WELCOME TO PORT DOUGLAS
Port Douglas is the major resort town roughly halfway between Cairns and Cape Tribulation, it has everything you need for a holiday in the sun; miles of beach, a good choice in accommmodation, tours and activities, snorkeling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef, shopping, bars, restaurants, Sunday markets, and a few great annual events.
Port Douglas lies 66 km. or a bit over an hour north of Cairns, from here it is about 75 km. or nearly two hours further to Cape Tribulation, narrow winding scenic roads and the cable ferry over the Daintree river add a bit of time to the journey.
Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef Drive
Port Douglas is a very popular holiday town where people come to soak up the sun on Four Mile Beach, relax, eat, drink, relax with a massage, or they get a bit more active and explore the nearby attractions like the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree rainforest. Despite having grown since it became popular in the 1980's the village atmosphere has been well preserved. Annual events such as Carnivale and Ironman are held.
Just near the roundabout where you turn off the highway to Port Douglas is the WIldlife Habitat. Want to Cuddle a Koala, meet pythons, crocodiles, amazing Australian birds and handfeed kangaroos? This is the place to do it!
The Breakfast With The Birds experience has been famous for years and is one of the must-do's in Port.
Hartleys Creek Croc Farm
If you are travelling north along the Great Barrier Reef Drive then just before Port Douglas you will see this place on your left. Located just 40 minutes north of Cairns and 25 minutes south of Port Douglas, with over 2100 metres of timber boardwalks and pathways leading you on a journey of discovery through woodlands and rainforest where you can see an array of wildlife; colourful tropical birds, reptiles, koalas, cassowaries, insects etc.
There are two ways to get up to Flagstaff Hill, one is a walking trail from the beach and the other one is to drive up starting from the end of Macrossan Street where the Sunday markets are.
Up there you will be rewarded with an awesome view over Four Mile Beach and the Coral Sea, great spot to visit at sunset too.
Four Mile Beach
As the name suggests, this beach stretches for miles and is suitable both for big walks and many hours of lazy sunbathing.
At the north end the lifeguards patrol the beach and maintain a stinger net in summer, and you can hire some chairs and other beach gear. There is a walking trail from the beach up to Flagstaff Hill. At the south end you can really get away from the crowds, not many make it this far down the beach.
Every Sunday the Port Douglas Markets are held in the park at the end of Macrossan Street. There is a great variety of arts and crafts from local artists for sale here, exotic fruits, souvenirs, Thai massage, etc.
The location right next to the water of Dickson Inlet adds to the ambience.
Snorkel Or Dive The Reef
There is a good variety of snorkel and scuba diving tours available in Port Douglas ranging from short sunset cruises to full day trips out to the Great Barrier Reef, or live-aboard boats that go out for three or four days. Some boats only go out to nearby Low Isles and some all the way to the outer reefs.
Click here for a selection of tours
The main street of Port Douglas, Macrossan Street, is lined with shops selling everything from beach gear to all other clothing, arts and crafts, souvenirs, etc. There is also a Coles supermarket and a Target store.
Port Douglas Marina
At the Marina you can enjoy a drink or a meal looking out over the water and all the sailing boats that berth here.
This is also the departure point for the day tours out to the Great Barrier Reef, and there is an airconditioned shopping mall inside the building.
Holidays in the village of Port Douglas are pretty relaxing but you can help it along with a massage from one of the many spas and massage shops around town. Pictured above is Noy's Thai Massage in the shortcut lane behind the Courthouse Hotel at the bottom end of Macrossan Street.
Flames Of The Forest
This is is North Queensland's ultimate rainforest ballroom, where you can choose from two unique dining experiences in a pristine natural environment - the Aboriginal Cultural Experience or the Rainforest Dining Experience, whilst enjoying an award winning menu and inspirational entertainment.
There are a lot of crocodiles in far north Queensland and if you have never seen this impressive prehistoric animal in the wild before you should book on a crocodile cruise to see one, or two.
WHAT WILL YOU SEE ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF DRIVE?
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!
This drive takes you along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but make sure you hop on a boat from Port Douglas or Cape Tribulation too so you can immerse yourself in this amazing world of wild coloured coral and tropical fish.
THE DAINTREE RAIN FOREST!
While you can see some rain forest in various places along the drive you definitely have to cross the Daintree river to see the real ancient Daintree rain forest, do some of the National Park board walks, swim in the pristine creeks, or book a guided tour in Cape Tribulation to learn more about it.
You can see cassowaries in zoos around the world but meeting a cassowary in the wild is an experience not to be forgotten. This ancient flightless bird has been walking the planet ever since all continents were still joined together as one and dinosaurs roamed the earth. The cassowary is listed as endangered but has been making a good comeback, and there is a fair chance you will see one in the Daintree if you spend a few days there.
LOTS OF BEACHES!
If you love the beach then you will love the Great Barrier Reef Drive, there are dozens of stunning beaches to explore along the way, just in the Daintree there's ten of them already, and even in the busy season there is a good chance you will find one all to yourself.
LOTS OF OTHER STUFF!
What ever you can imagine, you will find it along the Great Barrier Reef Drive. Exotic fruit wines, hang gliding, home made icecream, crocodiles, rainforest sculpture trail, tea, insect museum, cassowaries crossing the road, massage, jungle surfing, Aboriginal culture tours, helicopter rides, More info added soon on the multitude of attractions and sights to see.