Port Douglas Attractions
Port Douglas is in a remarkable position of being snuggled between two of the worlds most incredible natural phenomena: The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. A trip to the Great Barrier Reef is a holiday you won't forget. Beautiful reefs, exotic fish, clear warm water and the hot sun combine to make a glorious experience. Whether you are interested in deep-sea diving among giant wrasse, or paddling in shallow water surrounded by tiny fish on the edge of a sandy cay, the Great Barrier Reef is a place you must visit.
The Great Barrier Reef has been described as one of the 7 wonders of the world, and there is little wonder why. As a World Heritage Listed area, the 2000km stretch of reef is home to more species of plants and animals than any other area of this size in the world. The combination of glorious weather, unspoilt rainforest, long white beaches, and warm blue water sets a scene for paradise. This Great Barrier Reef is also the cleanest and clearest body of water in the world.
The Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest in Australia is one of the most diverse and beautiful examples of Mother Nature in the world. It is home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on earth, and all are found within an area of approximately 1200 square kilometres - the largest chunk of ancient tropical rainforest in Australia.
This World Heritage Listed area contains the highest number of plant and animal species that are rare, or threatened with extinction, anywhere in the world. The Daintree Rainforest is a unique area, precariously balanced between the advances of development and the warnings of environmentalists.
- Visiting the Daintree Rainforest exposes tourists to a wonderful outdoor experience.
- Untouched tropical rainforest
- Golden beaches with calm water
- Hiking tracks
- Thousands of species of birds and other wildlife
- Remote wilderness
- Ecological information about the most diverse ecosystem in the world
Only 30 minutes drive north from Port Douglas is a secluded swimming hole called Mossman Gorge. A short walking track leads down to water that cascades between large boulders to create dozens of small clear swimming craters. A day spent at Mossman Gorge can include hiking along rainforest walking tracks and cooling off in refreshing water holes. Just be minful of the slippery rocks and the strong currents that rush thru here after a heavy rainfall.Nearby are tea and coffee plantations, a rainforest theatre and informative boardwalks through mangrove forests.
The Balley Hooley steam train once puffed along as it transported brand new equipment from a shipping port at the Mossman River to the Sugar Cane Mill in Mossman. After the trained ceased operation, it was relocated to Port Douglas in the 1980’s and now operates on Sundays and certain public holidays ferrying passengers between Marina Mirage, Dougies Backpackers, Mirage Country Club, Rydges Sabaya Resort, and St Crispins Station. Tourists get a kick out of the train’s old world charm and the journey proves to be a big hit with children. Children under 4 are free. Lower fares apply to shorter trips which you can book and pay for once on board.
Port Douglas Courthouse Museum
The historic Port Douglas Court House was originally built in 1879 and is now known as one of the oldest surviving timber court houses ever commissioned by the Queensland Government. After being fully renovated and restored by the Douglas Shire Historical Society in 1997, the building was opened as a museum. The Port Douglas Court House Museum has been delighting visitors with its local history focused exhibits ever since. The Port Douglas Courthouse Museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Macrossan Street is the trendy fashion and dining hub of Port Douglas. Located just a short walk from the golden sands of Four Mile Beach, Macrossan Street is jam packed with plenty of cafes, fine restaurants, gift and souvenir shops, and well as a vast assortment of ladies and men’s boutiques.
For the avid art collector, Macrossan Street boasts plenty of Aboriginal art stores with some amazing and unique pieces for sale. From stunning Dreamtime paintings, didgeridoos, boomerangs, and other hand crafted wares, you will surely find a new piece to add to your art collection.
If you have forgotten to pack your swimming costume, never fear. Macrossan Street has many swimwear boutiques with fashions ranging from the ultra conservative, super chic, and those looking for something not for the faint hearted.
Island Point Road Lookout
Take a long leisurely stroll or drive up to Island Point Lookout to take in the vista of Port Douglas and beyond. Gaze out from the hilltop over the tops of rich and famous peoples homes down along Four Mile Beach and back to the rainforest clad mountains and the Port Douglas Marina Mirage.
A great place to greet the morning sun or take fantastic photographs of boats sailing past on sunset.
Anzac Park is located at the mouth of Dickson Inlet. This grassy area meanders down a gentle slope to a small sheltered cove that is ideal for kids to play, and for a spot of fishing. Playground equipment, picnic tables, and ample shade from the huge trees are features of Anzac Park.
Oh, don't worry about being in a small seaside village. The shopping in Port Douglas rivals major capital cities in its scope and selection. Aside from the major grocery supermarkets, chemists (drug stores), and other convenience stores, Port Douglas offers fine retail stores that sell everything from fine clothing to rare artefacts from the sea. Indigenous artwork and crafts are accompanied with European labels such as Louis Vuitton and Polo Ralph Lauren, just to name a few. Whether you need new swimming bathers for the beach or a plush outfit for a night on the town, Port Douglas can provide.
Dicksons Inlet is the harbour entrance of Port Douglas. This narrow and shallow estuary is the departure point for all cruise boats, and is a popular and successful fishing spot for anglers. You can't swim in Dicksons Inlet - the crocodiles may nibble on your toes - but it's a good example of a mangrove inlet in tropical north Queensland.
Also located on Dicksons Inlet are two large marinas that house internationally recognised racing yachts and super yachts of the rich and famous. Take a wander down the floating pontoons and admire all the wealth piled aboard these floating craft. Marina Mirage is also a great place for some retail therapy and the best place to overlook the incoming boats that have taken guests out to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef for the day. Marina Mirage also has a fine selection of seafood restaurants, italian restaurants and al freso style bars with tapas.
If you're making a visit to Port Douglas, be sure to drop by the markets. It's located in a grassy park, right on the waterfront overlooking the Coral Sea. Vendors come from all over the Far North to sell their products to inquisitive tourists and Port Douglas locals. Here you'll find arts and crafts, jewellery, fruit and vegetables, glassware, books, coffee, boats, and more. Port Douglas markets are a great place to people watch and catch up with good friends over a frozen mangoe slushie or a cup of fresh sugar cane juice or if this is not your thing how about a fresh coconut that is prepared before your eyes from a machete wielding fellow with a rastaffarian hairdo.
For the more actively inclined, sporting facilities are offered in Port Douglas. There are two golf courses in the village:
- Sea Temple a World championship standard Links Golf Course Ph 07 4087 2222
- Sheraton Mirage Country Club Ph 07 4099 5488
- Mossman Golf Club Ph 07 4098 1570
Many of the resorts and hotels in Port Douglas have tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pools, gymnasiums, table tennis facilities and more. While some accommodation hotels and resorts require you to be a guest at their complex to use the facilities, others will allow visitors to use their equipment for a fee.
Public tennis courts and walking tracks are located in the leaft parks that surround Port Douglas
Hey, don't forget this is a North Queensland town! After a hard day basking in the sun or floating around on the warm tropical sea, pull up a chair at any of the local pubs and soak up some of the Aussie atmosphere. The traditional Australian pub is the only place to truly experience Australian beer in its finest form and Port douglas pubs have some of the best entertainment and sometimes the funniest activities on offer. Try the Courthouse hotel for some live music, people watching and entertainment or the famous Iron Bar for toad racing. Now this is a place you never know who you are going to run into. Famous movie stars, Presidents and the rich and famous and poor and pitiful all gather here for a night full of fun and frivolity.
Port Douglas Carnivale
A yearly event in May that is not to be missed. One of the biggest and longest parties of the year to celebrate everything that is Port Douglas and every thing that promotes our local foods and of course wines to match and show of our personalities.
Have you ever thought about breakfast with a bunch of birds or lunching with nosey lorrikeets? Well here is your chance to make the dream come true in Port Douglas. The Rainforest Habitat is located on the entrance to Port douglas and houses all of the indigenous animal life that you can dine with up close and personal. You can even cuddle a Koala or kiss a Crocodile here for small fee. Just a bit of trivia for you to store in the anals of your mind. Koala’s are legally only allowed to work or be handled for 30 hours a month. Great life heh? Rainforest Habititat Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for all of the family to enjoy and learn all bout the environments that the animal life in Tropical North Queensland needs to survive.
Kite Surfing on Four Mile Beach
Kite surfing is the new trend the world over and Port Douglas Four Mile Beach is the place to learn how to do it without the pounding waves and the rips and currents that you experience in southern coastal regions
Kite Surfing is for everyone from the younger teenage children to mums and dads who no longer have the tots to look after and want to go back to the good old days of fun. Kite Surfing is for everyone in Port Douglas. The mostly gentle tradewinds will lift you and pull you along encouraging you to tackle the more ferocious winds when they pass by. Walk down Four Mile beach and look for the Kite Surfing School signs and give it a go you never know you may just get hooked.
Fishing in Cairns, Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef are world famous. The Barramundi, the Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Sail Fish, Fly fish, Black Marlin, Blue Marlin are the things most boys dreams and sorry some girls dreams are made of and Port Douglas is the jump off point for all of this action. Port Douglas is in the best position to get to the Continental shelf where all the big fighting fish action is happening in the deeper colder waters.
Wow what a way to see Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef. A helicopter scenic flight which flys 500 to 1,000 feet above sea level is the tour that dreams are made of. Take a private tour for two out to a secluded sandy coral cay for a snorkel and then offer an unexpected marriage proposal. The sparkling wine will be waiting on board if it is a yes and the rotars can be ignited if it’s a no.
A scenic helicopter flight allows you to go anywhere, land anywhere and really see Cape Tribulation, Daintree and Great Barrier Reef at it’s ultimate best. We are sure you will be surprised on how economical a helicopter is so go on make your holiday experience the best that you could have ever dreamed of. Go on you only live once.
As with all yacht clubs around Australia Wednesday night is race night. A night where the old sea dogs and the newbies get together to learn some new tricks. Owners of beautiful sailing ships and members of the local yacht club are always on the look out for crew to help them continue to achieve their passion even if only once a week.
Everyone then goes back to the Port Douglas Yacht Club to clean off the boats and then have a laugh over the sily antics of the newbies and listen to the old seadogs advice and stories. What a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and have lot’s of funon the way.
Ah ha now I have your attention. Just about half an hour north of Port Douglas is the Shannovale Tropical Fruit Winery. A place where your taste buds will come alive depending in what you did last night. Here you will find sweet, dry, medium and fortified wines made from all sorts of tropical fruits and you will be proudly shown around the estate by its proud owners Tony and Trudie. Make sure you are ready for the taste sensations you are about to experience and have your credit card on hand to have those special little gifts shipped off to your friends and relatives.
White water rafting is still possible from Port Douglas with daily pick ups depending on the season. White Water Rafting gives you the choice of a half day rafting tour or a full day Russell River Tour depending on the water flow. White water rafting is a great bonding experience for you and your partner or your work collegues. So much fun for all but age restrictions do apply.
You could fill a holiday without even leaving the