What to Do in Port Douglas?

Port Douglas is a serene coastal town situated in the north of Queensland. It is a tropical oasis wedged between the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Port Douglas is known as the most scenic tropical town in Australia and serves as home to a number of resorts, hotels, and Air BnBs for the tourists who visit the town all year around. It’s not hard to see why so many people flock to Port Douglas every year.

If you haven’t had the chance to explore this destination yet, use this guide to check what is there to do in Port Douglas!

What to see in Port Douglas?

St. Mary's by the Sea Chapel, Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Australia
St. Mary’s by the Sea Chapel

Things to do in Port Douglas:

We have curated a list of all the fun things to do in Port Douglas so that you make the most out of your next holiday.

1. Explore the Great Barrier Reef:

Explore The Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, Australia
Explore The Great Barrier Reef

Port Douglas is the gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, and there are plenty of ways to explore this natural wonder.

  • You can go snorkeling or scuba diving from the beach or take a boat ride to one of the many reef islands for an even closer encounter.
  • Cruise companies offer day trips to some of the reef’s most popular spots. You can find out more about the Great Barrier Reef here.

2. River Cruise on Lady Douglas

While visiting Port Douglas, you must enjoy a tour on the iconic Lady Douglas riverboat.

  • They offer 90 minutes cruises at four different times of the day.
  • The tour takes you through the unspoiled Mangrove channels of the Dickson Inlet, past some of the best spots for spotting crocodiles and birds. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the local flora and fauna.
  • They claim guests can easily spot crocodiles on 95% of their tours.

Crocodiles are normally seen on over 95% of trips, especially in the dry season (May-Nov). Regular wildlife sightings also include; sea eagles, kites, ospreys, kingfishers, herons, waders, crabs, mud skippers, spiders and the occasion turtle.

  • Lady Douglas Cruises also has a beautiful sunset cruise. You’ll see many of the same sites that they show during their morning tour, but they’re lit up by sunset, so it feels like an entirely different experience.

3. Walk through the Rainforest- Daintree National Park:

Daintree National Park
Daintree National Park
  • The Daintree rainforest is only about 1.5 hours away by car from Port Douglas. You can take day tours and see this unique ecosystem and the best way to explore it is on foot.
  • Take a stroll through Daintree National Park, which covers much of Cape Tribulation in North Queensland. It’s home to a diverse range of wildlife and plants and is one of the oldest rainforests in the world.
  • In addition to ancient trees and exotic wildlife, you’ll also find aboriginal rock art dating back thousands of years!

4. Drive to Cape Tribulation:

Cape Tribulation
Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation is located within the Daintree National Park.

  • It is the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet – the Great Barrier Reef’s aquamarine waters meet the Daintree’s brilliant green jungle.
  • Cape Tribulation has a beautiful and ever-changing landscape, with diverse wildlife and vegetation, including some scarce plants.
  • If you want to stay over, there are plenty of places where you can stay at Cape Tribulation.

5. Visit the Four Mile Beach:

Visit Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Australia
Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia.

Port Douglas is known for its spectacular beaches, and Four Mile Beach is one of the most popular. Surrounded by tall coconut palm trees, Four Miles Beach is very picturesque. You will find people here swimming, surfing, sunbathing, and enjoying the magical sunset at this beach.

  • This beach has pristine white sands and turquoise waters, making it the perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, or simply lazing on a sun lounger.
  • There are plenty of shady spots and trees where you can get shade if you want to escape the heat.
  • The water temperature tends to be warmer than other areas further south along the Great Barrier Reef because of its proximity to the Coral Sea Currents.
  • There are several restaurants along this stretch of beach where you can enjoy lunch or dinner while enjoying views across the ocean.
  • Plenty of activities are available here, including swimming, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and more!

6. Strolling through Macrossan Street:

Macrossan Street Boutique
Macrossan Street Boutique

The most lively part of Port Douglas, Macrossan Street, is considered the heart of this town. From cute and chic boutiques to cafes serving fantastic food, this street has everything you need to enjoy your evening.

  • It’s lined with colorful shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can stroll through this street during your stay in Port Douglas for a taste of the local culture.
  • Don’t make the mistake of missing out on Ngarru gallery, a premier supplier of contemporary indigenous fine art. It also holds a range of artifacts like authentic termite-hollowed didgeridoos and a selection of traditional art-inspired giftware.
  • The nightlife scene in Macrossan Street is also vivacious, making this place an ideal spot for a night out with friends or family members.
  • The Sunday market in Port Douglas should be on your to-do list. Local vendors set their shops and sell fresh produce, locally made jewelry, home décor, skincare, and much more. It is organized at Market Park, on the west end of Macrossan Street.

7. Daintree Wellness Spa

Daintree Wellness Spa
Daintree Wellness Spa

Port Douglas is the deliciously lazy holiday town that implores you to slow down to the point where checking into a day spa for a few hours of pampering seems like a no-brainer. And you’ve got plenty of options. Drive up to Daintree Ecolodge (46 minutes away) in the heart of the rainforest and indulge yourself in an indigenous-inspired treatment.

  • The spa treatment they provide is unique because they are inspired by the indigenous wisdom of the Kuku Yalanji people, who were adept with knowledge of medicine and healing.
  • They harness the pure water of the on-site waterfall and use its healing properties for their treatments.

8. Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge
Mossman Gorge

Located 20 minutes from Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge is your perfect getaway to the heart of nature. From guided tours, adventure sports, and various cafes and eateries, this Gorge is not something to be missed while you are in Port Douglas.

  • You can take a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walking Tour conducted by the local Indigenous people.
  • Self-guided walks are also a great way of exploring the region. The walking tracks are signposted, and the maps provided will help you stay on track. Different tracks from 200 meters (10 minutes) to 2.4 km (45 minutes) are available for you to choose from. There is also an indigenous art class at Janbal Gallery in Mossman, where you can get all creative under the guidance of the owner of the art gallery.

9. Hot Air Ballooning

Hot Air Ballooning, Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, Australia
Hot Air Ballooning, Port Douglas

Queensland in Australia is considered the most preferred place for floating in hot air balloons. Catch the bird’s eye view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and scenic beaches from hot air balloon tours. There are a number of Tour and Travel companies like Hot Air Balloon Port Douglas, and many others, who can arrange hot air balloon tours for you. These travel operators have a number of options, offers, and deals to choose from. If you have a special event, for example, a proposal or a birthday surprise, you can request your special requirements and these companies will be there to help you to make the most out of your special moments.

10. Go Hiking

Go Hiking
Go Hiking

If you are more of an adventure lover, Port Douglas is surrounded by water from three sides and has got the most scenic trails to go hiking. Apart from capturing breathtaking sunrises, Port Douglas is perfect for evening strolls too. Also, if you are an exercise junkie, you will the best spots towards Flagstaff hill and Coconut Grove to burn those calories during your vacation. The locals recommend the 6km bump track to all fitness lovers, which is a famous spot for walks, mountain biking, and horse riding.

How many days do you need in Port Douglas?

It is recommended to spend between two to five days in Port Douglas.

What is the best time to visit Port Douglas?

The best time to visit would be in Winter, i.e., June, July, and August because of the low rainfall, and the water would be less likely to be dirty so that you could see the barrier reef. The average temperature is about 24°C. Check this article for more details.

The list above covers some of the best places to visit in Port Douglas. The list is, in our opinion, the best places to visit while you are there. If you know of more places to visit, please comment below.