Palm Cove is closer to Cairns than the over-rated Port Douglas, with lots more charm.
Leaving from Lake Street (CBD), you can catch a 110/111 bus to Palm Cove (26 km) for $5.50 for one adult, one way ($2.70 Seniors/Concession).
You might want to use the day pass option, so you can hop on and off the bus, tour all the Northern Beaches, Cairns Zoo, Botanical Gardens/rainforest walks, shop at Smithfield Shopping Mall on the way to Northern Beaches (Palm Cove,Clifton Beach, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Yorkey's Knob).
Punctual service, friendly drivers, download timetable: Sunbus.com.au website.
If arriving at the airport (6km from CBD) and there is at least 2 of you, I'd grab a taxi to Cairns. Only 10 minutes, taxi fare $20-$30.
|Cairns Botanical Gardens/Red Arrow Track|