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Your Ultimate Guide To Port Douglas

Your Ultimate Guide To Port Douglas

Picture this: you’re on leave, you’ve escaped north, the sun is shining, and you’re driving down a scenic highway, where rainforest meets the ocean. The best news? This doesn’t just have to be a nice fantasy — it’s something you could make a reality for your next holiday, and it’s only a short plane ride away from most capital cities in Australia.

Port Douglas in far North Queensland has something for everyone: from solo travellers looking to snorkel with turtles, to couples wanting to unwind, relax, and romantically recharge, to young families who want to play by the beach and get a thrill by visiting the crocs from a safe distance.

A short drive from Cairns airport, with shuttle buses readily available, the friendly local community of Port Douglas is ready to welcome travellers back with open arms to explore the scenic beauty that the region offers.

Here’s our ultimate guide for how to spend your time in Port Douglas, whether you’re there for a weekend or a little longer.

Explore the reef with a Sailaway cruise.

Swimming in the stunning outer reef is an experience you won’t forget anytime soon: whether you embark on a full-day tour of the outer reef, use your afternoon to explore the low isles and watch the sun set on your way back to shore, or just simply go on a sunset cruise, Sailaway in Port Douglas has something for every traveller.

Book your Sailaway adventure right here.

Try and spot an elusive platypus while river snorkelling.

Grab a raft and get paddlin’! This family friendly adventure will take you into the heart of the Mossman Gorge region, where you’ll suit up and swim through the stunning, cool waters of the river. The friendly guides will educate you on the marine and wildlife lurking around the area, and will also be there to grab some happy shots as you paddle down the river on your raft. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some cute lil turtles, and if you’re extra lucky, a platypus might poke his head out to say hi.

Try it out with Back Country Bliss tours here.

Explore Four Mile Beach.

If you’ve gone heavy on the snorkelling and reef adventures, take a moment to decompress and catch the sunset or sunrise at the iconic Four Mile Beach. The simple beauty of the beach will take your breath away — and if you’re feeling like a stroll, there’s a 1.5km track that’ll take you from the beach front straight through to Rex Smeal Park.

Admire the local art or get a psychic reading at the Port Douglas markets.

Join the locals and head down to the Port Douglas markets, every Sunday from 8am – to 1:30pm. From sweet bakery treats, to fresh pineapple juice, to stunning local artwork, and a few psychics to pick from, the markets have a little something for everyone.

Shoutout to my psychic reading from Kerry, who only told me good things about my future love life and I have no choice but to believe her.

Grab dinner by the marina at Hemingways.

Perfect after a reef cruise, stop by for a beer and a bite to eat at Hemingways on the Marina. They have something for everyone: from hand-crafted beers for the beer lover in your life, to pizza, and fresh local prawns, you’ll leave satisfied.

Make a booking here.

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Learn about Australia’s history on a guided Dreamtime Walk.

A must-do when you’re visiting the area is going on a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk, guided by a local Indigenous person. Ngadiku stands for stories and legends in the local Kuku Yalanji language and the guides will take you on a magical journey through the rainforest, sharing their expertise and taking groups to culturally significant sites. Starting with a traditional smoking ceremony, the tour ends with a delicious traditional bush tea and damper.

Find out more here.

Relax with a bev at Rex Smeal Park.

Whether you want to enjoy the sun during lunch or watch the sun set at night with a bev or ice cream, Rex Smeal Park will provide stunning scenery for Instagram shots that will make all of your friends jealous. Wander down Macrossan street after to keep the party going or stop off for dinner.

Visit the crocs and wildlife at Hartley’s.

For adventure seeks, kids, and the young at heart, a visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is a must. Whether you dine in and have breakfast with the koalas (highly recommend!) or just want to see some huge crocs (we’re talking 500kg reptiles!) from a safe distance, Hartley’s is the perfect day out.

Find out more here.

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