Port Douglas has evolved from a sleepy fishing village into one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the world. Relaxed lifestyle, spectacular scenery and access to some of Queensland’s most beautiful natural attractions has encouraged discerning growth in this small township.
Four Mile Beach, aptly named for the four miles of clean golden sand, curves around one side of the township whilst Dickson Inlet with its protected harbour and marina nestles on the other.
Still retaining its village atmosphere with wide tree-lined streets, no traffic lights or parking meters, Port Douglas has evolved into a sophisticated yet casual holiday destination. Boutiques, a Sunday market, some of Australia’s finest restaurants and friendly locals add to Port’s unique ambience.
Located an hours drive north of Cairns, along one of Australia’s most scenic coastal routes. Against a backdrop of Rainforest Mountains with a foreground of the Coral Sea, Port Douglas is the perfect base to explore the exceptional World Heritage areas of the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef.
Port Douglas is the closest mainland departure point to the Great Barrier Reef. A unique and diverse ecosystem, this underwater playground is an essential part of your holiday. A range of day trips or charters are available designed to maximize the snorkelling, diving or fishing adventure.
One of the few places on earth where the rainforest meets the sea, Cape Tribulation is only a short drive away. This ancient jungle has exotic wildlife and a diverse range of flora species. Take advantage of local tour guides or self drive to explore this tropical paradise.
Nearby Mossman Gorge and Mossman township, with local indigenous community and sugar industry, are some of the closer attractions.
Further afield Cooktown, Bloomfield, Atherton Tablelands, the Savannah country and real Australian Outback are also accessible.
Some of the top things to do in and around Port Douglas
SUNDAY MARKETS 8am to 2pm In Anzac Park on Wharf Street (opposite the Court House Hotel). Stock up on locally-grown fresh fruit and veggies. The market also has a great range of local handicrafts and is full of interesting characters from all over the Shire.
MOSSMAN GORGE A short drive north of Port Douglas is Mossman River Gorge. Follow the signs to the Indigenous eco tourism centre, enjoy a Dreamtime walk under the rainforest canopy and a swim in the cascading crystal clear water. Have a coffee at the Mayi cafe and view the art and design of the local Kuku Yalanji people in the Art gallery.
CAPE TRIBULATION/DAINTREE Drive up to the World Heritage-listed reef and rainforest of Cape Tribulation (you do not need a 4WD to get there), cross the Daintree River on the Cable Barge, explore the national park and walk along the isolated beaches. Have a delicious cream tea at the Daintree Tea House or a river cruise with one of the many excellent tour operators on the Daintree River.
FLAGSTAFF LOOKOUT Great views of Four Mile Beach and the surrounding mountains. Steep drive (or walk) accessed from Wharf Street then onto Island Point Road.
PORT DOUGLAS HISTORICAL WALK Take the award winning Historical Walk of Port Douglas. “The historic walk begins at Port Douglas Court House Museum, the second oldest timber court house in this State, famous for its committal hearing of Ellen Thomson, the only woman ever hanged in Queensland. Sit in the jury benches and see a short film of the re-enactment of her trial, held in this very court house…” The museum is open 10am – 1pm, Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun.
CANE TOAD RACING At the Iron Bar on Macrossan Street. Entertainment for all ages, kiss your toad and watch it turn into a prize!
SUNSET DRINKS At either The Tin Shed (the Combined Clubs), or at On the Inlet. Fantastic sunset views and an opportunity to watch the boats returning to the marina. Boats come in between 4 and 5pm. Happy hour at On the Inlet starts at 3.30pm, George the Groper is fed at approximately 4.45pm. No membership is needed at The Tin Shed. Get in early for a good seat.
ROMANTIC LUNCH Drive south to Thala Beach Lodge (07 4098 5700) for lunch overlooking the ocean. Or drive north to Silky Oaks Lodge (07 4098 1666) for lunch in the rainforest. Both are outstanding locations with fine food and both enforce the no children policy. Bookings are recommended.
BIKE HIRE Port Douglas Bike Hire (07 4099 5799) has a great range of bikes and accessories including kid’s seats, tandem bikes and trailers. Four Mile Beach is a perfect place to ride especially for children. There is also a bike path from Four Mile into town.
HARTLEY’S CROCODILE ADVENTURES Captain Cook Highway, Hartley’s Creek (07 4055 3576). Visit for half the day or take in the full day of activities they have on offer, crocodile feeding, boat cruise, snake show and much much more. Well worth the visit.
BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS Wildlife Habitat. Captain Cook Highway, Port Douglas (07 4099 3235) A delicious buffet breakfast served in the aviary of the Wildlife Habitat. Price includes tour of the facilities. Not for people with bird phobias. Great photo opportunities as cockatoos and pigeons fly about freely, often sharing a piece of toast. Daily 8am – 10.30am.
Port Douglas Climate
Port Douglas has a tropical climate with hot summers and warm winters, generally the heavy rainfall occurs from January-March, with the wettest month of the year typically being February.