Good times and sun-kissed days await at Port Douglas, a chic resort town set on the coast of northern Queensland. Nestled between the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, it’s the ultimate summer destination for nature lovers. Port Douglas is the ideal base for visiting these two World Heritage Sites, while the sunny, pleasant climes make it a tropical idyll worth visiting all year round.
If world-class diving, lush rainforests, and crystal-clear beaches in Australia sound like paradise to you, then this laidback town is a must-visit. Plus, it’s a well-rounded tourist destination, rich in natural gems but also a trendy hotspot for food and drink. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a more extended vacation, Port Douglas deserves a spot on your upcoming vacation.
How To Get To Port Douglas
Travellers can fly to Cairns from any major Australian city. From Cairns, Port Douglas is only an hour away by car, and the drive takes tourists through one of the most scenic coastal roads in Australia. Alternatively, tourists can also hop on a helicopter or a light aircraft for a 15-minute flight to Port Douglas.
Things To Do In Port Douglas
It’s not every day that you’ve got the world’s largest coral reef and the world’s oldest living rainforest within reach. And beyond the popular tourist draws, the friendly resort town is home to other natural attractions that make it stand out as a tourist destination.
Dive In The Crystalline Waters Of Low Isles
Located 15 kilometres off the coast of Port Douglas, Low Isles is a pair of coral cays that’s part of the Great Barrier Reef. Set sail on a 15-minute boat ride to visit the duo (Woody Island and Low Island), surrounded by 55 acres of vibrant reef. The unspoiled reef is home to 150 species of hard corals but is dominated by 15 species of soft corals. Low Isles is one of the best snorkelling spots in the area, with a dazzling array of fishes, molluscs, turtles, and other marine species.
A half-day tour to Low Isles on Calypso is one of the must-try activities in Port Douglas, especially for visitors eager to see the Great Barrier Reef up close.
Bask In The Beauty Of Daintree Rainforest And Cape Tribulation
As the oldest living rainforest on Earth, Daintree Rainforest is home to what feels like an infinite expanse of wonders. Step under the lush canopy of the 180-million-year-old forest that features a huge chunk of Australia’s animal and plant population. Daintree is home to rare species, such as the southern cassowary and Boyd’s forest dragon, as well as more than 3,000 plant species.
Notable sites in the area include the Mossman Gorge, a 56,000-hectare area where clear river waters run through gigantic boulders against the stunning backdrop of emerald trees and rolling mountains. Tourists may also join a crocodile cruise or meet rare animal species at the Wildlife Habitat. Daintree Rainforest is also the gateway to the famed Cape Tribulation, a diverse stretch of land where the rainforest meets the sea.
Four Mile Beach
Beach lovers will fall instantly in love with the golden shores of the Four Mile Beach. The popular tourist attraction actually spans four kilometres (not miles), with the long stretch offering a beautiful tropical playground of white sand, azure waters, and palm trees. Despite being a short stroll from the Port Douglas town centre, the Four Mile Beach remains blessedly unspoiled. Whether you want to swim, chill at a café, try water sports like kite surfing, or enjoy a stunning sunset, this is a great spot in town to do it.
Marvel At Awe-Inspiring Views From Flagstaff Hill
Up for a little hike? Hit the Flagstaff Hill Trail to get to lookout points that command sweeping views of the Coral Sea, Low Isles, Four Mile Beach, and Snapper Island to the north. Trust us, the scenery is well worth the trek. The trail is accessible from the north end of Four Mile Beach or Rex Smeal Park.
Browse The Charming Port Douglas Markets
Every Sunday, local producers, artists, and craftspeople converge on the waterfront for the Port Douglas Markets. It’s a great way for tourists to enjoy the town’s friendly neighbourhood vibes for a few hours, and the ideal place to find the perfect souvenir. Local delicacies, freshly made snacks, colourful clothing and accessories, and one-of-a-kind arts and crafts are available. Entrance is free.
Eat Like A Local
You’ll never go hungry at Port Douglas, a small yet foodie-friendly town with an impressive collection of hip restaurants, cafés, and bars. Fresh seafood is particularly good in this port town, but there’s also an incredible variety of international cuisines available here.
Tourists willing to splurge for a fine dining experience must try the tropical outdoor oasis Nautilus, while Zinc is a popular spot for modern Australian fare. Additionally, Salsa Bar & Grill is a beloved restaurant that’s been a local favourite for more than two decades.
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