Visiting Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Feb 07, 2018 / 0 comments

If you haven't wanted to visit Port Douglas before reading this, you surely will after. It's a tropical oasis just north of Cairns, on the northeast coast of Australia. It's the only place in the whole world with two World Heritage sites - the Great Barrier Reef (sigh) and the Daintree Rainforest.

Visiting Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

You'll enjoy ocean activities and exploring the rainforest.  You can explore shopping downtown, as well as the tranquility and beauty of Four Mile Beach.

First, do your research on accommodations. There are many great places to stay - determine what you require, what your budget is, and then book your accommodations.

Second, get there! Find a flight, or a car, and hie yourself to Port Douglas!

Third (and most importantly), play. There is a plethora of activities - something for everyone. You can:

Visit the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

This is a wildlife immersion experience on 8 acres of land. You can breakfast with the birds, lunch with the lorikeets, view rainforest, wetlands, and grasslands, take a guided tour, look at the koala habitat, and get up close with pythons, crocodiles, and birds.

Dive or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

This is a lifelong dream for many, and it is all yours to do here. Not into getting IN the water? Take a glass-bottomed boat tour out, and see as much as you can while still being dry.

Visit the Low Isles

It is a protected coral cay. You'll see turtles and an abundance of sea life. Snorkel, take a glass-bottom boat, or go on a stand-up paddle boarding tour. Learn the history, swim in the lagoon, and take photos of the lighthouse.

Visit the Daintree Rainforest

This is the oldest living rainforest on the planet! And, it is owned by the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. Please respect their home.  There are two distinct sections to the Daintree Rainforest - Mossman Gorge, and Cape Tribulation. There are also an open eucalypt forest, wetlands, and mangrove forests. YOu'll find so much to see in this area of great biodiversity.

Learn more about aboriginal culture

The  Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people are indigenous to this area, and were traditionally hunters and gatherers. They learned to survive from the waters of the rivers and ocean and from the rainforest. There are about 1,000 living Kuku Yalanji people - learn more about their history, culture, and heritage.


Whether you come in May for the Port Douglas Carnivale, in October for the Arts Festival, or for any number of sporting events, you'll find much to see and do.

Spa out

Of course, being in a tropical area, you'll be surrounded by many options for luxurious spa and massage treatments. Enjoy!

Eat! And eat well

There are many types of global cuisines represented here, but also plenty of fresh seafood and modern Australian cuisine. Yum.

Get moving!

There are plenty of outdoor activities to do here - from walking, mountain biking, horseback riding, the aforementioned scuba and snorkeling, ziplining, 4WD, kitesurfing, a guided nighttime rainforest crocodile tour, hang gliding, swimming with whales, fishing, zorbing, and more. You won't be bored here, if you can pull yourself away from the beach.



Note: This article was originally published in 2012, and updated in 2018