Lots of people visit Australia for the wild outback and sunny beaches, but not a lot of people opt to try out other places. Usually, it’s Sydney, or the Gold Coast, or all the other major tourist hot spots, which can lead to people missing out on the “unbeaten path”.
Granted, Port Douglas is far from unbeaten, but this small seaside town deserves a bit more attention, as these following reasons can attest to.
Access to the Great Barrier Reef
It’s hard not to talk about tourist spots in Australia without the Great Barrier Reef being brought up, and for good reason; it’s a World Heritage site and a symbol of the beauty of nature and the Earth. If you’re on a Cairns to Port Douglas Shuttle and wondering if you can access the Reef, worry not.
Port Douglas is 15 minutes by boat away from the Low Isles, a small cay on the Reef. The best part is that the cay itself is surrounded by the Reef, so tourists that go there don’t have to go far in order to see the Great Barrier Reef’s corals and fauna.
On top of that, Agincourt Reef, one of the most popular dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef, is also a day’s worth of travel from Port Douglas.
Unlike a lot of Australia, Port Douglas has a more tropical climate. In other words, the place has two seasons per year: wet and dry. The summertime is wet season, with high humidity, lots of rain, and stingers in the water.
By contrast, the tourist season is during the winter times, which is during the Dry season, running from April to October. Temperatures sit at 19-24 °C during the day, while the nights are cooler.
Well, it’s a seaside tourist spot, after all. The tropical climate means that the water is warm enough for swimming throughout the entire year.
Port Douglas’ main beach is the Four Mile Beach, which stretches for a long distance. Winter lets people swim whenever and wherever, but the summer season has stinger nets for safety.
No more than 2 hours north of Port Douglas is the Daintree National Park, within which lies the Daintree Rainforest.
Part of the World Heritage’s list of Wet Tropics of Queensland, the rainforest sits at the impressive age of 135 million years old. You can visit Mossman Gorge, cruise down the Daintree River, or just enjoy a walk throughout this historic natural site.
Interacting with animals
Port Douglas is a great place to get close to the AU’s fauna.
Wildlife Habitat has great options for those looking to enjoy breakfast and lunch surrounded by beautiful native birds. You can also have your photos taken with koalas, or, if you’re more daring, get close to snakes, crocodiles, and cassowaries.
25 minutes south of Port Douglas is also the Hartley Crocodile Adventures, a popular place to go for people looking to see, well, crocodiles.
Close to Cairns
For those who’re interested in Port Douglas, don’t worry. It’s not far from Cairns; just an hour’s drive. Even better, on the way from Cairns to Port Douglas is Palm Cove, which is known for having one of the most beautiful beaches in the state.