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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 Local

Central

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.

Daintree

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.

Getting Around

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.

General Information

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.

Activities

  • Go Troppo Arts Festival
  • Port Douglas Sunday Markets
  • Cairns Blues Festival
  • Far North Queensland Country Music Festival
  • Innisfail Karnivale

Attractions

  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Daintree Rainforest
  • Beck Aviation and Military Museum
  • Old Court House Museum
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

Restaurants

  • On the Inlet
  • Sassi Cucina
  • Hi Tide
  • Star of Siam
  • Mango Jam Café

Nightlife

  • Salsa Bar & Grill
  • Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar
  • Zinc
  • Port O’Call Bar & Bistro

Climate

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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Hotels in Port Douglas

  • Hotels in Port Douglas

Recommended hotels

From US$207

1 Thala Beach Nature Reserve

5 stars
4.7 / 5 16 reviews

Private Beach Road Map

Book 28 Days in Advance & Save 20%

The Thala Beach Lodge Port Douglas sits spectacularly atop a headland with breathtaking views of the Coral Sea and offering luxury holiday escapes on a private beach between Palm Cove and Port... More

Awesome
Wonderful in every aspect. Totally awesome place. Grounds are lovely and to walk them you mist be pretty fit however they are more then accommodating with golf carts to bring you any where at any...
6 Oct 2014
From US$195

2 Shantara Resort Port Douglas

5 stars
4.7 / 5 38 reviews

27-31 Davidson Street Map

Important Check In Information

Shantara Resort Port Douglas is a boutique resort-style complex offering self-contained apartment accommodation in a relaxed environment. The Port Douglas property is within walking distance from... More

Perfect hotel for cuuples
We just came back from our holiday and must say that we're impressed with the PD as well as with the beautiful Shantara hotel! We stayed in a room with private pool access which gave us the...
13 Feb 2015
From US$132

3 Mantra Heritage Resort Port Douglas

4 stars
3.9 / 5 9 reviews

16 Warner Street Map

Stay 4 Nights & Save 5%

Offering all the comforts, Mantra Heritage epitomizes the leisurely, carefree lifestyle of this popular resort destination in Tropical North Queensland Port Douglas. GeneralAt leisure, you can... More

Mantra deal - excellent value for money
Large suites in a great location - selection of cafes, bars and restaurants nearby and just a short drive to the beach, wildlife habitat and marina.
29 Jun 2014
From US$106

4 Mantra On The Inlet Port Douglas

4 stars
2.8 / 5 4 reviews

Corner Macrossan & Wharf Streets Map

Limited Time Offer, Stay 4 Nights & Save 30%

Offering stylishly appointed accommodations set kilometres away from The Great Barrier Reef, Mantra on The Inlet Port Douglas makes for a good starting point for holidaymakers staying in this side... More

Wonderful Port Douglas
Wonderful location excellent facilities right across the road from the Port Douglas Market So relaxing sitting on the balcony with a cold drink Lovely light bright apartment This was our third...
7 Jul 2014
From US$282

5 Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments

5 stars
5.0 / 5 1 reviews

Corner Garrick & Beryl Streets Map

Blending comfort and luxury, the Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments Port Douglas is an ideal destination for a weekend escape with family and friends. GeneralThis property provides guest with... More

From US$162

6 Port Douglas Sands Resort

3 stars
4.5 / 5 4 reviews

11-15 Port Douglas Road Map

Welcoming guests with comfortable accommodation and friendly service in Port Douglas, the Port Douglas Sands Resort is just 400 metres from the Four Mile Beach. GeneralThe Port Douglas Sands... More

Great family value
We enjoyed our stay here and found it very well priced. Staff were friendly and promptly addressed any issues. Pool, kids sandpit and BBQ area were great and daily continental breakfast was a great...
19 Sep 2013
From US$128

7 Oaks Lagoons Port Douglas

4 stars
4.2 / 5 42 reviews

2 Langley Road Map

Stay 3 Nights & Save 10%

With tastefully appointed tropical accommodations well-connected to the beautiful Coral Sea, Oaks Lagoons Port Douglas makes for the ideal holiday beachfront sanctuary in this northern Queensland... More

Romantic getaway
We had a lovely time at this hotel. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We especially loved the private spa on our balcony and would recommend the spa room to anyone looking for a romantic...
23 Jan 2015
From US$118

8 Mantra Portsea Port Douglas

4 stars
3.8 / 5 16 reviews

76 Davidson Street Map

Stay 4 & Save 35% + Continental Breakfast

Mantra Portsea Port Douglas is a deluxe beachside hotel with top-of-the-line amenities and luxurious studios and apartments surrounded by lush greens and picturesque landscapes. Holidaymakers in a... More

Relaxing weekend away
The hotel was lovely, clean and bright with plenty of pool space. Very close to the beach and the main street of Port Douglas. The room itself was perfect, the bed comfortable and the location was...
1 Jul 2015
From US$123

9 QT Port Douglas

5 stars
4.2 / 5 18 reviews

87-109 Port Douglas Road Map

Kids Stay FREE!

Surrounded by tropical greeneries, QT Port DouglasHotel is a serene resort offering a sanctuary away from the bustling city life in the seaside village of Port Douglas. Aside from frolicking on the... More

House keeping is non existant
The hotel is ok, breakfast was a nightmre-only 1 chef but half a dozen waitresses who kept clearing our table when we were lined up for food. Housekeeping barely did anything but make the bed You...
16 Jan 2015
From US$143

10 Le Cher Du Monde Port Douglas

4 stars
5.0 / 5 2 reviews

34 Macrossan Street Map

Offering convenient facilities and a variety of rest and relaxation options, Le Cher Du Monde is a highly regarded as holiday destination in Port Douglas. GeneralGuests using their own modes of... More

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