Australia & NZ

A Visitor’s Guide to Port Douglas, Australia

Nestled in Australia’s state of Queensland is the beautiful city of Port Douglas. Surrounded by tropical rainforests and barrier reefs, this spectacular destination is overflowing with incredible sights and activities bound to keep visitors of all ages busy throughout the entirety of their stay.

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We’re sure you’ll have an amazing time whether you choose a tropical tour, a snorkeling cruise, or simply want to spend time exploring the area’s historic attractions.

Transportation throughout Port Douglas

The Rental Car

Most visitors to the Port Douglas area opt to use either public transportation or a rental car. If you use public transportation (ie. a taxi) you’ll have the advantage of a local tour guide who knows what the road conditions are like on a regular basis. The tropical climate and heavy rainfalls around Port Douglas can cause some roads to become muddy and impassible. If you should venture out on your own, make sure you understand the area you are visiting, how the road conditions may change, and what the current tide tables say about high and low tide. Make sure someone at your hotel knows where you plan to go, especially if you plan to explore the wilderness.

Visiting Port Douglas Rainforests

Rainforest Habitat, Port Douglas

While in Port Douglas you’ll want to visit some of the surrounding rainforests in Daintree National Park. While we recommend touring the rainforests with a group, you may opt to go out on your own if you find yourself in the vicinity. Either way, there are several things you must do in order to ensure your own safety as well as to preserve this incredible ecological environment.

This home will do! Rainforest Habitat, Port Douglas

  • Never feed the wildlife. Doing so will cause them to become dependent on human food and may cause them to attempt to leave their natural homes and, as such, get hurt;
  • Walk on the boardwalks constructed for tourists. They are there to keep you safe and protect the wildlife;
  • Do not collect sea shells, pick plants, or remove any other type of coral of wildlife from the rainforests as everything in Daintree is protected;
  • Campers should never build open fires. Only fuel stoves are allowed; and
  • Always wear insect repellent to protect yourself in these tropical climates.

Etiquette in Port Douglas

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In Port Douglas, as well as the rest of Australia, you will find that leaving tips in restaurants has not been the norm. You may see a 10% Goods and Services tax on some of your bills but otherwise you will find that most of the minimum wage requirements in Australia have been kept at a reasonable rate. Even still, tipping is becoming more common and if you’d like to leave a tip you should. If you’re traveling in a large group you should leave a tip as well.

port douglas  - returning from agincourt reef 7

Don’t expect your waitress or waiter to treat you like royalty. Service guidelines in Australia are very casual and you’ll be treated more like an equal than as a revered guest. You should, of course, make a complaint if you receive incompetent or rude service anywhere, but otherwise expect to be treated as you would anywhere else.

Where to Stay in Port Douglas

lookout from our hotel in Port Douglas

There are, of course, dozens of hotel accommodations to choose from in Port Douglas. You’ll want to find something that is not only reasonably priced but is also convenient to the area’s best attractions. Some of the most popular hotels in Port Douglas are as follows:

Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort

The Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort is a magnificent tropical resort located on the Four Mile Beach. Each of the 294 guest rooms feature the most convenient modern amenities available and some even have access to private terraces, balconies, and Jacuzzis. The resort’s on-site restaurant, Il Pescattore, serves authentic Australian cuisine year round. Lagoon’s Restaurant also serves three meals a day, featuring a full breakfast and a wonderful a la carte lunch.

Meridian Port Douglas

The Meridian Port Douglas is a contemporary boutique resort accommodating guests over the age of 15 in a luxurious and relaxing environment. The hotel is located within walking distance of several popular Port Douglas attractions, including Great Barrier Reef departure points, the Marina Mirage, and Four Mile Beach.  Hotel guests will have access to the barbeque area where they can relax, cook for themselves, and entertain guests.

Villa San Michel Port Douglas

At the Villa San Michel Port Douglas you’ll find yourself situated in the heart of the area’s bustling fishing village. The hotel features a mere 40 rooms, each appointed with modern amenities, and positions guests within walking distance of Four Mile Beach, the Marina, and several area restaurants and shops.

Your trip to Port Douglas will be filled with historic attractions, captivating entertainment, and incredible ecological adventures. Plan your trip in advance to ensure you have enough time to see and do all that you wish. A trip to Port Douglas is one you’ll always remember!

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