Like Batman & Robin, Angelina & Brad even, beaches and bars are a match made in heaven. Especially in the tropics where any excuse to down a cool beverage is welcomed. It’s all about hydration. Besides, the health industry is constantly telling us to keep our fluids up. Who are we to argue? Toss in an alfresco meal or a wood-fired pizza alongside a cold beer or cool cocktail and helllloooo baby!
Here’s some really cool waterfront and beach bars in Tropical North Queensland to wet your whistle.
The Beach Shack, Kewarra Beach
If this little hidden watering hole was any closer to the beach you’d need a snorkel to get a drink! It’s a delightful little barefoot bar attached to Kewarra Beach Resort & Spa in the Cairns northern beaches. Open seasonally from May to December and on Fridays and Sundays only, you’ll need to book a table weeks in advance to savour this little treasure. Live music creates a Jimmy Buffet-like setting for shoes-off dancing while wood-fired pizzas go down a treat. Then there is the Coral Sea view in all its kick-butt glory. One of the best!
Salthouse Restaurant and Bar, Cairns
Probably the best known beachfront bar in Cairns, Salthouse needs little introduction. Capitalising on their stunning location wedged between the Cairns Esplanade and Cairns Marlin Marina, it’s all about alfresco drinks, dining and grooving to live music. Salthouse is way cool and should definitely be on your playlist.
Mondo Café Bar & Grill, Cairns
Overlooking Trinity Inlet and at the southern end of the Marlin Marina, Mondos has a large alfresco seating area within a whisper of the water. Part of the Hilton Hotel, don’t let the five star hotel connection fool you: it’s got a relaxed easy-going vibe typical of Cairns. It’s a great spot for people watching too thanks to the popular walking/jogging trail that lines the waterfront.
Corrugation Bar, Cape York
How convenient (and very Aussie…) to find a bar at the tip of Cape York! Serving the most northern tap beer in the country, the Corrugation Bar is the closest bar to the northern most tip of Australia. Admittedly, there’s not a lot of competition in these parts: if you were any further from the southern metropolis and their citified civilisation you’d almost be in PNG. Which is definitely part of this place’s charm. It’s all about kicking back on Punsand Bay’s beachfront with views across the Torres Strait and Arafura Sea at Cape York Camping. Slake your thirst or tuck into ‘the best wood-fired pizzas outside of Italy’ (like the one at the top of the page) after an epic Cape York roadtrip.
Lunicos Bar & Grill, Trinity Beach
Their business card says L’unico Trattoria Seafood Restaurant, but most locals know the place on the beachfront at Trinity Beach simply as Lunicos. Officially it’s a restaurant, (a great one at that with a fabulous location) but it’s equally well known for its corner bar as a spot to chill out and relax over a cold Corona. Do yourself a favour and pop in for a late afternoon drink and stay on for dinner. That is, if you can get a table – it’s pretty popular!
Bibesia Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, Mission Beach
Channel your inner Goddess at Bibesia, named after Bibesia Roman Goddess of beverages (who knew such a divine creature existed!) alongside her partner-in-crime Edesia, Goddess of Food who traditionally presides over feasts. Now we’re talking! This terrific twosome were considered divine spirits of food and wine, casting kohl-rimmed eyes over tables to ensure food and drinks flowed freely. Settle into a table on Mission Beach beneath the palms overlooking Dunk Island with a cool cocktail and prepare to be tantalised at Castaways Resort & Spa.
Port Douglas Yacht Club
If there’s one thing that yachties know about, besides all that technical knowledge about warps, weather and wind angles, it’s where to find a decent waterfront bar. All they need do is step off their yacht and swagger down the dock where the beer flows freely at the Port Douglas Yacht Club. The drinks and tall stories are backed up with equally abundant food to satisfy a sailors hunger. No need to bring your own boat, everyone’s welcome. You can leave the dinner jacket at home though – it’s not the New York Yacht Club!
Herbies Beach Shack, Port Douglas
We’ve snuck this one as a sort of ‘aspirational’ beachfront bar as it’s only open for sundowners and is accessible solely to guests staying at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Still, we think it’s worth checking in if only for the bragging rights and Instagram photos that come from pulling up one of these bar stools on your own private beach.
Here’s a few more cool waterfront spots to pull up a bar stool: