Cairns ticks all the boxes
THERE are plenty of resort towns with beautiful beaches, but for Gold Coast honeymooners Shane and Rhianna Morris, Far North Queensland was the only place that ticked all the boxes.
The couple did an exhaustive online tour of the region's top beachside towns in their month-long search for a honeymoon destination before fate pointed them towards Palm Cove.
"We were looking through a friend's photos from a trip to Palm Cove and we knew that it was what we wanted," Shane, 24, said.
"We had looked at Thailand and Fiji, but we wanted to stay somewhere in Australia, so this was the perfect spot for us."
The Morrises were not the only ones who found their perfect beach getaway in Far North Queensland.
We were voted second in a survey of 1200 Australian tourists that tested six of Australia's most iconic beach holiday destinations against Bali, Thailand and Fiji.
The Exmouth/Broome region in Western Australia ranked first, followed by FNQ, Whitsundays and the Gold Coast.
When asked by Tourism Australia to describe what they liked about Far North Queensland, respondents said: "it has great beaches, rainforests and pretty much everything you want in a holiday," "the Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforests" and "natural beauty, great beaches and wildlife parks".
Other responses included: "Australia's beaches and water is a lot less polluted than some other tropical destinations I have visited," Australia is "safe and secure, excellent climate, natural beauty" and has "fantastic climate and the Great Barrier Reef is there".
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said the findings proved wrong the "myth" that Australians had fallen out of love with domestic beach holidays.
"The findings are proof positive that our country offers some of the most beautiful, safe and high-quality beach holiday experiences in the world," he said.
Safety and security were top of the list for the Morrises when they were selecting their perfect location.
"It has a really good reputation and you know what you are going to get if you stay in Australia," Rhianna said.
"If you book somewhere (in) Thailand it might not exist."
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Perfect spot: Shane and Rhianna Morris have found the Far North's Palm Cove the ideal location to celebrate their Australian honeymoon. The region rates highly in the holiday stakes.