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Yorkeys Knob Beach, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Yorkeys Knob is one of the beach suburbs of Cairns, the regional capital of Far North Queensland, Australia. It is located approximately 13 km north of the centre of Cairns, and is the third beach suburb after Machans Beach and Holloways Beach.



There are a number of small shops at Yorkeys Knob, near the centre of the suburb. There's a supermarket, post office, bottleshop, bakery, and a variety of other stores. There's a newsagent and store on the beachfront, near the main swimming area.

There are three restaurants at Yorkeys, including at the Half Moon Bay marina, which has an over-the-water deck looking across Half Moon Bay to Double Island and Haycock Island (also known as Scout's Hat due to its shape).


At Yorkeys Knob you'll find the swimming area at the northern end of Sims Esplanade. It is patrolled for 6 months of the year by Surf Lifesaving Queensland, and has a stinger net to protect swimmers from box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri). Trust the lifesavers and swim between the flags - there have been drownings around the rocks just a short distance away. Nearby you will find barbecue and picnic facilities, and public toilets and showers. The beach is lined with she-oak casuarinas, beach almonds, ballnuts and coconut palms. At the southern end it meets Thomatis Creek, which lies between Yorkeys Knob and Holloways Beach.

9th hole, Half Moon Bay Golf Club

Half Moon Bay Golf Club is located at the western end of Wattle Street, and is a short but challenging layout which features a number of water hazards. It's 5,129 metres and par is 70. Most of the course is sand-based, and it dries rapidly after heavy rains. A 9-hole course is generally open even if all the other Cairns courses are closed due to flooding, although cyclones can force the course to close for a couple of days.


The golf club is a very good bird-watching location, with masked lapwings, bush stone-curlews, a range of kingfishers, rainbow lorikeets and sea eagles fairly easy to find. Between the 12th and 13th holes lies Ray Howarth Park, which is home to a huge colony of flying foxes, which you can see heading out searching for food in the early evenings. During the day they hang upside down from the mangroves trees, and make an almighty din. When the melaleucas are in flower you will find them gorging on nectar in the trees at the northern end of Sim's Esplanade.

A small bush track near the State school offers a chance to see a variety of birdlife, monitor lizards, and lots of skinks. Along the beach you will find pied oyster catchers, bush stone-curlews, ghost fiddler crabs and sand-bubbler crabs. At the rocks at the end of the beach keep an eye out of the beach tree skink scampering around the rocks looking for lunch, while you also watching for a pod of bottlenose dolphins that sometimes visit the small bay on the northern side of the groyne.

Public Transport

Yorkeys Knob is serviced by Sunbus seven days a week. Yorkeys Knob Sunbus Service The normal service, the 1C, runs hourly Monday to Saturday, and every second hour on Sundays. This service also runs to the Smithfield shopping centre, the nearest large shopping complex. A direct service, the 1D, is available during the peak periods, travelling to Cairns in the mornings and back to Yorkeys in the late afternoon.


The suburb got its name from George Yorkey Lawson, a Yorkshire-born, Cairns-based beche-de-mer fisherman[1]. On June 10, 1886 George Lawson reported the loss of a man and his wife from Green Island. The couple had left to fisit the wreck of the Upolu, with the understanding that they would return the same day. George made a search for them, but was unable to find any evidence of them, or an accident. The pilot currer was dispatched to search for the couple[2].

Yorkey built a homestead adjoining the Mount Buchan estate in the vinicity of what is now Yorkeys Knob. During the off-fishing season he and his boys farmed pumpkins, sweet potatoes and paddy melons, but not very successfully, whatever the bandicots and pigs didn't eat, the crocodiles devoured. He user the mangroves near his homestead to obtain the firewood and water needed for his beche-de-mer smoking station on Green Island.

Locals are now rather attached to the name, despite the reaction it sometimes gets, and recently successfully stopped a developer from advertising a development as being at "Yorkeys Beach".

External links


  1. ^ The Knob, A History of Yorkeys Knob - Mary T Williams, published in October 1986.
  2. ^ The Cairns Post, 10 June 1886

Coordinates: 16°48′43″S 145°43′16″E / 16.812°S 145.721°E / -16.812; 145.721

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