Once a sleepy fishing village, Port Douglas has grown into a sophisticated town known for breathtaking scenery, being surrounded by world heritage listed natural wonders, a remarkable dining scene and the perfect place to simply relax.
The destination lends itself to both relaxation and adventure. Two world heritage listed wonders lie at Port Douglas’s door step - the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest marine reef system and also the Daintree rainforest, the oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest in the world at 165 million years old!
Meaning you are spoilt for choice in terms of diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, hiking, waterfall chasing, tours, cruises, and helicopter flights over the reef and rainforest. You could spend a week in Port Douglas and never see your hotel room.
Of course, the location is also popular as a place to relax, unwind, and reconnect over time spend around resort pools, and leisurely wandering the boutiques and restaurants of Macrossan street in the town centre. While many argue the perfect holiday is a mixture of both, the choice is yours. Port Douglas gives you the canvas to paint your tropical getaway.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly, bus, train or drive to Cairns, from there it is one hours drive north. There are plenty of transfer shuttles and buses that travel the route frequently.
PORT DOUGLAS MUST DO
1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef – our favourite is the Quicksilver Cruise to the outer reef with buffet lunch
2. Discover Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest
3. Enjoy a fancy dining experience (check out our recommendations below)
4. Feed George the Groper the 250kg fish that hangs out by ‘On the Inlet’ at 5pm daily
5. Relax poolside with a cocktail – Port Douglas is the location for unwinding!
6. Visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures for a close encounter with native wildlife
7. Visit famous Four Mile Beach (swim in designated zones or wear a stinger suit between November to May)
PORT DOUGLAS DINING
The dining scene in this Northern Queensland region is phenomenal. From fine dining in the tree tops with Coral Sea views to the best breakfasts and coffee in the heart of town, there is a lot to experience in Port Douglas in terms of food.
Our Favourite Cafes
Little Larder – Situated in the heart of town on Macrossan this little café perfects the art of coffee, breakfast, and lunch!
Café Fresq – On the corner of Macrossan and Grant Streets, this café has our favourite casual lunch menu.
Whileaway Bookshop and Café – in the heart of town you can enjoy a good read along with your meal and coffee!
Bazaar (QT Port Douglas) – this incredible market place buffet should be on our fancy dining list, but the prices are quite reasonable. Quality and quantity at Bazaar!
Salsa Bar & Grill – on Macrossan Street, this spot has a great atmosphere, menu, and drinks list.
Zinc Restaurant – One of our favourite family dining options with a great menu.
Barbados – A relaxed, nautically themed bar and restaurant on the water.
On The Inlet – Go nowhere else for amazing seafood.
Watergate Restaurant and Lounge – the mood is set before you sit down by entering through the flame-lit pathway to both open air dining as well as indoor tables. The modern Australian menu is utterly incredible, but doesn’t cross the line to pompous.
Nautilus Restaurant –The restaurant is nestled into Island Point Hill and is accessible through a hidden pathway that transports you from the main street of Port Douglas into another world of 5 star dining in a tropical rainforest setting under billions of stars.
Ospreys Restaurant (Thala Beach Nature Reserve) – At Ospreys your amazing cuisine is paired with uninterrupted views of the Coral Sea from the tree tops. The seasonal menu sources local produce and routinely impresses both resort guests and day visitors.
Chapter One (Niramaya Villas) – both traditional and contemporary, this menu is inspired by a mixture of ideas with one element in common – everything is delicious. We particularly love the Balinese architecture of the timber and glass surrounded by lagoon pool.
Harrisons by Spence Patrick (Sheraton Mirage) – With a nationally acclaimed Chef Spencer Patrick at the reins you can be sure to expect an experience dining at Harrisons. British inspired cuisine is complimented by colonial design. If you’ve run out of meals to eat out, be sure to drop by for a cocktail or snack in the lounge bar.
PORT DOUGLAS ATTRACTIONS
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
Great Barrier Reef Tours for Snorkelling & Diving
Helicopter Flights over the Great Barrier Reef
PORT DOUGLAS ACCOMMODATION
This in-demand location has a fantastic variety of resorts, hotels and private apartments to choose between. Call us on 1300 788 553 and let us help you select the perfect Port Douglas accommodation.
Sea Temple Private Apartments
Mitre Street, Port Douglas QLD
This 5 Star resort is one of our favourite places to stay in Port Douglas and one look at the spectacuar lagoon pool and you'll know why! There is direct access to the famous Four Mile Beach as well as a lovey restaurant and array of facilities. Read more about a stay at Sea Temple Private Apartments in our blog.
Cnr Langley Road & Port Douglas St, Port Douglas QLD
Oaks Lagoons is another favourite, also featuring an impressive array of six pools as well as luxury accommodation; our top room choices are the swim out and plunge pool apartments for easy access to the water. Read our blog about Oaks Lagoons Port Douglas for more information.
76 Davidson Street, Port Douglas QLD
You are guaranteed quality with a Mantra Hotel, and PortSea is no different. We love this resort as it boasts a tropical atmosphere, is centrally located on Davidson Street just 2 minutes from Macrossan Street and ha a great range of facilities including day spa, gym, tennis court, pool bar, tour desk, BBQs and more!
PORT DOUGLAS HOLIDAY HOMES
A holiday house is perfect for families who love the creature comforts of home, privacy, families or friends travelling together or simply for an upgrade from an apartment.
Villa 3 Far Pavillions is comprised of two king suites separated by lavish kitchen and entertaining areas and is located just 50 meters from Four Mile Beach and the centre of town.
17 Wharf Street is pure luxury with celebrities such as Kate Hudson choosing this secluded getaway! One look at this absolute beachfront holiday house with it's own private beach and you'll see why there's a waiting list to stay here.
4 Cascade House is a 3 bedroom holiday house with sweeping views over the golf course, wet-edge pool, chefs kitchen and spacious indoor/outdoor entertaining areas.
Our Top Picks For Tropical North
Sea Temple Private Apartments Port Douglas…
Designed with the utmost luxury and relaxation in mind, Sea Temple Private Apartments is located on the beachfront at Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.
Oaks Lagoons Port Douglas
Combining deluxe accommodation, a range of leisure facilities and easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, makes it the perfect holiday destination.