Port Douglas: A Tropical Oasis

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For many years Port Douglas has been one of my most treasured trips when my parents visited from Ireland, and even more so after Conor proposed here. With two wonders of the world right on its doorstep there’s no doubt why it is one of the most unique destinations in Australia.

 

This guide is complete with things to do, places to eat and where to stay.

 

How to get to Port Douglas.

Getting to Port Douglas is easy from most places in Australia. Cairns would be the closest airport just hours drive away. You can organise a shuttle bus from Cairns to Port Douglas or you can rent your own car at the airport. It is handy to have a car to explore the northern Queensland area.

 

What’s the best time to visit Port Douglas.

Port Douglas is nestled amongst the gorgeous Tropical North Queensland. Port Douglas has just two seasons instead of four: a wet season and a dry season. Dry season (May to October) generally brings lower temperatures of about 25 degrees with less than 25mm rain each month, which is ideal. However, this is peak season, meaning prices are higher and it tends to be busier. Wet season (November to April). The monthly rainfall is a huge 380mm per month with temperatures higher at around 30 degrees. While its not the ideal time to be out in the sun 24/7, it’s the perfect time to see the Daintree Rainforest in all its glory, with fewer tourists too.

 

How many days do you need to explore Port Douglas.

3-4 days is enough to explore Port Douglas, however, you can take endless day trips from here and it’s the perfect gateway to many sought after sights.

 

Places to stay in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas has accommodation to suit everyone. From budget friendly to beach side accommodation there’s plenty to choose from. Budget friendly – Port Douglas Backpackers is a vibrant hostel in a great location with a pool and bar. Campsites in Port Douglas tend be quite small and not particularly budget friendly or close to the town. We stayed at Tropic Breeze, a 20 minute walk from the town with communal facilities. Luxurious accommodation – Sea Temple Hotel Port Douglas. The Pullman’s Sea Temple Resort and Spa offers nothing but the five star experience, from private hot tubs to an 18 hole golf course and one of Port Douglas most highly rated restaurants, not to mention the infamous swim out pools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to see and do in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas has a plethora of activities to keep you entertained. There really is something for everyone. Take a trip to visit over 700 Palm Trees at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Just off the road surrounded by acres of luscious rainforest you’ll find this mesmerising tropical oasis. A plantation of beautifully lined palms. This is where Conor got down on one knee. My favourite spot in Australia. Did you know Thala Beach Nature Reserve is actually a hotel.

 

Visit Palm Cove

A short 30 minute drive south of Port Douglas you’ll find the stunning Palm Cove, a relaxing seaside village with numerous restaurants, cafes, hotels, and spas.

 

Visit Flagstaff Hill

Flagstaff Hill offers unbeatable views over Four Mile Beach and the Daintree Rainforest. For unrivalled views be sure to visit for sunset. You can walk or drive up to the top.

 

Port Douglas Sunday Markets

Each Sunday there are markets in Market Park, just overlooking the Coral Sea. You’ll find everything from herbal teas to handmade jewellery, exotic fruit and vegetables, to puppies and card readers. It runs from 8am-2pm.

 

Sunset at Rex Smeal Park

A popular hotspot just behind Flagstaff Hill. This grassy area is known to be filled with many locals and tourists daily. With endless palm trees, towering fig trees and a buzzing atmosphere you can understand why.

 

Sunset cruise

With the coral Sea right at your fingertips, you’ll find an easy, affordable cruise that leaves from the Crystal brook Superyacht Marina every evening. Take in the scenery and soak up the area’s history.

 

Explore Mossman Gorge

A 20 minute drive from Port Douglas in the heart of the Daintree National Park is Mossman Gorge. Known for its gigantic boulders there’s plenty of croc free swimming and walking tracks.

 

Cape Tribulation Rainforest

The Daintree Rainforest, the oldest on the planet at 180 million years old. You can drive yourself or hop on a day trip. With stunning remote beaches, boardwalks, and fruit farms it’s worth the visit. Keep your eyes open to spot those cassowaries.

 

Enjoy a sunrise at Four Mile Beach

100% worth the early wake up call. Grab a coffee and enjoy the views at one of the best beaches in Port Douglas. A haven for water sports, kite surfing in particular.

 

Peruse the boutiques on Macrossan Street

Your one stop shops for shopping. From high end boutiques to chain stores, whatever you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it.

 

Cast a line with East Coast angling

Looking for a bit of fun or to take home dinner, you’ll be taken to some of the most stunning and remote locations.

 

Mountain bike along the famous bump Track

The original link road between the Artherton Tablelands you can hop on a self-guided mountain bike adventure with the bike shop and bike hire.

 

Drive the 4WD Creb Track

Get a little mud under your wheels on one of the most exciting 4WD routes. Check for opening as weather conditions are known to shut the track.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to eat and drink in Port Douglas:

Port Douglas has long been renowned as a foodie’s paradise with a local bar scene to wash it all down. Get ready for the best food and drink in town. Having been here a few times we’ve sampled some epic food. Here are a few of our favourites.

Breakfast: The Little Larder serves up a mean brunch with favourites like smashed avocado and breakfast burritos.

Lunch: Zinc is the perfect spot to taste the local seafood. It has become somewhat of an iconic restaurant in Port Douglas.

Dinner: The Mexican, we’ve found ourselves returning time and time again because of it’s quality, tastiness and cosy atmosphere.

Drinks: Jimmy Rums Mixing Lounge, drinks with a Hollywood twist. Opulent surroundings, an extensive drinks list and funky art deco. Salsa Bar ‘n’ Grill, this spot has long been a local favourite for its salsa margarita. Hemmingway’s Brewery: microbrewery overlooking the Port Douglas Marina. The perfect place to grab a cold one and watch the sun set.

 

Port Douglas, a firm favourite of mine and is becoming more and more popular. I hope this travel guide has given you some inspiration for planning your own trip. Here’s hoping you enjoy it as much as I did.

For many years Port Douglas has been one of my most treasured trips when my parents visited from Ireland, and even more so after Conor proposed here. With two wonders of the world right on its doorstep there’s no doubt why it is one of the most unique destinations in Australia.
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