I have a long history with Ellis Beach.
We first met in 2005. I was an 18 year old discovering North Queensland for the first time and I was headed up to Port Douglas for the day on a date with some guy. I'll never forget the first time I saw the view as we came around the bend of the Captain Cook Highway; the sky opens up to the most incredible sight of the lush green forests rolling down the mountain to the stunning blue of the Coral Sea below. Years later, that view still takes my breath away.
The beach is fringed with Palm Trees which never age, and whichever way you turn looks like a postcard. Back in the day, I used to head up to Ellis Beach with a bag of booze (probably Passion Pop or Goon) and a couple of friends, where we'd pull in at a secluded car park & spend the night having a few drinks & sharing a few stories under the palms with nothing but a full moon to light up the sand. We'd eventually fall asleep in the balmy climate, and head back to town the following day after a breakfast at the Ellis Beach Bar & Grill, a friendly & laid back open air restaurant overlooking the beach.
Stretching for over five kilometres, it's not hard to find your own patch of paradise.
It was always at the top of the list for lazy weekends, and where to take visiting friends & family when I wanted to showcase the very best of what North Queensland had to offer. I would be there at least once a fortnight immersing myself into the postcard worthy backdrop.
Then, Ellis Beach & I took an extended break as I travelled overseas. But upon my return to Cairns, I was there every Sunday afternoon drinking wine & eating $1 oysters at the Bar & Grill with my now husband. We'd usually meet up with friends & take it in turns of being designated driver to enjoy the live music with a couple of drinks. What started off as a quick visit on day one in town turned in to a weekly ritual; eat - drink - listen to some music - head over to the beach for a late-afternoon swim before heading back home. Not a bad way to end the weekend.
In 2017 it ranked in the Top 20 Beaches of Australia, no surprises there.
More recently I got to know the owners of the iconic Ellis Beach Bar & Grill, and it is clear to see that the atmosphere of the restaurant stems from the owner & manager (Andrew & Dave). They're a coupla laid back surfie boys from NSW, quite possibly the friendliest & down to earth guys you'll ever be lucky enough to meet. They are probably too cool for the likes of me, but one of the things I like most about them is they never let on that they know it. They are always pushing themselves & their team to create new culinary delights & specials to adhere to all budgets and tastes - and I gotta say, the food is absolutely amazing. It offers value for money & generous portion sizes without the expensive Northern Beaches price tag.
Now, when my youngsters wake me up before sunrise, we head to Ellis to start the day right. When I'm in need of a coffee, I head to Ellis to save the day. When my husband and I want to finish up a weekend, we head to Ellis for an afternoon well spent.
Day or night, with friends, family, or riding solo - Ellis Beach is the perfect escape.
More info about what's on at Ellis Beach here: http://whatshotnq.com/businesses/ellis_beach_bar_grill