About Port Douglas Australia
Port Douglas is the nearest mainland town to the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland, Australia. The world heritage rainforests of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are also at your doorstep, making this an extremely popular holiday destination for both Australian and overseas visitors. The Mossman Gorge, the Atherton Tablelands and outback Queensland are also close by.
Port Douglas boasts a superb tropical climate all year and combined with it's charming, friendly, village atmosphere, is the perfect place to "get away from it all"........somewhere to put your feet up and unwind. Whether you're a couple or a family with children, you'll find plenty to see and do during your holiday and will more than likely return home wishing you had booked to stay longer.
Port Douglas is also renowned for its fine restaurants, world-class shopping facilities, large choice of tours to the rainforest and reef, and the wide sandy stretches of Four Mile Beach. This is somewhere to put your feet up and unwind. Walk on Four Mile Beach in the morning, cruise the Great Barrier Reef or visit the rainforest on a tour during the day, then dine in one of the many famous restaurants in the evening. Scroll down for more details about accommdation, tours, restaurants, shopping, weddings.
Location of Port Douglas
Port Douglas is just 60km north of the Cairns Domestic and International Airports. The drive takes around one hour.
Hire a car
and drive yourself or choose to take a limousine or coach to your holiday apartment. You can even travel by helicopter if you wish.
There's Plenty to See and Do
Base yourself in Port Douglas, then you can explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and the World Heritage listed rainforest of the Daintree and Cape Tribulation National Parks. There are plenty of tour operators to choose from in order to see all these natural wonders. Walk on Four Mile Beach in the morning, cruise the Great Barrier Reef or visit the rainforest during the day then dine in one of the many famous restaurants in the evening.
In addition to its fine restaurants, Port Douglas also boasts world-class shopping facilities with everything from souvenir shops through to womens' fashion.
Some recommended activities during your Port Douglas vacation:
- Visit the Great Barrier Reef - dive, snorkel or view in a glass-bottom boat
- Visit beautiful Low Isles, just off Port Douglas
- Visit the Daintree and Cape Tribulation National Parks
- Visit the Mossman Gorge - just 15 minutes from Port Douglas
- Walk, jog, cycle or just relax on Four Mile Beach
- Play golf at one of the two courses in Port Douglas
- Go for a scenic helicopter ride
- Walk or drive up to the lookout above Port Douglas on Flagstaff Hill
- Rent a jetski
- Shopping on Macrossan Street
- Dine out for breakfast, lunch or dinner - a huge choice awaits you
The Climate in Tropical North Queensland
Located at 16 degrees latitude, Port Douglas is a truly tropical destination.
You will find that no matter when you visit Tropical North Queensland, the weather will be warm. In the cooler months (June - September) temperatures range from an average overnight low of 17°C to a high of 29°C. During the remainder of the year the temperatures range from 19°C to 32°C.
Because of the warm weather, locals tend to dress casually for comfort so you will feel right at home dressed in a similar fashion. You certainly don't need to pack that tie or jacket for this holiday.
Low Isles Weather (Low Isles is located just off-shore from Port Douglas)
Port Douglas Accommodation
Port Douglas offers a huge range of accommodation choices to suit your budget, from 5 star exclusive resorts such as the Sheraton Mirage to hotels, motels, condominiums, villas, apartments, backpackers, caravan parks, luxury private homes and more.
Rates vary according to seasons - we recommend that you search Google for "Port Douglas Accommodation".
Tours in Port Douglas
As with accommodation, the choice of tours available from Port Douglas is amazing. Tours to the Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation, dive and snorkel tours to the Great Barrier Reef,
Staff at most accommodation establishments are able to recommend options depending on what you want to see and do while in Tropical North Queensland. Another great planning and booking resource is located on the main street of Port Douglas called Port Tour Specialist. Contact them via their website or call into their office in the Portico Shopping Complex.
Port Douglas Restaurants, Cafés, Take Aways, Coffee Shops & Bars
For a relatively small village, you'll find plenty of options when it comes to breakfast, lunch dinner or anything in between at any of a number of restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, take aways and bars.
Look out for the following as you wander up the main street from the Four Mile Beach end:
Zinc Restaurant and Lounge Bar
Portico Pizza - Takeaway Pizza
Shakes Gelati Bar
Rattle n Hum
Jade In Chinese Restaurant
Star of Siam
2 Fish Restaurant
We suggest asking your accommodation staff for recommendations on where to dine when in Port Douglas.
Shopping in Port Douglas
An amazing choice of retail shops and galleries are located along the main street Port Douglas, too many to mention here. Suffice to say that you can buy anything from a simple locally produced souvenir to famous designer clothing and luxury items. If you love shopping, you won't be disappointed and a simple wander up the main street and back could take you longer than you planned. As well as many individual shops, there are also two shopping complexes on the main street of town: Portico and Port Village.
On Sundays, visit the Sunday Markets from 8am to midday where you will find number of stores and the variety of produce available from locally grown tropical fruits to locally produced gifts and souvenirs.
Port Douglas Weddings & Wedding Receptions
Many couples from Australia and overseas choose to get married in Port Douglas, either in the quaint church, St Mary's by the Sea, or in a number of wonderful outdoor locations.
A few restaurants cater for wedding receptions including Zinc which has a dedicated reception area and in-house reception coordinator.
Port Douglas - A Brief History
Port Douglas was founded in 1877 as the port town for the Hodgkinson River Goldfields.
After a series of names such as as Terrigal, Island Point, Port Owen and Salisbury it was finally named Port Douglas in honour of former Queensland premier John Douglas.
Gold fever bought the population to 12,000. The industry grew. Thriving on tin, silver, sugarcane and logging for cedar trees. During this time a total of 27 hotels were established. The dray teams and stage coaches that serviced the goldfields made their way from the Port, down the beach (now Four Mile Beach) to the "Four Mile" mark which is now called Craiglee. From there they continued over "The Bump" and then onto the goldfields.
After the gold dwindled and the completion of the Cairns/Mareeba railway in 1893, this once booming town started to loose its people. The bad luck continued through to 1911, when a severe cyclone devastated much of the town. The industry became not much more than a fishing village and a gateway to ship sugar from the Mossman Central Mill until 1958.
By 1960 this once booming town ended up with a population of about 100 people.
In the early 1980's, Port Douglas started to boom again. This once forgotten little town became one of Australia's best kept secrets and became a popular destination for Australians to spend winter months or holiday throughout the year to visit the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.
Today the town boasts a population of around 4000 and a booming tourist industry brings visitors from all over the globe, drawn to the village of Port Douglas itself, and the many attractions close by.