The Essentials: Port Douglas

The ultimate Tropical North Queensland destination can be found in Port Douglas, an hour north of Cairns on the East Coast. Only a hop skip and a jump away from the Daintree Rainforest, surrounded by beautiful beaches and tropical waterholes, there’s something in Port Douglas for everyone!

Location

Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

Time Zone

Australia Eastern Time Zone UTC +10:00.

Getting There

The closest airport to Port Douglas is Cairns (CNS), about an hour south by car. Cairns is a major domestic and international airport, with flights arriving daily from all around Australia, as well as many destinations in Asia. From Cairns Airport you can either rent a car and drive up to Port Douglas, or book a seat on a shuttle bus. Most Port Douglas hotels will be able to arrange a shuttle bus for you.

Language

English.

Climate

Port Douglas, as part of Tropical North Queensland, has two distinct seasons – a wet and dry season. During winter time (from approx. May – October) you will get the best weather, with warm days and nights and very little rainfall; while the summer period (November – April) is wet season, where the days are hot, humidity is very high and you should expect high rainfall.

Getting Around

Renting a car is always a good idea when you’re visiting Port Douglas. If you’re staying on or around Macrossan Street, you will be within close walking distance of the main town, however to truly experience Port Douglas and this beautiful region of Tropical North Queensland you need to get out of town and explore the wider region. Places like Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, Kuranda the rainforest village and Hartley’s Crocodile Farm are all within a short drive of Port Douglas.

Currency

Australian Dollars $. ATMs are accessible and credit and debit cards are widely accepted everywhere.

Internet Access

Free wifi is often hard to come by in Australia. Most hotels and accommodation will offer free wifi in public spaces but do not cover the rooms (even if you want to pay). Make sure you load up on maps and information when you find some wifi – or alternatively, purchase an Australian sim card for access to 4G internet. Many BYO plans (where you use your own phone) offer generous data limits for prepaid customers, which gives you internet wherever you are!

The Main Street

Macrossan Street is the main street in Port Douglas, which runs from Four Mile Beach at one end to the marina and Sugar Wharf at the other. On Macrossan Street you can find heaps of hotels and all the restaurants, bars, cafes, unique boutiques and gift shops you could want during your stay.

Best Time To Go

Due to Port Douglas being located in the tropics there is a wet and dry season in this region. The best time to visit is generally between April and October when the weather is still warm and sunny, but there is little rain and minimal threat of stingers and crocodiles. The wet season months have a significantly higher amount of rain as well as higher humidity and muggy days.

Can’t Miss

+ Take a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef  to go snorkelling or scuba diving (Low Isles is the most popular location from Port Douglas).
+ Try your luck betting on a cane toad race at the Iron Bar.
+ See the reef from above with an insane scenic helicopter flight.
+ Get up close and personal with crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos and wallabies at Hartley’s Crocodile Farm.
+ Go parasailing high above Port Douglas for the ultimate views.
+ Go swimming in Mossman Gorge and learn about the Aboriginal history of the area.
+ Road trip up to Cape Tribulation and experience more of the Daintree Rainforest.
+ Experience the perfect sunset on a private sailing cruise.
+ Take a walk along the infamous Four Mile Beach.

Good To Know

Summer time in Port Douglas also brings with it an increased threat of crocodiles and stingers. Make sure to always check for warning signs before entering any body of water to avoid a bad situation. And always make sure you swim between the flags in Australia, as rips in the current are very strong, especially for people who aren’t used to ocean swimming.

Read more about our adventures through Queensland here. For more travel tips and to keep up to date with our adventures make sure you subscribe to our newsletter today

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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