Kayak Turtle Tour from Palm Cove

Kayak Turtle Tour from Palm Cove

4 hours Cairns, Australia

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Adults (age 14-80)
Children (age 10-13)

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Ready for the experience of a lifetime? Come on our Kayak Turtle Tour.  Tours operate daily from the south end of Palm Cove and paddle out to Double Island from there.  Once we are at Double Island, it's an incredible experience.  There are mangroves to explore, coral reefs to paddle over and even a cave to explore if the conditions are right. More often than not, the water is crystal clear.  There is an abundance of small rays and turtles swimming  through the water, and it's even possible to see dolphins, dugongs or whales on the tour, but you have to be very lucky. Kayaks, life jackets, juice, water and fruit is provided.

Departing from Palm Cove, we paddle our way over to the coral reefs that fringe Double Island and Haycock Island (Scouts Hat).
The first stop is our turtle spot. This is the place where the green turtle and the hawksbill turtle can be seen basking in the ocean. More often than not we have numerous turtle sightings. This is an exciting part of the trip for all of our customers.
From here on, we either travel to the north side of the island or we move in to the south side and explore the mangroves, depending on what the tides are doing and the wind direction. Its not uncommon to see many rays and shovel nosed sharks playing and feeding in the shallows along the tidal part of the beach. If we venture to the north side of the island and with a low tide, we will check out the lime stone cave. When the tide is right, we go right inside the cave. Here we find small stalactites hanging from the roof of the cave.
Next stop is the beach for a swim and some fresh fruit and juice. Snorkeling equipment will be provided, so if anyone feels like a snorkel, you are more than welcome to give it a go.
After all this, its time to head home. If the northerly wind kicks in, we head back to Palm Cove.


  • Local guide
  • Use of all necessary equipment


  • Hotel Pick Up Fees - $20 per person (if requested)

Departure Point

Cairns, Cairns, Cairns Region, Queensland

Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up any hotels in Cairns city area. ($20 p/p)

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons


181 Reviews

Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews

5 Stars
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1 Stars

Georgia_S November 2021

The tour was amazing! Beautiful views, kayaking was safe and fun, and we enjoyed our time on double island! Would recommend this tour to anyone!

593graemer November 2021

My partner and I did the Kayak Turtle Tour from Palm Cove. It was a big group of around 16 and the team managed us perfectly. The tour was casual and informative, the guides were great and made the experience very enjoyable. We had a sensational morning, I highly recommend the early start to enjoy this wonderful location. Thanks Luke and Andy.

robertnC9476HP November 2021

We have done reef tours, rafting, tubing and electric bikes. They were all great activities, but this blew them away. Andy is a fantastic guide and you will see far more than turtles on this tour. On the reef beside double island, we saw amazing coral, more fish species than the barrier reef tours (like swimming through an aquarium) and even a (very small) reef shark. Andy’s knowledge is shared in a very casual, friendly way. Highly recommended.

mikeeB5179VG November 2021

A really great morning paddle out to the local island. Quick walk around and then more spotting/paddling on the way back. Local guides Luke and Andrew, really solid guides and very knowledgeable. With a cheeky 8k paddles In total over 3 hrs we spotted turtles, dolphins and rays. Saw the cute local doggos and swam in the shallow water. Really great morning Activity to do in Palm cove for very reasonable price. Get up early and make the most of it. Thanks guys, couldn’t recommend you enough

I4553ZXtrevorm November 2021

Our Experience with Pacific Watersports was fantastics. We had Andy as our guide and I could not speak more highly of him. He's patient, calm and his knowledge of the area is outstanding. We learnt all about the flora and fauna around the island, which we found very interesting. Also, the snorkelling was a bonus :)

dallasd957 October 2021

A great morning paddle and an added bonus was the info and look at the old resort. All equipment provided and in good condition. Were quite a few turtles up close.

fionamJ7954YN October 2021

I thought this kayak tour might be a bit too strenuous for me, but from from it. Luke, our guide, ensured we had regular stops, where he would give informative talks about Double Island and surrounding marine life. We were fortunate to view approximately 12 - 15 turtles popping their heads up over the reef as the tide was coming out - which was a highlight for a turtle lover like me. Thoroughly recommend, and you definitely don't have to be super fit to do this kayak tour. (Although must admit, I was in a tandem kayak and my husband shared the paddling with me!)

emmakJ8438ZL October 2021

The weather was perfect and we were lucky enough to have a small group, which made the whole experience very relaxed and easy going! Andrew was an awesome leader, lots of laughs. We saw lots of turtles, even a small shark! As the weather was good we got to go snorkelling which was an added highlight! Swimming off of double island was also amazing in the beautiful blue clear water. I would highly recommended and will definitely do it again!

stephengM6684ZT October 2021

Great start to the day. Paddled over to Double Island with Luke and stopped off here first to look at the old resort and say hello to the local dogs. Then we paddled around to the north side and had a great snorkel seeing lots of sea life. Then the paddle back seeing rays and turtles. Great rip well worth the money and Luke was relaxed and full of information. Made our holiday. Thanks heaps Luke!

FitzyandEmily October 2021

Andrew is a top bloke and tour guide. We had a small group which was great. We seen lots of turtles and rays swimming around up close and early in the morning even some Dolphins. We stopped for a snorkel on the coral reef to the North side of Double Island. Even Seen Keanu Reeves gym where he trained for the Matrix and met the local friendly dog. Worth every cent. 10/10

Alanna G October 2021

We had the best time today with Luke and Chief! Such an amazing tour with so much to do! We kayaked out to Double Island and saw turtles, dolphins and some beautiful coral on the way! Then got to have a snorkel and explore on the island itself - perfect way to spend a morning!!! Thanks so much guys!

simoncK6223QR October 2021

We had a great morning kayaking out to Double Island and then around the whole Island before coming back. The weather was beautiful and the conditions perfect for a family with an 8 and 11 year old. Stopping on the Island was a highlight as we got to see Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays mating up close, a unique experience. The island dogs were very welcoming and a hit with the kids! Andy was the perfect guide; relaxed, helpful, informative and good fun. The pace of the paddling was easy going and suitable to all abilities. We were unable to go into the caves due to the tide, but it is a great reason to go back again! Would recommend this to anyone and would do it again ourselves! It was the highlight of our holiday and well-worth the early start. Good value for money.

sa41ia October 2021

A informative, pleasant guide with plenty of times to stop ,rest and explore double island. Andrew was knowledgeable about winds and currents which made for a very successful and enjoyable trip.

LisaEstella71 October 2021

Tour was recommended by family, found on trip advisor and booked online. Phone calls returned quickly, questions answered. Great tour from start to finish. Only saw turtles heads and too murky to snorkel. So enjoyable and good value. What a great and memorable day. Our guide was the best!

BubbleGirl13 October 2021

Like Nike’s catch phrase, I say “just do it”. I’m super nervous in the ocean as is my 11 year old son. But we were so glad we went on this adventure. My 7 year old son also loved it. Not too much wildlife today but a wonderful kayak and seas flat as a tack. So great to see some of Double Island as well and the mystery cave. I felt like I was a character in “The Famous Five”. The owner operators are capable but chilled and will instill confidence in you if you’re nervous. Just Do It.

tracymR6431EI September 2021

Fantastic morning Both Luke and Chief full of knowledge and experience. Would definitely do it again

958ShelleyB September 2021

Great kayak tour! Relaxed and interesting. Got to see turtles and sting rays and loved Bella the dog on the island. Guides were great made the tour relaxed. Perfect morning activities.

847jimr September 2021

We experienced pretty good weather - I’d hate to do it on a windy day. The guys that ran it were good blokes. But the promised light refreshments never arrived. We didn’t see any turtles for more than a milli- second. I just feel like there’s a lot of potential and maybe the owner or staff have become complacent.

RILEY H September 2021

What a great morning! It’s not something I’d tried before but I’m glad I did. We saw turtles, starfish, a manta ray and coral. I particularly enjoyed the Double Island break. Andy and Luke are professional, yet friendly and down to earth. I’d definitely recommend a morning at sea.

GailB1115 August 2021

We had the best experience on the Kayak Turtle Tour with Andy at Pacific Watersports Palm Cove. We headed out across towards Double island, and soon we were across the shallows of a reef where we spotted some turtles. We headed around the other side of Double island where the waters were turquoise & calm because of the wind direction. Andy took us to a small beach where we climbed to an awesome view of the mainland, he then took us on our Kayaks to a cave, where he patiently helped each Kayak into the cave and we learnt about the tides, stalactites and the small bats that live inside the cave. This was definitely a highlight of the tour! As we came out of the cave we were so lucky, we had 4 dolphins swimming right beside us!! We spent 10 minutes watching the dolphins and then continued our tour around to the resort beach, this is where the infamous resort used to sit, and now only derelict buildings remain. Andy took us on a tour of this part of the island and we had the opportunity to eat fresh rock oysters, that Andy shucked for us. After a swim, we started to head back across to Palm Cove. I would highly recommend this tour with Pacific Watersports, it was well worth the money and was an amazing option to see some of the coast and marine life while only using up less than half a day of holiday time!

Sherpa16640584548 August 2021

I would highly recommend this tour as it was a very relaxed, informative, scenic, and fun filled tour. One to put on the bucket list!

Rowena M August 2021

Amazing tour. Staff were friendly and professional. Great itinerary and we saw turtles, clams, and birdlife. Stopped at an island during the tour for a swim and a tour of the native fauna and flora. Also went inside a cave. Highly recommend even if your on your own.

jadellsbb July 2021

The tour guides were super nice and accommodating. Felt very comfortable chatting with them and enjoying the views of the reef. It was definitely a great time, and a greater arm workout. My sister and i want to go kayaking again!

Maisy's W July 2021

An absolute pleasure to be guided by Andy and Luke around Palm cove and Double Island. They make everyone feel at ease and above all safe with any level of experience. Fantastic knowledge of the area and marine life. Saw turtles , fish, clams , starfish and lots of other marine life. Even got to explore a sea cave! Would 100% recommend this tour to anyone!
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

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