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Young man and women sitting on beach in front of Apollo rental campervan

Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

10 Things to See and Do in Port Douglas.

It’s time to start planning your perfect Port Douglas road trip. If you’ve been eyeing Port Douglas for a while but are not sure where to start with the wide variety of Port Douglas attractions, activities, and things to do, we have you covered. Discover why you should visit Port Douglas, the best way to explore Port Douglas and our top ten things to do in Port Douglas, Australia.


Why you should visit Port Douglas

While many people ask the question: which is better, Cairns or Port Douglas? We’re going to give you all the reasons why visiting Port Douglas should be at the top of your Queensland travel itinerary. Situated an hour north of Cairns in Far North Queensland in Australia, Port Douglas is a charming coastal town that is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and vibrant atmosphere that has something for everyone. 

From its world-famous beaches, world-heritage Great Barrier Reef and world’s oldest tropical rainforest (that’s a lot of global recognition in one place), if you’re asking yourself ‘is Port Douglas worth going to?’ the answer is a resounding yes. Not sure when to visit Port Douglas? See our best time to visit Queensland guide.


The best way to explore Port Douglas

The best way to explore Port Douglas is undoubtedly by a camper or motorhome road trip and this will pay off before you even reach the coastal town. Port Douglas is situated between two world heritage sites, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, and the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas (appropriately named the Great Barrier Reef Drive) is one of the most scenic in the world.

Once you’ve arrived in Port Douglas, your motorhome means you have the freedom to explore all the Port Douglas attractions and activities at your own pace and style. You can avoid the crowds, plan your travel itinerary according to your family’s schedule and make road trip memories that will last a lifetime.


10 things to do in Port Douglas

Unsure of how many days is enough in Port Douglas? While some people visit this coastal town for just a weekend and some stay for a fortnight, discover our top 10 things to do in Port Douglas below to help plan your Port Douglas travel itinerary.

Image: Tourism and Events Queensland


1. Stroll down Four Mile Beach

One of the best beaches in Queensland and an iconic Port Douglas attraction for a reason, spend a day lounging under the tropical palm trees at the famous Four Mile Beach. Take a dip in the ocean (if visiting between November and May it’s advised to use the beach swimming enclosure) or walk along the shoreline, which despite its name isn’t actually four miles long. Four Mile Beach is four kilometres in length – it just happened to have been named after a local family called ‘Fourmile!’


2. Wander Macrossan Street

Jump straight into Port Douglas’ bustling town at Macrossan Street. Lined with boutique shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants, exploring and eating your way through the culinary delights on Macrossan Street is one of the best things to do in Port Douglas.


3. Find treats at the Port Douglas markets

From 8:30 am to 1 pm each Sunday, head to the Port Douglas Sunday Markets. Here you’ll find a mixture of travellers and locals browsing through an array of artisanal crafts, fresh produce, and delicious food stalls.


4. Hike up Flagstaff Hill Lookout

Want to get moving on your Port Douglas road trip? Hike up to the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Here you can capture panoramic views of Port Douglas, the Coral Sea and even the Daintree Rainforest in the distance. While beautiful throughout the day, this scene is especially stunning during sunrise and sunset. Want the views without the exertion? Don’t worry you can also drive up to Flagstaff Hill to snap the perfect Port Douglas photo.


5. Get your heart rate up on a crocodile tour

One of the must-do Port Douglas activities is, of course, a Port Douglas crocodile tour. Visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures 25-minute drive south of Port Douglas to learn more about these impressive beasts or to witness these ancient predators in their natural habitat, join an exhilarating Daintree River cruise.   


6. Enjoy Rex Smeal Park

Famous for its sunsets and vibrant atmosphere, an afternoon picnic at Rex Smeal Park is one of the best things to do in Port Douglas. The iconic palm trees magnificently frame the surrounding Coral Sea as you watch the Port Douglas snorkelling and diving boats come in for the day.


7. Explore Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat

One of the best family friendly Port Douglas day trip attractions is the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat. Here you can get up close and personal with iconic Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, koalas, and emus, and numerous Australian birdlife. Those who dare can go face-to-face with the mighty saltwater crocodile in Wildlife Habitat’s incredible ‘Swim with the Salties’ experience.  


8. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

You can’t visit Port Douglas without exploring the Great Barrier Reef. A reef so large it is actually visible from space, we can assure you it looks a lot nicer close up. Don your snorkel and mask and set out for a Port Douglas day trip you won’t soon forget. From Port Douglas you can snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, dive the Great Barrier Reef, or explore one of the beautiful islands and sand cays, all teeming with colourful coral formations and diverse marine life. If you’re looking to treat yourself, combine your Port Douglas snorkelling experience with a Port Douglas sunset sail cruise, where after a day of exploring the Great Barrier Reef, you can relax on board with stunning sunset views across the Daintree Rainforest and Coral Sea.


9. Take a day trip to Mossman Gorge

Immerse yourself in the heart of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest at Mossman Gorge. Did you know that the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (that contains the Daintree Rainforest) is the second most irreplaceable natural world heritage site on Earth? So, it’s no wonder Mossman Gorge is a must-do Port Douglas day trip. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters and wander through the lush greenery and ancient towering trees before joining a guided Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk led by the local Indigenous community.


10. Relax at Hemingway’s Brewery

A cold beer in one hand, a gorgeous view of the Port Douglas marina in front of you and a selection of handcrafted brews just waiting to be tasted – yes, sounds like an afternoon at Hemingway’s Brewery. Located in the centre of Port Douglas, tuck into delicious pub-style fare as you recount the stories of your Port Douglas adventures so far.

Image: Instagram - @kleinstadtcoco


Where to stay in Port Douglas

Once you’ve planned out your Port Douglas travel itinerary, it’s time to sort out where to stay in Port Douglas. See our top suggestions below or if you are travelling with a pet, check out our best pet-friendly campsites and holiday parks guide.


Tropic Breeze Caravan Park

Like name like nature, the Tropic Breeze Caravan Park is found only a minute’s walk from the iconic Four Mile Beach so if you’re seeking sea breeze and a tropical atmosphere, you’ll want to park your motorhome here. This Port Douglas camper site has over 50 powered sites and 15 campsites and with a camp kitchen, coin operated laundry and easy to access showers and toilets. It has everything you need to be your Port Douglas road trip base.


BIG4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park

Give yourself breathing room from the bustling Port Douglas town and book your Apollo camper in at the BIG4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park. Situated just 7km out of town, this family friendly park is equipped with a waterpark, water slides, resort style pool, playground, and pedal carts, making it the perfect place to burn off the kids’ extra energy. Relax at one of the many ensuite, powered and unpowered campsites or make use of the two camp kitchens.


Pandanus Tourist Park

Stay nearby the Port Douglas town centre and only five minutes from Four Mile Beach at the Pandanus Tourist Park. There are numerous powered and unpowered sites suitable for campers and motorhomes, with a guest laundry, a large modern camp kitchen, a pool and Wi-Fi available on site. Don’t want to book Port Douglas tours yourself? You can also see their onsite tour desk to put your Port Douglas travel itinerary into action.


Check out Port Douglas with Apollo

What are you waiting for? Port Douglas is located just an hour’s drive north of Cairns, which makes our ultra-convenient Cairns branch (located right next to the Cairns Domestic and International Airport!) the perfect spot to start your Port Douglas road trip. Browse from our many camper and motorhome options, book online and get going. Port Douglas is waiting for you!

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