Port Douglas hotels
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Located in tropical Far North Queensland, 66km above Cairns, Port Douglas is one of the most naturally glamorous locations in the country and accommodates everyone from big-time stars to bushwalking and nature enthusiasts looking to explore the incredible eco system of the Daintree.
Famous for watersports and serious icons like Four Mile Beach the Daintree Rainforest and the nearby Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas is one of Australia’s most beautiful and unspoilt areas. With more postcard-perfect vistas than you can poke a Canon at, weather that sits at a constant 30 degrees and a rich indigenous culture still very much a part of local life, Port Douglas is the perfect holiday destination for every taste.
Even if you get sick of the natural gems and the sun (what’s wrong with you?), the shopping at Marina Mirage and on Macrossan Street will keep you and your credit card very happy.
Port Douglas is like Cairns was before that bigger, gaudier southern neighbour transformed itself into a giant backpacker hostel. You’ll still get the funny accents in Port Douglas, but not the associated determination to keep drinking until comatose. Instead, there’s still a ‘small town’ vibe to the place that sounds like an insult but is actually part of its appeal.
Port Douglas's Top 10
10. Sunday Markets They’re big and filled with quality homemade goods, including art, fashion and food.
5. Mossman Gorge Swim in pretty waters while gazing up at the lush, green surrounds.
9. Douglas Shire Historical Society Get out of the sun and head to the Court House Museum. Then get back into the sun by talking a historical walking tour.
4. Great Barrier Reef Go snorkelling or scuba diving and remember it forever. The waters are heaven and the creatures that live in them are magical.
8. Australian Muster Experience Experience the Outback with fun activities and tour guides.
3. Wildlife Habitat This wildlife sanctuary is home to everything from the Boyd’s Forest Dragon to the endangered Cassowary.
7. Cruise Jump aboard a catamaran and view the beautiful scenery from a different perspective.
2. Four Mile Beach Known round the world for good reason. Get that pasty skin ready for some sun!
6. Macrossan Street Some of the best eateries and the best shopping.
1. Daintree Rainforest One of nature’s greatest gems that just can’t be missed.
Port Douglas History
- Port Douglas Court House – Built in 1879, this former courthouse is now home to the Douglas Shire Historical Society Museum.
- St Andrew's Anglican Church – Located near to the former Court House, this church was rebuilt in the 1970s.
- State School No. 334 – One of Port Douglas’ oldest buildings, this former school is now a private residence.
- St Augustine’s Catholic Church – This Roman Catholic church was reconstructed following a 1911 cyclone.
- St Mary’s by the Sea Church – A small chapel built in the early 1900s.
Port Douglas Art & Culture
- Court House Museum/Douglas Shire Historical Society Museum – Located close to the waterfront, this museum is found within a historical timber building which dates back to the 1870s.
- Daintree Entomological Museum and Gallery – This museum is a must-visit to history enthusiasts visiting Port Douglas.
- Beck Aviation and Military Museum – A fascinating museum celebrating the history of aviation and the military.
- Cairns Historical Society Museum – This museum provides visitors with an insight into the history of the local area.
- Cairns Regional Gallery – A regional art gallery housing a wealth of indigenous art, all displayed within a stunning heritage building.
Port Douglas Shopping
- Davidson Street – Many of the greatest shops in Port Douglas are to be found on this street.
- Macrossan Street – A notable shopping street, home to Port Village, which offers an array of shops.
- Wharf Street – This street is home to a range of speciality shops.
- Marina Mirage Boardwalk – The boutiques here stock designer labels such as Versace and Ralph Lauren.
- Anzac Park – Located at the end of Macrossan Street, the Sunday market here draws large crowds.
Gay & Lesbian Port Douglas
- Gone Bananas Tropical – A gay-friendly restaurant serving Mediterranean, modern Asian and vegetarian cuisine.
- Head Office CBD – Known locally as a “real man’s cruise club,” this club is located on Abbott Street.
- Velvet Underground – Found in the Reef Hotel Casino building, the venue offers big- name DJs and loud music.
- Pier Shopping Complex – This complex is home to a range of stylish bars, including the gay-friendly Ba 8 in the Shangri-La Hotel.
- The Pier Bar & Grill – A popular Port Douglas gay venue with a relaxed ambiance during the week.
Port Douglas Outdoor
- Four Mile Beach – Port Douglas’ premier beach, featuring compacted sand and warm waters.
- Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse (former) – This lighthouse was built on the site of a former 1878 wooden lighthouse.
- Flagstaff Hill Lookout – Accessible by taking a short climb to the top of Flagstaff Hill, this lookout provides great views of eastern Point Douglas.
- Rutherford's Corner – Located the junction of Davidson Road and Macrossan Street, this corner is where the famous local George Rutherford ran a chemist’s shop.
- Waterfront Precinct – Located within Anzac Park and Market Park, the waterfront precinct was once the heart of the port.
Port Douglas Sport
- Watch Port Douglas Football Club play at their home ground, the Port Douglas Sporting Complex.
- Go snorkelling along the Great Barrier Reef.
- Play a game of golf at the Mirage Country Club.
- Watch or partake in water sports at Four Mile Beach.
- Witness the tennis stars of the future in action at Port Douglas Tennis Club.
Port Douglas LocalCentral
The luxe, resort-heavy central area of Port Douglas is the appropriate place to find Macrossan Street. Not only is Macrossan lined with boutiques, it also has a massive range of restaurants, trendy bars and cafés, as well as a number of kitschy souvenir stores packed with tropical-themed gifts to take back home. And it that isn’t enough for you, check out the beautiful Marina Mirage.
There again, if shopping isn’t something you equate with relaxation (husbands of the world, unite!), check out Four Mile Beach, one of Port Douglas’ most famous stretches of sand and sea. There’s also a range (ho ho!) of golf courses to perfect your putting.Mossman
The rural town of Mossman is a15-minute drive from Port Douglas and is the hub of the sugarcane industry. The town is not only a scenic wonderland, but is also home to some of the best wineries (Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery) and art galleries (Janbal Art Gallery) Queensland has on offer.
Start your day with a walk through the Daintree National Park and then take a dip in the stunning waters of Mossman Gorge. The Wet Tropics is another beautiful spot to explore while you’re there. Once you finish your nature expedition, take the time to hit up the Australian Muster Experience, a little north of the town, to experience a true-blue adventure.
Home to the magical Daintree Rainforest, this area is about a 40-minute drive from Port Douglas. In this tropical oasis you’ll not only find unspoiled rainforest that’s home to stacks of rare and endangered flora and fauna, but also some of the most beautiful, pristine and secluded beaches in the world.
For a proper tour, push the cassowaries aside and visit the Daintree Discovery Centre, where you’ll find tour guides waiting for you – plus the vertigo-inducing Canopy Tower and Aerial Walkway, both of which give you a hell of a view (and nightmares).
If you want a culture-hit, stop by the quaint Daintree Village, where you’ll find a bunch of art and craft galleries (many of them featauring local indigenous art) and lots of cultural tours. More of an animal lover? The Wildlife Habitat is yours. Hungry? Don’t forget to get those tastebuds over to the iconic Daintree Ice Cream Company, the number one place to get your sweet fix.
Port Douglas Eat & Drink
Lure Sit outside to soak in great views and the fresh scent of the sea while you sip on a drink.
Bistro 3 Chic surroundings paired with chic food. Try the Moreton Bay Bugs for a heavenly experience.
Court House Hotel ‘The Courty’ is one of the oldest and best pubs in town. Come for a chill and a beer.
Harrisons Enjoy French-inspired dishes at this beautiful, tropical-inspired oasis.
Watergate Choose to relax in the sexy, dimly-lit interior or dine on modern Aussie cuisine amongst the trees on the outdoor deck. Not a disgraced US president in sight (unless you count Bill Clinton, who enjoys holidaying in PD)
Salsa Bar & Grill A big, fresh and modern eatery serving contemporary Aussie eats and great cocktails.
Zinc Whether you stop by for a quick brekkie or become ensconced for an elegant dinner, this local fave will please.
2 Fish Feast on a mammoth selection of seafood at this Port Douglas icon. The hot ’n’ cold Seafood Feasts are epic.
The Beach Shack Enjoy the cool and casual vibe at this beach-themed place. Their pizzas are goooood.
Nautilus This historic and ultra-romantic venue is the perfect place to take that special someone. It’s pricey, but so very worth it.
Port Douglas Events
For 10 nights in May, Carnivale takes over Port Douglas for a massive celebration of culture and entertainment. This fiesta started as a small street party but has transformed into a massive hit over the 18 years of its run.
The Cairns Blues Festival in mid-May is a massive favourite with locals and visitors alike. This one-day event welcomes a stack of blues stars from across the country (and overseas) and hosts concerts and performances, from morning till night. Come and get your groove on, cool cats.
Go Troppo is an annual arts event (held in late-October) that celebrates the slightly unconventional side of the art world as well as the ordinary. Head to a class or workshop to bring out your arty side or be inspired by some of the coolest exhibits and performances you’re ever bound to see.
When To Go
Port Douglas has a tropical climate and enjoys hot, humid summers and pleasantly warm winters. Heavy rains tend to hit during December to March, so if you’re not up for getting wet, it’s probably best to stay away during those months.
- Winter average: 19°C
- Spring average: 26°C
- Summer average: 30°C
- Autumn average: 23°C
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What To Miss
The beautiful waters of Port Douglas can be home to some not-so-beautiful and dangerous creatures. You’re most likely to encounter the notorious blue-ringed octopus, crocs or stingrays, so be wary of your surroundings while taking a dip in rivers and beaches. Always (and we mean always) obey warning signs/rules.
Don’t be tempted to feed endangered species like cassowaries – if you’re caught, you’ll be slapped with a massive fine, not to mention the fact that it can be harmful to the birds.
There are a variety of shuttle buses that scoot all over the area, but at approximately $15 for a one-way trip, they can get mighty expensive. If you want to get a lot of travel under your belt, hiring a car is probably your best option.
When your otherwise sleepy town is adjacent to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, expect a major flood of international visitors when the weather is nice. In the case of Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, the outcome is that between May and November, the town's stable population of less than 1,000 braces for a tourist storm. With the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest in rather enviable proximity to Port Douglas, there is no big mystery behind the wee town's pervasive appeal.
A mere 70 km north of Cairns and as a result, a slew of excellent attractions, Port Douglas curves around heavenly Four Mile Beach. A number of fine resorts, restaurants and bars make use of the beautiful scenery. Port Douglas is also a notable hub for world class golf, with several fine clubs in the area. The star of Port Douglas will forever be Great Barrier however, a genuine natural wonder of the world. Tours of the reef and the superb Daintree Rainforest are widely available.
- Go Troppo Arts Festival
- Port Douglas Sunday Markets
- Cairns Blues Festival
- Far North Queensland Country Music Festival
- Innisfail Karnivale
- Great Barrier Reef
- Daintree Rainforest
- Beck Aviation and Military Museum
- Old Court House Museum
- Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
- On the Inlet
- Sassi Cucina
- Hi Tide
- Star of Siam
- Mango Jam Café
- Salsa Bar & Grill
- Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar
- Port O’Call Bar & Bistro
Port Douglas, like nearby Cairns, has a tropical climate with a wet season from December to April and a "dry" season that typically runs from May to November. Temperatures fluctuate between 22°C and 32°C in the former and between 17°C and 30°C in the latter.
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