Port Douglas

Port Douglas is a coastal resort town north of Cairns, near the Daintree National Park in northern Queensland, Australia.


Port Douglas is a small town (year-round population around 5000 people). It is a very popular tourist, beach and reef destination, with the peak season being during the Australian winter. It largely, although not exclusively, caters for family holidaymakers and offers higher-end resort stays to couples and families. There are some backpacker hostels but far fewer than in Cairns. Port Douglas maintains a village feel: the palm trees are taller than the buildings and you can meander through the town to do some shopping, or enjoy a wide variety of cafes, pubs, restaurants & bars, ranging from those offering excellent value to world class cuisine.

Port Douglas is an ideal base for visits to the Great Barrier Reef or to the Daintree Rainforest, with Cape Tribulation a 90 minute drive on well maintained sealed roads.

Get in

Port Douglas's nearest airport is in Cairns, which is served by both domestic and international flights. Port Douglas is a one hour drive north of Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway, a well-maintained sealed road, albeit windy. Bus transfers are available: Sun Palm run a shuttle from Cairns airport and downtown ($35/$15) a good option is Exemplar Coaches and Limousines

Car hire is also easily available at Cairns.

Get around

There are 2 bus systems that will take you into town for $5 round trip. The return ticket is only good with the bus company you went in to town with. On Sundays there is a small sightseeing train that runs into and out of town. Tours to the reef or rain forest pick you up at your hotel.

Buses go past 4 times per hour from 7AM til around midnight.

The main downtown area (along Macrossan St) is easily walkable if you choose a hotel/hostel in that area.


It is the place where the reef meets the rainforest, a tropical wonderland of diversity.

Port Douglas provides access to the Great Barrier Reef and also the Daintree Rainforest.

Another great day trip is also the nearby Atherton Tablelands.


SCUBA Diving


Port Douglas plays host to a weekly Sunday Market where everything from fresh tropical fruit & vegetables, to clothes, jewellery and gifts.


There are plenty of restaurants on Macrossan street. 2Fish, Zeus, The Living Room and Salsa restaurants on Wharf street (among others are also very lively in the evening. "On the Inlet" restaurant offers great sea food, including many barramundi recipes. The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary has a great buffet experience with Breakfast with the Birds or Lunch with the Lorikeets: as you dine, birds and other wildlife wander amongst the tables!

4 Mile Beach takeaway on the road in lets you have local reef fish and chips. Add a bottle of sav blanc from the bottleshop next door and take it down to 4 Mile Beach.


The Iron Bar - good patter

For cocktail lovers, Watergate & Zinc are front runners.


While there are a number of expensive places in Port Douglas, there are also some great cheaper options to allow everyone to rub shoulders with the rich & famous in Port Douglas!




Stay safe

The Port Douglas area is home to salt water crocodiles, which are sometimes capable of killing adult humans. Four Mile Beach has warning signs advising people to not walk in or near the water's edge, especially at dusk, or allow children or dogs to do so. The risk is lower than it is in rivers however, and the beach will usually be closed outright if a crocodile has been recently sighted.

Stinger season is from November to May inclusive. There is a netted area at the north end of Four Mile Beach that offers some protection from stings: this area is also patrolled by lifeguards. Signs will display the day's stinger risk, or chat to the lifeguards.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 13, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.