehow seems like you are in a remote paradise. Head to the northern end of the beach for even more solitude.
How to find it: 4km north of Ellis Beach, along the Captain Cook Highway, just before the 100km/hr zone.
TRINITY PARK BEACH
You'd be surprised how many locals don't realise there is a beach at Trinity Park - and it's a pearler. Wedged between Yorkeys Knob and the much more popular Trinity Beach, you will find a small sandy beach with stunning views, out across Trinity Bay and the Yorkeys Knob marina. This is also heaven for dogs. The beach is pet-friendly, and a great, quieter alternative for those seeking solace from the far more busier coastal stretches along the northern beaches. There is ample parking, and it's a great place to cheers the sunset after a long day at work, without worrying about being too far away from civilisation - but removed enough that it's still a blissful reminder of the wilderness we share in this part of the world.
How to find it: follow Reed Rd all the way to the end, until you get to a carpark.