Why you should visit Port Douglas in Far North Queensland

Location Location Location

The success of Port Douglas is all about Location. Just one hour’s spectacular drive north of Cairns Airport in Far North Queensland, with the waters of the Great Barrier Reef lapping the shoreline and the prehistoric rainforest of the Daintree calling, the tiny town of Port as the locals label it, delivers big time as a holiday destination.
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Port Douglas Location Location Location

Reef

The world’s largest Unesco listed area, the Great Barrier Reef is made up of 2900 reefs stretching from Cape York on the northern tip of Australia to Lady Elliott Island 2,300 km to the south.

At Port the Reef is always calling, however it’s not something most of us can afford willy nilly – it’s a big experience with a price to match. As such it pays to consider all the options before plunging in. Quicksilver whisks you to their pontoon at Agincourt Reef, 72 km from Port on the outer barrier reef, in their 45 metre wave-piercing catamaran. Agincourt Reef is the quintessential reef experience, with the best coral viewing and water visibility.

Wavedancer, their luxury 30m sailing catamaran goes to Low Isles, only 15 km/1 hour from Port, where it is possible to snorkel from the beach. These are two we’re familiar with but there are many more companies and trips offering half and full day trips on sailing and/or power catamarans.

Photo and post by Adventure Mumma.

Coral Great Barrier Reef by Adventure Mumma

Familiarise yourself with the Marina to see where your boat will be leaving from.

Port Douglas Marina Tropical North Queensland

Port Douglas Quicksilver Catamaran

Agincourt: Adults $246 Child $124 Family $616 (2 + 2)     Low Isles: Adults $200.50 Child $102.50 Family $510 (2 + 2)

Relaxation

Work on your tan while you destress and dream of that after sun cocktail. Beach walk for hours, picnic or practice being a beach bum – it’s an honoured profession up here. You’ll be snoozing beneath a She Oak before you know it.

Four Mile Beach – easy access from the main street – Macrossan Street.

Port Douglas Four Mile Up Close

Picnic Ahoy.

Port Douglas Four Mile Beach

Four Mile from the walkway up to Flagstaff Hill.

Port Douglas Walkway from Four Mile to Flagstaff Hill

Only a fisherperson knows how relaxing wetting a line can be. Fishing is allowed from the town Sugar Wharf.

Port Douglas Sugar Wharf Fishermen

Get Horsey.

Ports Horse Farm.

Ports Horse Farm Port Douglas Far North Queensland

Owner Prue’s friendly down to earth style and love for her horses shows. She has developed an undercover riding Arena to complement their rainforest rides. The Arena, elevated at the back of the property where grassy fields meet rain-forested hills also offers protection from real and liquid sunshine.

Why not mix things up a little – an one hour’s ride is easily slotted in to the day’s activities and the farm is only 5 minutes from the Port Douglas Roundabout.

5 Heritage Lane CRAIGLIE
Far North Queensland

Cost: $69/head

Views

Flagstaff Hill just behind town overlooks Four Mile Beach and is a great Sunrise Spot. It can be accessed by road or a walking track from Four Mile Beach.

Port Douglas View from Flagstaff Hill

When driving up the hill find walking access on the bottom left to a decommissioned lighthouse with views.

Port Douglas Light House

Rainforest

Take a step back in time and visit Cape Tribulation in the prehistoric Daintree rainforest. It’s stepping back in time in more ways than one. Head 40 minutes north to where the Bruce Highway meets the Daintree River and board the barge.

Driving off into the Daintree rainforest gives me a Jurassic Park shiver of anticipation.

Cost: $25 Return trip.

Port Douglas Daintree Barge

What is The Daintree?

It’s a River, a Township and a Region and each are easily accessible from Port Douglas. The Daintree Rainforest begins at Mossman Gorge in the 1988 World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park and extends to Daintree Township and River and north to Cape Tribulation and beyond. You can see a sketch map of the area with estimated drive times here or download the free map.

Mossman Gorge River Rocks

Cape Tribulation where the rainforest meets the sea.

Daintree Rainforest

Dickson’s Inlet

Lady Douglas

Find out where the big boats hide during cyclones, bird watch in the mangroves and listen to boat wreck stories. Don your Safari Suit and join the Croc hunt.

Lady Douglas at Port Douglas North Queensland

 

Search for Turtles

Rex Smeal Park is a good land base to turtle watch from.  At high tide they pop their heads up around the rocks. After 4.30 pm settle in to watch the big boats come home. They pass close to the point on their way into Dickson Inlet.

Port Douglas Rex Smeal Park

Sunday Markets

Anzac Park, bordered by the Dickson Inlet and Wharf Street, is the site of the Sunday Market. Wild horses couldn’t keep me away. Think tropical fruits, flowers, plants and locally made art and crafts galore. Plan to be in town on Sunday – I do.

Port Douglas Sunday Markets

Behind the market is the 1880’s St. Mary’s Church by the Sea famous for destination weddings. A glass picture window overlooks the Coral Sea.

Port Douglas Sunday Market and St. Marys Church

Court House Hotel

Every Port visit finds us at the Court House with a Coldie and a Countery (beer and bar meal) and with the footpath going right through the outdoor seating area, its a fun people watching spot too.

Port Douglas Court House Hotel

Wild Caught Barra, Chips and Salad $24. Kids Menu $10.

Delve into History

The Port was developed in 1877 to service the inland goldfields. Download the Douglas Shire Historical Society’s Stroll Back in Time in the Port Douglas Village (pdf) to take a self guided tour through the past or guided tours can be arranged for six or more.

When to Go

The weather is kinder between April and October. Low Season November to March is hot and humid with the benefit of less tourist traffic. Our photos were taken in November.

Thanks for reading and commenting – we really appreciate it. If you have a blog, please add a travel post to the link below for Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday which we co-host with Ruth from Tanama Tales and Rachel from Rachel’s RuminationsAll links to blogs are DoFollow. That means I am sharing SEO link juice with you; a good thing!

 


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