“ City: Port Douglas / Country: Australia / World Region: Australasia / Pacific „
Port Douglas is a small and quaint town set amongst the rich green of North Queensland, about 40 miles north of Cairns, Australia. The nearest airport is Cairns International and, although around an hours drive away, the long stretch of the scenic coastal road to take you there is well worth it, as it boasts some beautiful scenery of the forest and out over the sea. It is the only place in the world where two World Heritage listings exist together - the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
Port Douglas was first discovered in 1877 after the discovery of gold and quickly became known as a mining town. Today, the town has become a lucrative tourist destination due to its natural beauty and location. It is now a low-rise resort town containing boutique homes and accommodation, and stylish eateries and stores. Despite the amount of tourism, the locals have managed to keep the town relaxed and welcoming and it has the atmosphere of a small and friendly beach village.
Port Douglas is home to the beautiful white sands of Four Mile Beach which is backed by green palm trees and the mountains of the rainforest and sweeps as far as your eyes will allow you to see. Other attractions include the Rainforest Habitat - a wildlife sanctuary housing native animals where you can have Breakfast with the Birds; take a ride on the little train which travels around the town; pick up food, clothes, and arts and crafts from the great Sunday markets. From here you can do tours of the rainforest in Cape Tribulation, snorkelling or diving in the Great Barrier Reef, view the mountains of Mossman Gorge or try a fishing or sailing trip.
The town really is lovely and very picturesque and a great place to visit in Australia. It's only a small town so, unless you're planning on doing some trips out of the area, I'd say you only needed a few days in Port Douglas. There is accommodation for all budgets including luxurious hotels and apartments or cheap hostels. There are only a few hostels to choose from as the town is rather upmarket and expensive, so backpackers aren't in abundance. Shops, restaurants and even small cafes are pretty pricey but this just fits in with the whole feel of the place. Just a short walk around town looking at the houses of the locals, you can see that you have to have quite a bit of money to live here - but walks are lovely and everything about the town is just gorgeous.
In the evenings, a fun place to go is the local pub where they hold frog races and you can bet on which frog you think will win. It's not a lively place at night but it can be very romantic for eating out or taking a stroll around town. Another fun thing to do is to watch an AFL game on the local team's field which is entertaining.
Being situated in Queensland, Port Douglas has a tropical climate with warm weather throughout the year with rainfall mainly in January through to March, so it's a great destination to visit really at any time of the year.
A wonderful place to visit even, as I said above, if only for a couple of days to spot the beautiful scenery and town.
Some 60 minutes drive North of Cairns in Queensland is what the Rough Guide to Australia terms a "quaint upmarket tourist attraction". It certainly is a pleasant town. The main road into town is lined by more than two thousand palm trees that were specially imported. Along this road there are also many three and four star hotels, some of which have been thoughtfully designed. The Radisson Treetops is one example where there are several accommodation blocks in amongst the trees and palms, giving it a feel of the tropical rainforest. The town itself has been built up around tourism. The main street is very attractive and contains mainly restaurants and bars. There are also souvenir shops, and a supermarket. There is also the long four mile beach. This is very pleasant - as you would imagine on a tropical isle. However beware the box jelly fish. Although there are nets to prevent them coming in I would not like to risk swimming in spring / summer when they are around as they can be fatal. Other attractions in the town are the marina where trips to the reef start as well as containing many pleasure craft. The look out point above the town is also worth a visit. This gives good views of the beach. For eating out, the town itself gives an interesting mix, obviously catering for the evening meal trade from the hotels as well as for the back packer. At the top end of the market is a restaurant called Nautila that has a photo outside of the day the Clinton family went there for a meal. Others who had visited this restaurant felt it was very good, if somewhat pricey, and you need to book at least two days in advance. Other good restaurants include Ilios - reasonable price, good food with a Greek influence. The Inlet - good but again you need to book. For something completely different we were told Going Bananas located on the road into town was a lot of fun. However we found it expensive and not nearly as much fun as we had been lead to be
lieve. There are many trips that can be organised from Port Douglas. The hotels all have the relevant literature. Trips out onto the Barrier Reef as well as those visiting the rain forest. Most seem to pick up from which ever hotel your are staying at. We tried trips onto the reef and to the rain forest. We were particularly impressed by Quicksilver who ran a very efficient trip onto the reef. Although it was efficient it lost none of its friendliness. There were choices of trips to the inner reef, or the outer reef. We took the one to the outer reef. Having been picked up we boarded the 30 knot catamaran to take us tot e outer reef. This took about 90 minutes to reach the floating base on the outer reef about 20 miles off shore. Here we were able to see the reef from a semi-submersible, snorkelling and even take a guided snorkelling swim (Aus $31 extra) where a marine biologist took a group of around eight or none people to see the reef. This was well worth it because many of the features of the reef were shown. For those who wanted scuba diving options were also available. An excellent buffet lunch was also provided. This made for a really excellent day, which came to an end all too soon. Another trip worth trying is a day in the rain forest. We took the Daintree trip. Again there was a pick up from the hotel and we were driven north towards the rainforest towards Mossman. There was a trip on the river. Here we were fortunate enough to see a large (14 ft) male crocodile. However it is quite possible none may be seen as they hide themselves well. It also gives a good feel for the countryside and the plants. After a drive on to a fruit farm for lunch and a demonstration of the vast number of fruits that can be grown here. The afternoon consisted of a walk in the rainforest and then on to see a crocodile farm and feeding of a croc. Here the keeper was in a caged area with a large crocodile and demonstrated how they feed. Their snap is awe i
nspiring, and their death role frightening. I certainly came away thinking I did not want to be the keeper of the crocs! However a very good trip.
Queensland, Australia. A major resort was developed there and the town was transformed to an idyllic holiday destination. Previous names for the town included Terrigal, Island Point, Port Owen and Salisbury. The town is situated adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Kitesurfing is popular at the southern end of Four Mile Beach, particularly during the Winter months when trade winds blow from the South.