Fall in love with Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef!

Fall in love with Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef!

Visitors from around the world flock to the enchanting town of Port Douglas.  Surrounded by spectacular natural scenery, it has something unique to offer all fortunate enough to visit. Travellers of all ages and origins have cherished their time in this unique destination, holding memories made here close to their hearts, and here’s why:

Two world heritage sites

Few people are lucky enough to visit a world heritage site in their lifetime, and Port Douglas boasts two. The Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder of the world, and we are lucky enough to have access to a pristine section of it, unaffected by the bleaching damage that has sadly occurred elsewhere.

The Northern Ribbon Reefs will blow your mind, bursting with life and colour, waiting to be explored. Some choose to take a closer look on scuba-diving and snorkelling trips, while others prefer to view the reef from the comfort of a cruise. We can help you with both.

 

If the underwater world leaves you wanting more of the wild, the Daintree Rainforest is only a stone’s throw away. It’s the world’s oldest rainforest, so ancient in fact that some plant species have been dated back 110 million years.

Find out why Sir David Attenborough called this lush canopy “The most extraordinary place on earth” and understand how its raw, unfiltered beauty inspired Avatar. Choose the experience that best suits you while getting lost in this prehistoric world with a diverse range of tours.

 

Four Mile Beach

Four Mile Beach

The heart of Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach, will give you all the sunshine and fresh air you could desire. However, it attracts many like-minded people in search of a tan and an ocean breeze.

You will never feel crowded as the shore stretches out across the coast with enough room for everyone to relax. The beach is 100m wide at low tide, but make sure you’re ready to share it with the locals.

Turtles, dolphins, and dugongs in the sparkling water and ivory sand. Fear not. They enjoy the company. Whether you’re a surfer, a boogie boarder or a floater, the warm water and wicked waves won’t let you down.

Plus, it’s also easily accessible via a shuttle, taxi, or even by bike for those trying to get a holiday workout in.

Wonderful weather

Port Douglas weather offers an average of 29 degrees celsius over the summer and a balmy 26 degrees over the winter and spring. Our seasons provide a little bit of everything, with dry, breezy winters from May to October and your classic hot and humid beach holiday over the summer, so take your pick!

The enchanting Macrossa Street

Stunning, picturesque, and vibrant are three words we frequently hear when visitors describe this particular street. Lined with flowering trees, it runs from the port to Four Mile Beach with alfresco cafes, restaurants, boutique retail and a wide range of accommodation on offer.

Shop until you drop or explore the delicious cuisine, knowing that you can escape the madness into market park or the beach on either end at any time.

So many activities!

It’s hard to beat a classic, and we have them in abundance. Great Barrier Reef tours, Daintree Rainforest experience, and Cape Tribulation tours are on the top of the Port Douglas trip checklist for a reason. Make lasting memories in these rare and iconic locations, sought after by travellers across the globe.

There is also something to be said about venturing off the beaten track. However, we have plenty on offer for those looking for something a little different.

The remote Island Cays, food touring, river cruises, rainforest dining, jungle tours and indigenous cultural tours are beautiful ways to spend the day a couple of steps away from the crowd.

The atmosphere

Ease into a world that runs on island time, free from worries and commitments. Port Douglas is laid back, and it’s infectious. The very last thing you want to do on your hard-earned holiday is rush, and nothing here happens in a hurry.

Unfortunately, many destinations that share our latitude and attitude are less than safe. Enjoy the serenity of coastal culture with a world-class sense of safety as our community prides itself on looking after each other and those that grace us with a visit.

 

Our locals are often the highlight of many tourists Port Douglas holiday, always keen to share a yarn or lend a hand.

They love the place they live and want you to too. Before it became a beautiful travel destination, our town was a quaint pioneer fishing village.

Many still see it that way, so enjoy stepping back to a more simple time surrounded by kind and considerate people.

A dash of history

Port Douglas was established as a port in the gold rush of the 1800s.  Port Douglas’s story continued with the export of sugar cane through the 1900s. Over this time, a small fishing fleet thrived. Still, it wasn’t until the late 1970s that tourism began to unfold.

The pioneer way of living has created a kaleidoscope of historical stories.  Buildings and people can only be fashioned by the hands of time. Many beach destinations offer salty air and sunshine, but few have a rich history like ours.    Become immersed in the Port Douglas village.

Delectable dining

Home to over 50 restaurants and cafes

Port Douglas’ grub will take your pallet on a journey beginning in the Atherton Tablelands, where most of our fresh produce is farmed, to the Barrier Reef, where we catch the freshest seafood.

The kitchens contain award-winning celebrity chefs worldwide and small family-run operations, sharing a passion for serving you the best cuisine available in the tropics. Feel free to browse the menus here before you arrive and get excited to treat yourself with every delectable mouthful.

Accommodation for everyone

Our favourite thing about Port Douglas is that there is the perfect space for every taste, regardless of their budget or style of travel.

 

The international film industry has made luxury accommodation in the area famous in previous years. From heads of state to stars of the screen and stage, the world’s most fabulous and famous have flocked to the extravagant and five-star Sheraton Grand Mirage in search of a more pampered stay. Resorts like the Sheraton cater to the most high-end holidaymakers, unwinding in Spa’s with full catering, never lifting a finger.

 

Although this sounds fantastic to some, many visitors prefer to get more involved in the action. Spacious self-contained holiday units spread along Four Mile Beach, Macrossan Street, waterfront and town centre. They facilitate a self-catered stay that won’t hurt your wallet.

Leisure that won’t break the bank

Port Douglas walks a fine line, as it is financially accessible to most people looking for a tropical destination. They are offering premium services and experiences. Cheap and nasty goals are not worth the visit or your valuable free time.

Our town has always focused on the quality of its services, not the number of people that come through. However, it has also enjoyed travellers of all kinds, ranging from backpackers to family holidaymakers. It ensures that everyone can witness the natural beauty and atmosphere it has to offer.

Have we convinced you?

It isn’t easy to put the diversity and wonder of this town into words, but if we have convinced you to visit, here’s one or two suggestions before you commit:

Finally, we have worked hard to create a resource that you can use to check out as much of Port Douglas as is possible before you visit.

Add the many options and filters available on this site to research accommodations, restaurants and activities.

We love this place and are passionate about ensuring you choose the best holiday for you in our favourite Australian tourist destination.

Port Douglas: The 5 Best Beaches in Queensland’s  Paradise

If you like the idea of holidaying in a place with expansive beaches, a world-renowned tourist site close by, and palm trees everywhere you look, you’d struggle to beat Port Douglas. But where are the best beaches in the area?

We’ve scoured every picturesque sandy spot between the Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef to find the best places for sunbathing, swimming, relaxing, and whatever else you have in mind.

In the end, it came down to these five. And if you won’t take our word for it, you’ll have to book a trip and see for yourself!

  1. The Great Barrier Reef

 

Great Barrier Reef

Best for Sightseeing

We know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t the Great Barrier Reef, well, a reef?” If you want to get technical with us, yes — but there are plenty of beaches in the surrounding area, which gets a tick from us.

If spending your holiday on the doorstep of one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions sounds like a dream come true, looking for accommodation in the Great Barrier Reef area is a no-brainer.

Besides, it’s so much more than an entry to tick off your bucket list. Who wouldn’t want a face-to-face encounter with dolphins, sea turtles, rays, and more?

When you’re not snorkelling or scuba diving through the expansive turquoise waters to see hundreds of species of marine and wildlife, you can relax at one of the many beaches to soak up some Vitamin D and watch the world go by.

Since it’s such a popular spot, there is no end to activities to keep yourself busy with.

Naturally, not everyone wants to spend their break surrounded by crowds of sightseers. For those who’d prefer somewhere a little quieter, we’d recommend looking somewhere less well-known, like Palm Cove.

But even if you decide not to stay here, you have to visit the Great Barrier Reef at least once as a day trip. It’s one of the seven wonders of the natural world, after all!

2.  Four Mile Beach

Four Mile Beach Port Douglas

Best for: Activities

If anywhere in Port Douglas has a reputation as The Place To Be, it’s Four Mile Beach.

This is easily the most popular and busy beach in the area, and it’s not hard to see why. The calm, sparkling waters are perfect for swimming, the beach is long and sandy, and the area is full of activities. Go sailing, eat in one of the many restaurants, or stroll along the sands.

There’s even a rocky mangrove reef close by, found at the beach’s upper end by the Mowbray River.

But despite the popularity of Four Mile Beach, the coastal area itself remains mostly unruined. You can walk the entire expanse of the beach without huge hotels or constructions getting in the way of the amazing view.

What more could you want?

As an aside, Four Mile Beach isn’t actually four miles long — its name comes from a local family with the surname Fourmile. But the beach does stretch out for around four kilometres, which is close enough by our standards. It certainly looks endless when you’re walking along with it!

3. Palm Cove

Palm Cove Beach

Best for Pristine beaches

Although Palm Cove isn’t quite as popular as Four Mile Beach, it’s certainly well-known by locals for its unspoiled sands. The community goes to great lengths to ensure the beach remains cared for and pristine, and they’ve certainly done a good job.

Since it’s around a 45-minute drive from the main Port Douglas town, Palm Cove is also safely out of the way, keeping it relatively quiet. But it’s certainly worth the drive!

The beach is trendy for weddings, which speaks volumes about what a serene location it is. There are also many luxurious hotels in the area, plus lovely restaurants nearby for a romantic dinner.

There are also all the fun activities that you could wish for, including bike rental, kayaks, and beachside barbeques up for grabs. Alternatively, why not treat yourself by heading to a local spa?

4. Dickson Inlet

Dickson Inlet Port Douglas

Best for Spotting wildlife

Although swimming and snorkelling are great fun, not everyone wants to spend their holiday on the beach and in the waters.

If you’re more of a nature lover, you’ll probably prefer Dickson Inlet over this list’s other spots. It’s home to a protected harbour and marina and has plenty of wildlife.

This hidden gem might pass the radar of most tourists, but it makes a welcome change from busier areas and is the ideal place to walk around, take photos, and get back in touch with nature.

But anyone expecting a proper beach for the usual activities might be disappointed. Dickson Inlet is more of a bay, and it’s certainly not a good place to go swimming — the waters are full of crocodiles.

5. Wonga Beach

Best for: Getting away from it all

Wonga Beach

Four Mile Beach might contain four kilometres of pristine sands, but Wonga Beach contains ten kilometres — and since it’s much less-known, it’s not hard to find a deserted spot.

Neighbouring an expansive rainforest with mangroves and coconuts, relaxing at Wonga Beach is a surreal experience that will leave you wondering if you just dreamed and went to a tropical paradise.

The only downside? The waters may contain crocodiles at some points in the year (although not as many as at Dickson Inlet). Please don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Next stop: paradise

It seems like Port Douglas can do no wrong. But before you book your tickets, you should be aware of one small caveat. Between November and May, stingers are relatively prevalent in North Queensland — including the sometimes deadly Irukandji jellyfish.

There are ways to stay safe if you decide to visit during this period, but it’s certainly something to be aware of before you book your trip.

If you think Port Douglas could be the next destination on your travel bucket list, check out visitportdouglas.com.au  to plan your trip. Choose from a full range of accommodation types, from affordable hostels to exclusive villas — whatever your budget, you’ll find a way to make it work.