Northern Beaches Leisure Trail

Revised alignment plans for Holloways Beach and Machans Beach

Revised alignment plans through the suburbs of Holloways Beach and Machans Beach were released in October 2019.

Project update - Barr Creek bridge section

Barr Creek bridge design:

  • The detailed design phase for the Barr Creek bridge is underway and preliminary geotechnical investigations are complete. Further geotechnical investigations are programmed from Thursday 3 October 2019. This will involve transporting a barge and equipment to Barr Creek via Marshall St and moving the barge into the creek with the assistance of excavators. The barge will then be floated at high tide and positioned to commence testing.  At the completion of testing, the barge and equipment will be removed from the creek and loaded back onto trucks via Marshall St. These investigations are estimated to take approximately 1 to 2 weeks to complete, tidal conditions permitting from 6.30am – 6.00pm.
  • The relevant applications, including the Development Application, has been lodged and has been distributed to State Government referral agencies for consideration. The detailed design phase will be completed upon finalisation of the relevant applications.
  • To construct the bridge a temporary platform will be installed in the creek. This platform will allow for tide flows and fish passage to be maintained. The size of the platform will be determined during the detailed design phase, and will be subject to approvals and conditions set out by The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and other relevant State referral agencies.
  • The design of the bridge will be in accordance with relevant Australian standards for bridges and shared paths, with a width of 4.3 metres. The structural loading will ensure that appropriate maintenance vehicles can access the bridge. This includes the maintenance sweeper to clean the bridge deck, and lightweight under-bridge inspection units. The sweeper needs to be able to be used to clean the pathways in Machans Beach and then up and over the bridge to continue cleaning the paths in Holloways Beach. Otherwise the sweeper would have to be trucked via the Highway to these beach suburbs.
  • Maintenance sweepers weigh on average 3.5 tonne therefore if it was ever required, the bridge would be able to take the weight of a normal vehicle or emergency vehicles like Police and Ambulance in the case of an emergency. Other cycling and walking bridges in the region are designed for this weight and width requirements and vehicles can traverse over them if ever required to do so for maintenance or emergency needs. A fishing platform will also be included in the design.

Barr Creek bridge location:

  • The proposed location of the bridge over Barr Creek has been based on assessment of many factors including community feedback, constructability and environmental protection. Following these assessments, the location for the bridge has been moved west towards the Willow Street Reserve, further away from the creek mouth. The path will then weave through the Air Services land in Machans Beach, connecting to Arnold Street. Locating the bridge closer to the foreshore also provides a more direct route and it has the least impact on the Fish Habitat Area. This location also complies with State and Federal funding agreements as outlined in The Principal Cycling Network Plan. For further information about these alignment changes, please review the revised alignment plans below.

Revised Barr Creek bridge location
( PDF, 1.14 MB )

Revised trail alignment from Willow Street Reserve to Arnold Street, Machans Beach
( PDF, 0.96 MB )

( If the above link to the Development Application does not work - go to Cairns Regional Council Online Self Service and quote reference number: 9361/2019 )

Project updates

Any current projects under construction will appear on the Works in Progress page.

The Northern Beaches Leisure Trail is being designed and constructed in a staged approach to deliver on Council’s vision to connect Palm Cove to Cairns city.

Once complete, the shared path will provide a continuous walking and cycling link for locals and visitors alike. It will offer enhanced recreation and fitness amenities for the entire community including young families using prams, people in wheelchairs, seniors with mobility devices and people on bikes.

The trail will provide a unique recreation and tourism experience that showcases the region’s beautiful beaches and island views, as well as providing an important active transport alternative to the car.

Palm Cove to Kewarra Beach

Three foreshore pathways have been constructed at Palm Cove, Clifton Beach South and Kewarra Beach. An additional foreshore pathway in Clifton Beach north is practically complete and some construction photographs of this project are shown below.

The foreshore pathways are considered to be the focal point of the trail and provide improved access and enhanced recreational opportunities for the community.

The preferred alignment to connect the foreshore pathways on this section of the trail is being explored. An indicative route is available on Council's proposed walk and cycle network maps and the Department of Transport and Main Roads website on the principal cycle network plans page.

Holloways Beach to Machans Beach

This section of the trail will be a combination of on and off-road pathway with a connection to Syd and Jayne Granville Park. The proposed pathway and bridge connection alignment has been designed to showcase the region’s beautiful beaches and views. Community consultation regarding a concept path alignment and bridge location was undertaken late 2018.

This section of the Leisure Trail is being funded by the Australia Government's Regional Jobs and Investment Package (RJIP), the State Government's Cycle Network Local Government Grants Program and Cairns Regional Council.
Holloways Beach foreshore improvement

The Leisure Trail is an element of the recently completed Holloways Beach foreshore improvement works. This involved constructing a path along the Holloways Beach foreshore to Oleander Street.


Our project team will continue to consult with the community throughout appropriate stages of the project to ensure we build a leisure trail that will prove to be an iconic drawcard for our beautiful region. Project updates are shown above. To provide feedback or request to be added to our project update subscription list, please call 4044 3303 or email


The Northern Beaches Leisure Trail is a priority of the Cairns Cycling & Walking Strategy 2010–2030 and is joint-funded by Cairns Regional Council, the Australian Government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Packages program, and the Queensland Government’s Cycle Network Local Government Grants program.

For download

Last updated: 16 June 2020