- Coast line Rainforest and reef collide
- Coast life Oceanic odysseys followed by serene sundowners
Brilliantly blending casual sophistication with laid-back charm, this seaside village, where the days are sunny and the nights sultry, is a truly Australian tropical paradise.
At the end of a spectacularly scenic coastal drive in Far North Queensland sits a wave-lapped resort town that has a perfect blend of surfie cool and city style. This once sleepy port is now an international travel destination boasting a vibrant tropical atmosphere with all the charm of a small village. Fabulous restaurants offer year-round alfresco dining, art galleries and boutiques line the main street, and there are two World Heritage-listed attractions on the doorstep: the 135 million-year-old Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Spend your days snorkelling, surfing, strolling the long stretch of sand on Four Mile Beach and heading up into Cape Tribulation. At night, enticing restaurants and bars – from informal and mellow to chic and romantic – offer a taste of the tropics.
Do go/Don’t go
From April to November, Port Douglas is at its blissful best, with clear skies, great visibility on the reef, and the mercury hitting the mid- to high-20s. September to November is particularly spectacular. From December to April, there's an increased chance of rain and temperatures hover in the 30s. This is also stinger season, so swim in the netted area of the beach.
Planes Regular flights are available to Cairns Airport (www.cairnsairport.com) from all major cities in Australia, as well as several Asian countries. Sunlover Helicopters (www.sunloverheli.com.au) offers transfers on to Port Douglas.
Automobiles Port Douglas is only an hour’s drive from Cairns along one of the most spectacular stretches of coastline in Australia. Most major car hire companies have desks at Cairns Airport or in the city, including Avis (www.avis.com.au). If you'd prefer to get by without a car in Port Douglas, book a transfer from Cairns with Rainforest Limousine Service (www.rainforestlimo.com.au) or a minibus shuttle service (www.sunpalmtransport.com).
- Taxis Book ahead with Port Douglas Taxi (+61 (0)7 4099 5345) or, if you’re in town, try the taxi rank on Macrossan Street.