Things to do in Port Doulgas are endless, between the idyllic beaches, direct access to the Great Barrier Reef, luscious rainforests, amazing dining precinct, and other attractions this slice of tropical paradise knows how to keep you entertained!
Getting to Port Douglas
Port Douglas is the tropical reward for those who travel north of Cairns for approximately an hour; when you hit white sandy beaches that are seemingly endless, un-abating sunshine, and an air of chic-beachside charm you’ll know you’ve reached your destination.
Winter or 'dry season' is the most popular time to visit the region as the rest of Australia cools down, Port Douglas remains at a comfortable, balmy temperature that lends itself to tropical holidays.
Having said this, summer is still a favourable time of year to visit as it is sunny year round and the occasional showers that come with summer are often in the early morning or evening, leaving you the day to spend in the sunshine!
On the cusp of two Natural Wonders
One of the elements that makes Port Douglas truly special is the magnificent location where two natural wonders meet: The Great Barrier Reef and the luscious Daintree and Cape Tribulation World Heritage Listed rainforests.
As one of the gate ways to the enchanting Great Barrier Reef, there are several ways to explore this wonder. Take a cruise with Sunlover out to their pontoon where you can safely snorkel or dive around the tropical fish and vibrant corals. This is a great option for families, especially with younger children.
You can also jump on tours out to the reef, they supply everything you need from scuba gear to snorkels to wetsuits. Alternatively you can charter boats to a location of your choosing, or ask the experts for the best spots to visit!
Exploring the rainforest is equally as magical from walks, hikes, or safaris that are either guided or done yourself, there are numerous ways to experience the Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforests. Along the way expect crystalline streams, dominant mountain ranges, dramatic gorges and a host of native wildlife!
One of our favourite spots is Mossman Gorge, this beauty is home to some of the most spectacular rock pools, waterfalls, and scenery you’ll ever see.
Four Mile Beach is the centre piece of Port Douglas, and for good reason – it is fabulous. Stretching for – you guessed it – four miles of blissful white sand with aqua blue waters lapping gently, this is one of the reasons Port Douglas is on the map!
There are also plenty of other secluded stretches of picturesque sand just waiting to be found along the coastline, as well as both Palm Cove and Cairns just a short drive away.
Port Douglas has a premier dining precinct bustling with quaint cafes, award-winning restaurants, and funky bars!
Visit Watergate Restaurant and Lounge Bar for a lively atmosphere and well-curated cocktail menu nestled in the heart of Port Douglas on the corner of Grant and Macrossan Street. Harrisons offers modern cuisine that boasts national accolades and a warm and welcoming ambience in a beautiful colonial building on Wharf Street.
Nautilus Restaurant Port Douglas
To grab a more casual bite to eat both Zinc and Fresq have great family-friendly vibe, options for the kids, and coffee that could be considered a sin. Although, do not look past Fresq for breakfasts, the meals are out of this world and very well priced.
If you want to really treat yourself or your loved one Nautilus boasts a dining experience that is unparalleled. Your journey begins through a hidden walkway that delivers guests onto a beautiful deck perched atop the trees! The views are endlessly panoramic, the cuisine 5 star, the wine pairings perfect, and the experience unforgettable.
Once you’ve discovered the wonders of the Daintree and Cape tribulation rainforest, uncovered the mysteries of the Great Barrier Reef and sampled the tantalising delights of Port Douglas cuisine, there is STILL more to do and see in this magical slice of paradise.
Rainforest Hideaway, Cape Tribulation
Breakfast with the Birds is an enchanting experience that the kids will love! It’s held at the Wild Life Habitat which is situated at the cusp of Port Douglas and promises a delicious buffet breakfast surrounded by beautiful wetlands and all the colourful creatures that come with it.
‘Flames of the Forest’ is another spectacular must do activity in Port Douglas. This culturally rich entertainment is comprised of an Aboriginal dance and cultural performance paired with delicious indigenous cuisine that sees the rainforest light up in Tropical North Queensland’s most illustrious rainforest ballroom.
For a quiet evening with a great view, cocktail in hand, head over to Thala Beach Lodge. Nested on elevated banks amongst tropical rainforest, this special spot promises beautiful sweeping views across the rainforest and Coral Sea. It’s a great spot to relax and enjoy both a colourful drink and sunset.
If your Port Douglas escape stretches across the weekend, then make sure you drop by the Port Douglas Markets held every Sunday in Anzac Park on Macrossan Street. From 8am until 1.30pm you will find fresh fruit and produce, souvenirs, homewares, jewellery, fashion and much more!
Lastly one of the cheapest, yet most entertaining things to do in Port Douglas is feed George the Giant Groper! He is a well-known tropical fish that weighs a whopping 250 kilograms and traverses the waters outside On the Inlet – a lovely seafood restaurant. Stop by at 5pm any day of the week to meet George and fling him a treat!