Port Douglas – Sophisticated, swanky, and elegant, Port Douglas is a definite Queensland gem. Situated about 70km north of Cairns this picturesque port town boasts a miniscule population of just 3,205. But while Port Douglas might be quaint it is anything but dull. The town is adjacent to two world heritage sites, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree River, and it features world-class beaches, glitzy resorts, and excellent cuisine. Named the third best town in Australia by Australia Traveller’s magazine, Port Douglas is a true tourist hotspot; the town’s population often doubles during peak tourist season between May and September. Port Douglas even boasts a number of famous fans, including Bill and Hilary Clinton and Steven Irwin. If you’re planning a vacation stop in Port Douglas be sure not to miss out on these highlights.
- Meander through Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas
While Queensland certainly isn’t short on wildlife habitats and reserve, this one just might be the best. The Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas is a world-renowned wildlife sanctuary, housing a variety of different species in exhibits that almost perfectly replicate a wide range of natural habitats, including wetlands, grasslands, and rainforests. Here you will get an up close and personal look at iconic Australian wildlife, including koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles. The sanctuary also boasts an impressive collection of exotic birds, including lorikeets. Free, guided presentations are available throughout the day.
- Relax on Four Mile Beach
With picturesque palm trees, pristine white sand, and perfect waves, Four Mile Beach is essentially a four-mile stretch of paradise. Kite surf, hit the water for a surf session, or take a dip in the cerulean tropical waters. The beach even boasts a swim area protected by a stinger net during the summer months for safe, hassle free swimming.
- Hike Flagstaff Hill
The summit of Flagstaff Hill boasts spectacular views of the Coral Sea, the Whitsunday Islands, and King’s Beach. This leisurely hike is the perfect way to pass a free afternoon.
- Take a peak into the past at Court House Museum
Situated in a historic 1879 building that was once the Port Douglas courthouse, this small but charming local history museum is great way to catch a glimpse into Port Douglas’s fascinating past.
- Check out the Great Barrier Reef.
One of the best parts of Port Douglas? The Great Barrier Reef is incredibly close, situated a mere half an hour offshore. A number of different tourism operators run daily boat trips to the reef, making scuba diving and snorkeling day trips incredibly affordable and very easy.
- Take a dip in the Mossman Gorge
Situated in the southern part of Daintree National Park, this beautiful, tropical gorge is the perfect swimming spot. Founded in 1981, the Daintree National Park is part of the Wet Tropics of Queensland. It contains the oldest continuously surviving rainforest on the planet and is notable for its exceptional biodiversity. At the Gorge, lush rainforest scenery surrounds pristine fresh water rivers.
and don’t miss the Port Douglas Markets every Sunday from 8:30am to 1pm at Anzac Park, Port Douglas