Port Douglas Queensland
Port Douglas is one of those destinations that doesn't suit into the image of Cape York at all.
It is heavily commercialised, relies on mass tourism, and is expensive so most visitors to this place just fly in here, from overseas or the rest of Australia, and spend their whole time here and never visit the rest of Cape York Peninsula.
Normally I don't like these sort of destinations. But I don't mind Port Douglas. While it is commercialised and relies on mass tourism, it is colourful, still a small town but has plenty of very nice shops and restaurants, and still manages to be laid-back despite all the tourism.
There is one thing - it is not cheap, and it is the kind of place where it is really easy to spend money.
Accommodation is top class and costs accordingly; and shops and markets are so tempting you feel you have to buy something.
Things to See in Port Douglas Queensland
The hub of the town is Macrossan Street - which is lined by colourful shops, very nice cafes and restaurants, and some of the expensive hotels and holiday apartments. It is a very nice street to stroll along and it is really tempting to drop into every place.
Port Douglas Beachfront
This is one of the classic photos of this town, taken in the beachfront park. Not far from here are the Historical Court House, the St Mary by the Sea Chapel, and the old wharf which used to be busy when the town was an important sugar cane port.
Port Douglas Market
Just next to the chapel, wharf and the beachfront are the famous Port Douglas Sunday Markets. While more touristic than the neighbouring Mossman's Saturday Markets, it is still a great way to spend half a Sunday scrolling through jewellery, clothes, gemsone stands.
Flagstaff Hill Lookout
This is the famous Port Douglas Lookout and you can easily walk or drive here from the northern end of Macrossan Street. It has some nice views over the City Beach as well as the whole length of the beautiful Four Mile Beach. Just pick a sunny day for better photos.
Port Douglas Beaches
There are two main beaches in Port Douglas - the City Beach and the Four Mile Beach. Being in the tropical northern Australia, these beaches have of course got the usual stinger problems during summer months, when the City Beach has a stinger-proof closure.
Four Mile Beach
Four Mile Beach is a really nice long beach with many different beach accesses. The waters are not safe to swim due to stingers, sharks and crocodiles, but it's a great beach for long jogs and walks. Locals also bring picnics and drinks and take hours to enjoy this beautiful beach.
Just at the entrance to the town, there is a wildlife park that used to be called Rainforest Habitat, but is now changing their name to Wildlife Habitat. It has a rainforests, a wetlands, and a grasslands section with birds and animals that belong to each habitat. A great place to take photos of birds and animals.
Marina of Port Douglas Queensland
The marina of this town is where the major development started in the 1980s when the businessman Christian Skase started the multimillion project that changed Port Douglas forever. The marina is still one of the poshest places with many fancy shops and restaurants.
Things to Do in Port Douglas Queensland
Fishing in Port Douglas
The marina is also where many of the tours take off to the reef or fishing. Fishing tours can be quite expensive, but they also take you to the best fishing spots. Some of the better places to fish are the river mouth, a boat trip out to coral reef, and Four Mile Beach.
Port Douglas Reef Trips
Port Douglas is one of the best places in Australia to take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns is another good place and the reason for it is that the reef is close to the mainland here. There are many different operators that offer anything from a few hours to week-long trips to Low Isles and outer reef.
Port Douglas Dive Trips
Many of the reef tours include cruising and coral watching through a glass bottom boat, but most include snorkelling and/or diving. Those trips are usually longer, normally at least one long day or a few days. You can also take a course and get your diver's licence if you don't already have one.
Other Port Douglas Tours
Other tours that you can take from Port Douglas include sailing, river cruises, sea kayaking, hang gliding, mountain biking, hot air ballooning, Aboriginal culture and just trips to night safari and some fun dining, Mossman Gorge, Kuranda, Daintree rainforests, Cape Tribulation, Bloomfield Track and Cooktown.
Port Douglas Queensland - Events
The town also has a few different events and the three most notable ones are the ten day Port Douglas Carnivale in the late May, Portoberfest in the last weekend of October, and Port Douglas Marathon in the early November each year (2012 was the Eclipse Marathon).
Practical Information about Port Douglas Queensland
Port Douglas Accommodation
Accommodation in this town is luxury and expensive. Most places are five star apartments, but there are also hotels, resorts, villas, B&B and even motels, backpackers hostels and caravan parks. But even these are relatively expensive compared to other towns.
Port Douglas Flights
Port Douglas doesn't have an airport. The closest large airport is in Cairns, and this is where people fly from overseas or other places in Australia. There are shuttle buses between Cairns Airport and Port Douglas.
Port Douglas Car Hire
But of course, it is cheaper to hire a car and drive to the surrounding places yourself. It is also more flexible and you can stop and stay where you want, and as long as you want. There are a few different car hire companies in town; or you may even consider camper van hire.
Shopping in Port Douglas Queensland
Shopping fanatics won't get bored in Port Douglas, which can easily rival larger cities when it comes to the amount and quality of shops. Most are fashion and souvenir shops, but there are also supermarkets etc. Most shops are along Macrossan St and in Marina.
Restaurants in Port Douglas Queensland
The restaurant scene is also great. There is anything - from Australian cuisine to Italian, Mediterranian, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, or just fish and chips, local seafood, etc.. breakfast, lunch and dinner. It would take you a long time to try it all.
Other Information about Port Douglas Queensland
Port Douglas Map
Here is a page with an interactive map of Port Douglas Queensland. If you buy a map of Port Douglas Queensland, or anywhere else in Australia, the best ones are HEMA Maps.
Weather in Port Douglas
Here is also a page where you can check the current weather of Port Douglas. It is generally a sunny place, much sunnier than the coast north of it that is covered in rainforests.
But with a bit of a bad luck, you can get a rainy week in Port Douglas.
Port Douglas Photos
On this page are some posters that display some beautiful photos of Port Douglas.
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