Indulge on mouth-watering deluxe banquets in Port Douglas, the culinary capital of Queensland, Australia or consume a locally mixed tropical drink or cocktails at one of the hip bars facing the ocean. Port Douglas is the absolute starting point for probing the Great Barrier Reef, the rich jungles of Daintree and the alluring shorelines at Cape Tribulation. This Queensland town has the best outdoor adventures to offer. Bask under the sun on the brilliant sands of Four Mile Beach, and then spoil yourself with a gratifying spa treatment at one of Port Douglas’ radiant day spas for a relaxing holiday vacation.
When To Go:
Port Douglas brags an eminent tropical atmosphere lasting through the year. There are for the most part just two seasons in the tropic regions of Australia; green and dry’. The green season starts with the first monsoon downpours, normally around December and finishes around the last week of April.
The green season is frequently sensational, uncontrollably excellent and avidly anticipated by the verdure of the tropical rainforests. Without yearly precipitation, there would be no rainforest and, as numerous guests find the wet does not meddle with the diving, snorkeling or hiking adventures to enjoy in this island. Tourism at this point of the year is developing firmly so it is suggested that convenience and visits are busy ahead of time. There are numerous convenience arrangements to be found at this point, so it is an extraordinary time to visit!
The ‘dry season’ from May to November brings less mugginess, clear skies and agreeable temperatures day and night. The top traveler season is from June until November. Families are prescribed to pre-book lodging, flights, and tour reservations well ahead of time before the onset of the school holidays in Port Douglas.
If you want to explore the scenic coastal side of Australia, here are the most attractive sites and a great variety of
things to do
in the city or Port Douglas…
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
is fantastic and it offers the opportunity to see the typical animals of the Australian continent in a wonderful atmosphere. The respect for creatures is the most important thing in this attraction and at Wildlife Habitat, this philosophy is the law. It is not a zoo but a micro-reserve where you can admire and learn about the magnificent animals of Australia.
Wildlife Habitat is worthwhile to make a visit. The animals run around freely, you can feed the kangaroos / wallabies, crocodiles, and even pet a cute sleepy koala. Within two hours you can enjoy a leisurely stroll in the park, discover native species to the region of the tropics (like the tree kangaroo and cassowary) and in Queensland.
You can also tour behind the tea stage to visit the place where the animals are treated. The site is great for kids. It is also possible to go free in 3 days and engage in a photography session with the koalas. This zoo is composed almost entirely of Australian species. The entrance is not given (cost $ 33 / person) and it’s a bit expensive. But the content is really worth it. If you have not had the opportunity to see kangaroos in the wild during your trip, this is the place to go. You can buy bags of seeds ($2 each) to feed the kangaroos and birds.
But they will naturally come to you when you enter the enclosure. And this is the most impressive part of the tour; the animals come and eat in your hand! The ticket you purchase is valid for three days if you wish just to come back the following days to enjoy it further. And it brings the price of entry to something more reasonable and worthwhile to do in Port Douglas City.
is an absolutely great place with three different spots for snorkeling. At each spot, there is something else to see. There are all types of fish and the huge aquatic turtles that look spectacular in the ocean floor of Port Douglas. This tourist spot requires a full-day excursion. From Port Douglas, you can rent a speedboat and spend more time snorkeling all of its beautiful reefs. The reef sharks make this place more interesting. If visibility is ok, you can see lots of fish variations, unique shark, stingrays, turtles, and a living coral that is always ready for a unique experience.
It is one of the most wonderful experiences that life can give, to explore a world class barrier reef. There are no words to express what it’s like to dive in the area of Opal Reef. If you watch any documentary on the Great Barrier Reef, it seems impossible to see anything better. But reality surpasses any image or documentary. The site is more than 360 kilometers of pristine sand, endless corals of all shapes, colors and sizes, sharing its beauty with fish that have to be seen to describe them. The Opal Reef is a must see, and tour of Port Douglas is not complete if you fail to see and adore the rich and charming reefs of this island.
St Mary’s By The Sea Chapel
If you need a wedding with a sea view, then you can have it arranged here at the
St Mary’s by The Sea Chapel
. It is a beautiful wooden church in all white and the thing that makes it truly unique; the altar has a huge window overlooking the sea.
There are lots of couples who got married there, and most families here choose to spend the Christmas and New Year Holy Mass and service because this parish choose to spend it in a lively manner, filled with hymn singing, traditional dances, while expressing devotion to the faith (non-denominational). Although it is a small church, it is nestled in an idyllic place with a romantic and picturesque setting. Its presence in the island looks mystical as it overlooks the famous Sugar Wharf and the Coral Sea.
Swimming around the
and to see the corals and fish up close is an indescribable experience. The cruises’ instructors are deeply professional and will help you have an unforgettable experience discovering the lush reefs of Port Douglas. You can spend a day diving on the reef, bottled and snorkeling. It is a real aquarium that is full of abundant fish in varied and colorful species. No need to go deeper to see all those fish that swim in and around the reef. You can even observe a shark, not to mention a huge clam from just a few meters from the coastline and visible by the naked eye.
It is a fantastic reef where there are many marine wildlife and great things to do and se. There are a number of tour operators in Port Douglas which takes you out to the reef for and snorkel and dive, you have an option to go solo or join a group. The group tour usually consists of five people with varied interests. The group heads out into the ocean on a rented boat and stops at the platform edge of the reef. With expert guides you can snorkel and dive and earn different skill levels and training. If you want a certified diving experience and learn more about the rich corals of the Barrier Reef, choose a tour operator that are certified PADI divers and specializes in acquiring a level (issues a certificate at the same time)so you will get more out of your time and money.
Four Mile Beach
Four Mile Beach
looks magical both day and night. Whether it’s swimming in daylight you are looking for or prefer to sit on a beach for yourself under the stars, this is the beach for you. It has fine white sand, palm tree lined shoreline, and small settlements nearby where one can truly find peace. The beach is beautiful and has a nice visual impact especially when viewed from Trinity Bay lookout, but hardly usable given the strong wind that often lash during rainy season. In the days of quiet, you can spend a nice long walk to see the vast space of a paradise like atmosphere.
As the name says the beach is four miles of infinite fine sand and sparkling clean waters with loads of opportunity to practice many water sports. The beach is also dotted with curious signs of “beware of the giant squid and sharks”. The walk on this beach is something utterly relaxing and an ideal honeymoon getaway. The only downside and poses a little problem for swimmers are the jellyfish, but within the four kilometers of beach there is a small enclosure where to swim safely and avoid their painful stings. Anyway for those who love nature and a wonderful place, this beach is still an ideal choice. Try to roam in the evening and you will see huge country bats hanging from trees, but do not worry for they are not dangerous.
is a marvelous looking old steam train designed especially for kids. This restored steam train leaves from the Reef Marina and starts its operation at 11:00 am, 1:00 and 2:30 pm every Sunday. The train goes for around 20 minutes past Sheraton, QT and so forth and after that turns-a-round and heads back over to the Marina again. The entire tour of the place can be done within an hour.
The best part of the excursion (for the adults) is viewing them as they attempt and try to turn the train around in its manual option. Kids truly appreciate it because it is somewhat uproarious and spews out thick smoke that does not spoil the fun of the adventure. The entrance fee currently costs $10 for adults and $5 for kids on a one way trip that is lively and very informative.
You can dedicate a day to discover Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Forest with the amiable staff of
. For starters, they will come and pick you up from the hotel where you are billeted with a minivan containing a maximum of 8 persons including the guide. The knowledgeable guides here are very adept in the explanations especially for those who are not native speakers and they are very patient in explaining the purpose of every site. The first stop of the day is the magnificent beach of Cape Tribulation where those who wanted could also do kayaking (to be paid separately) in the beautiful sea or you can choose to have a refreshing swim in its natural pool (swimsuit required).
After a good swim and sumptuous lunch, a walk to the Daintree Forest follows next. On this part, the guides demonstrate a great knowledge of plants and animals endemic to Queensland. The day usually ends with a serving of a delicious ice cream from a local shop and a cruise along the Daintree River where you can see several crocodiles and snakes. The safari tour is absolutely recommended while in Port Douglas.
is a nice place and a good choice to unwind and have the best mixed cocktail drinks, T-bone steaks and fish and chips in Port Douglas. It has wooden tables inside and out just like any other bars in Port Douglas near the marina. They serve good garlic bread and even the grilled barramundi which is a must in Queensland. The staff is very nice and everything is all good and cheap. Another interesting feature of this bar is the cane toad racing which amuses everyone, young and old alike.
Flames of the Forest
Flames of the Forest
is a real fairy tale in the heart of the city. It is an evening in the rain forest lit only by candlelight and where a delicious meal is served for the revelers. The wine is particularly well chosen and so is the menu. Two Aborigines offer a mesmerizing spectacle; a traditional tale, the didgeridoo, and the birds of the Rainforest.
You can spend an unforgettable evening and a hearty meal enjoyed with your family in this unique dining experience in Port Douglas. The whole evening is magical , and paired with traditional New Zealand cuisine. Do not miss this cultural dining experience if you’re in Port Douglas City.
If you do not want to go with a hundred other people to snorkel and do not want to be seasick, the half day tour to the outer reef via the fastest boat in the island- the
is exactly right. They have nice staff of up to 14 people and will you to the great snorkeling sites in the Barrier Reef.
Compared to a regular boat trip which takes 45 minutes to arrive at the reef area, with the Reef Sprinter you can easily access and get to the actual site of the reef within 15 minutes. The snorkeling spot here is magical with corals of all colors, fish by the hundreds all different and where you can see some turtles which are eco-certified.
Calypso Reef Cruises
Calypso Reef Cruises
has a variety of boats for rent that will help bring you to the reef areas of Port Douglas. The boat is fully equipped and specializes only on activities that involve snorkeling on the reef. The day tour price starts at a price of $200 per person or about 140 Euro and you can visit three sections of the barrier and the package includes a “lunch” offered in self-service and of good quality.
The availability of masks, fins and suits (lycra) can be included in the package. The service is very professional and the experience is positive, although the prices are quite high and the quality of food on board is the best.
Poseidon Outer Reef Cruises
Poseidon Outer Reef Cruises
is one of the best cruise tours in Port Douglas and the one you will treasure the most. After about 2 hours of navigation, you will arrive at the reef where you can make 3 stops to snorkel or scuba dive. From this dive you will see; corals , fish, sharks , turtles, and rays . The staff on board is super helpful and knowledgeable with the guide named Dutch, aside from being a dive instructor he is also a marine biologist so you can imagine the preparation. In short, this tour is super recommended. The price includes a hearty breakfast, buffet lunch, and an afternoon snack. This is one of those days that you will spend in Queensland and the ones that you will never forget. This is sustainable Eco- tourism along with twenty other people on board. This cruise and tour with the Poseidon company is a must while in Port Douglas.
Port Douglas is a small town with nice places to relax while having a beer or eating some fish and chips. Do not forget to check out the marina with boats that organize tours and cruises in the reef. From the reef you can get to Cape Tribulation in a few hours of driving. The rain forest behind and the ocean ahead is one of the most beautiful places to visit for those who are truly in love with pure nature. For those wishing to go, it is mandatory to see the Great Barrier Reef which is accessible by a 1-hour boat. If you go there in the summer there is a greater chance to find a temperature above 40. Protect yourself with a hat and protective sunscreen to enjoy the nature and do more hiking and snorkeling on the famous reef.