Located on the northeast coast of Australia, Port Douglas is a place that is well-known for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a major destination for people looking to explore the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral system in the entire world and is located just off shore. Port Douglas is also home to Four Mile Beach, which is gorgeous and popular with kite surfers, and Daintree Rainforest, which is home to a lot of diverse wildlife and plenty of hiking and exploration opportunities. Port Douglas has a beautiful tropical climate and is a wonderful destination year-round, though visitors should be aware of the monsoon season from November to April, which is hot and humid. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
Mossman Gorge is part of Daintree Rainforest, which is a World Heritage Listed site. This beautiful wilderness area is named for the gorge created by Mossman River, and it’s a popular place for visitors looking to get a breath of fresh air and spend some time outdoors. Visitors can hike into Mossman Gorge from the Mossman Gorge Centre, but it is a long walk, so there’s also a shuttle which, for a small fee, will take visitors regularly (every 15 minutes or so) to the trailhead for the walking trails at the Gorge. At the Gorge, visitors can hike, take a guided tour, swim, and learn about Australia’s Indigenous cultures and their connection with the area.
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2.The Great Barrier Reef
Port Douglas is full of fun and entertaining attractions, but undoubtedly its biggest draw is its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral system in the world, with nearly three thousand individual reefs that extend and cover over 134,000 square miles. The reef is teeming with underwater life, with over 1500 species of fish that call it home. There are a lot of ways to see the reef, whether it’s in the water, via snorkeling or diving, or from a glass-bottomed boat or semi-submersible vessel. Each offers its own benefits and is bound to be an unforgettable experience.
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3.Four Mile Beach
With an expansive stretch of soft, golden sand where the coast meets the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea, Four Mile Beach is a huge draw for visitors to the Port Douglas region. The beach itself is a tropical paradise and is popular for sunbathing, kite surfing, enjoying a walk or a jog along the sand, swimming and playing in the water, and picnicking. For early birds, it’s also the perfect place to watch the sunrise over the watery horizon, and the light cast by the sunset is also beautiful. Four Mile Beach has tidal rock pools that are great for children to play in, and a scenic walk around the grassy bluffs at the edge of the beach.
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Australia is home to some pretty distinctive wildlife, and at the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas, visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal, and interact with some of the animals who call the region home. Meet and greets, and photo opportunities are available for animals like koala bears, pythons, and kangaroos at this interactive zoo and wildlife education center. Visitors can see crocodiles from Predator Plank, feed colorful birds, and see the Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo at Wildlife Habitat, which is one of only two zoos in the world to feature this creature.
Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-32-35
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5.Shopping in Port Douglas
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Whether it’s souvenirs you’re after, or something in particular, there’s no shortage of shopping opportunities in Port Douglas. Just a short walk from Four Mile Beach is Macrossan Street, which is a major shopping district in Port Douglas with plenty of boutiques selling everything from t-shirt souvenirs to high fashion to handmade crafts. Macrossan Street is also home to the Port Village Shopping Center, which has some major-brand retailers. Nearby Marina Mirage has waterfront shopping opportunities that range from unique furniture to glittering gems, and on Sundays, the Port Douglas Market is held in Anzac Park.
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6.St. Mary’s by the Sea
© Port Douglas Weddings
Built in 1913, St. Mary’s by the Sea is a non-denominational church that is listed as a heritage site. As the name suggests, St. Mary’s is located on a scenic bit of land right along the coast, and it’s big glass window by the altar overlooks the sea for a beautiful view. St. Mary’s is a popular venue for weddings of up to 100 guests, and is perfect for small ceremonies whether they are casual or more formal. Wheelchair access to St. Mary’s by the Sea is available, but must be requested ahead of time in order for staff to set it up, and the chapel is air conditioned, so wedding party and guests won’t sweat through the ceremony.
8 Dixie St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-4-18-45-68-80
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The stunning mountain town of Kuranda is located south of Port Douglas, and is accessible by about an hour’s drive, or by scenic railway from Cairns. Kuranda is surrounded by lush green rainforest on all sides, much of which is accessible for walking and exploring. Visitors will find colorful parrots nestled in the branches of the fig trees, flocks of butterflies around the tropical flowers, and koalas munching on eucalyptus. Kuranda attractions include the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and the Kuranda Koala Gardens, where guests can meet and cuddle with these iconic Australian creatures.
8.Port Douglas Market
Every Sunday from 8am to 2pm, near Aznec Park in Port Douglas, the Port Douglas Market opens for business on the Wharf. This seaside market is a Port Douglas classic, and it’s a great opportunity to find some unique goods and gifts you won’t find anywhere else. Local artisans and vendors sell handmade jewelry and crafts, antiques, vintage clothing, books, fresh-brewed coffee, handmade baked goods, locally grown produce, and so much more. The shopping experience itself is worth going for, as the market is held beneath the shade of tall, swaying palm trees, and well in reach of the refreshing breeze from the ocean.
LOT 81 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
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, Michigan beaches
With a gorgeous terrace garden seating area featuring high top tables made of barrels, comfortable low couches where guests can lounge under a shady umbrella, and an amazing view of the waterfront, BARBADOS is one of the best bars and pubs in Port Douglas, and has won several awards for its stylish decor, comfortable vibe, and great cocktail menu. At BARBADOS, signature cocktails can be served traditionally or in a jug that serves four people, and there are also plenty of mocktails on the menu for those who don’t wish to drink alcohol.
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, 44 Wharf Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-4-09-12-12-13
© 2 Fish
It’s no surprise that a place like Port Douglas would have amazing seafood, and at local restaurants like 2 Fish, the catch of the day is prepped and served with expert care. The menu at 2 Fish changed seasonally, to reflect the different ingredients that are available in the warmer months vs. the colder times of year. Lunch is offered daily from 12pm until 4pm, and dinner service is from 5pm until midnight. 2 Fish offers a popular two course meal option, and their menu includes lighter fare like oysters, soups, and prawns, as well as full meal options like sashimi, squid, or even duck.
Coconut Grove Complex, 11/56-64 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-63-50
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A flame lit path on Macrossan Street will lead guests to Watergate, where they will find a beautiful open air restaurant waiting to provide them with an unforgettable dining experience. With both indoor and outdoor seating that is surrounded by leafy plants and an elegant rainforest feel, Watergate serves modern Australian cuisine that features fresh seafood, local produce, and which reflects contemporary trends in Australian food and cooking. Dishes include foods like kangaroo loin, yellowfin tuna, prawn and crab ravioli, and local reef fish, and drinks include an extensive wine list as well as a selection of fine and unique craft cocktails.
Shop 5/31 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-55-44
12.Sassi La Cucina
© Sassi La Cucina
This cocktail bar in downtown Port Douglas is stylish and trendy, with a classy atmosphere. Sassi la Cucina focuses on Italian food and drink, and some of the authentic Italian dishes on their menu include arancini, carpaccio di manzo, sassi calamari, zuppa de pesce (made with the freshest, locally caught fish, of course), costola di manzo, and more. From seafood to the finest beef products to vegetarian dishes, everything at Sassi La Cucina is delicious, and the wine list, which is extensive, is built for great pairings. Sassi La Cucina is also well known for their delicious cocktails, and has a full bar for those who know what they like.
4 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-67-44
Seabean is a tapas bar and restaurant in Port Douglas that is known for its amazing paella and other Spanish-inspired dishes. The airy atmosphere is a perfect spot to sit back with friends and order a bottle of wine to share while munching on meat, seafood, bread, and vegetarian tapas dishes. For fishing enthusiasts, Seabean even offers a deal for those who catch their own fish on a local charter—with 24 hours notice, the restaurant can prepare and cook your fish (from a licensed fishing charter only) to serve to you and your friends and family at the restaurant.
3/28 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-55-58
© The Mexican
At The Mexican, guests can enjoy a meal of Mexican cuisine favorites, with inspired twists of ingredients from North Queensland. The Mexican loves their local ingredients, so some of the items on the menu include things like crocodile and cucumber tacos, local tiger prawns grilled in a Mexican style, and kangaroo tacos. Other dishes include traditional fajitas, burritos, and nachos with a choice of meat or a vegetarian and vegan option as well. Drinks at The Mexican are great as well, and they pride themselves on having the best selection of tequila in Port Douglas. From a bottle of Tecate to a hand crafted margarita, no one will leave The Mexican without wishing for more.
43 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-44-41
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15.Salsa Bar and Grill
© Salsa Bar and Grill
The vibrant, tropical drinks at Salsa Bar and Grill are colorful and flavorful, topped with eye-catching garnishes of tropical produce, and the food menu is made up of a delectable combination of dishes and cuisines from around the world. At Salsa Bar and Grill, customers can enjoy Thai-style spring rolls alongside a French-inspired duck pate, and order an entree of queenfish numus while sampling a friend’s plate of coffee and chili rubbed kangaroo filet. Salsa Bar and Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner, and also offers a great kids’ menu, making it a favorite for families.
26 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-49-22
16.The Beach Shack
© The Beach Shack
Going to the beach evokes a certain kind of laid back, sunsoaked happiness, and The Beach Shack is a restaurant that feeds on this mentality by offering guests a fun, open air spot to enjoy good food and great company. The Beach Shack is a true Port Douglas staple, and its location near Four Mile Beach Park means it’s almost always packed with both locals and tourists. The decor scheme here is—surprise, surprise—beachy, with surfboards on the walls, couches for lounging, and sand on the floor, and the menu consists of pizza, tapas, and more.
29 Barrier St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-11-00
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© Nu Nu
This lush, gourmet restaurant celebrates everything that is great about Australian cuisine. At Nu Nu, the drinks are colorful and beautifully presented, as is the food, which is inspired by the tropical climate and lifestyle of North Queensland. Dishes include items like beetroot poached kangaroo, cinnamon roasted Victorian lamb, or local line-caught reef fish with buttered clams, and delectable desserts include rainforest honeycomb, coconut meringue, and sticky rice. Nu Nu also offers tasting menus of four or seven courses, and customers can also choose to have each course paired with a matching wine. The menu can be quite overwhelming, but Nu Nu’s staff is happy to help guests make decisions based on their personal tastes and preferences.
1 Veivers Rd, Palm Cove QLD 4879, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-59-18-80
18.Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge
© Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge
At Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge, the staff prides itself on artistry when it comes to their drinks. Their goal is to give their guests an unforgettable experience, from the ambiance to the cocktails. Located in the Portico Shopping Centre, Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge specializes in craft, one of a kind cocktails hand mixed and created by the famous, award winning bartender. Customers can pick their poison based on what type of liquor they’re after, or what type of flavor profile they want, and knowledgeable mixologists behind the bar will be there every step fo the way to guide their decisions.
13/53-61 Macrossan St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-59-12
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© Hemingway’s Brewery
The craft beer industry is taking the world by storm, with breweries coming up with more and more innovative ways to brew one of the oldest beverages in human history. Hemingway’s is located on the Marina in Port Douglas, meaning it has great views and a lovely outdoor seating area with ocean breezes and views. The huge, industrial brewing space is airy and tasteful, and the Port Douglas location is a brewpub, meaning there’s a great menu of burgers, seafood, pizzas, and even steaks to enjoy along with a pint of hand crafted beer or a cocktail.
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, 44 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-66-63
20.The Courthouse Hotel
© The Courthouse Hotel
This amazing restaurant on the Port Douglas waterfront is a relaxing place to hang out and enjoy a plate of yummy fish tacos, a seafood platter, nachos, or a good old serving of fish and chips. At The Courthouse Hotel, the bright, airy interior is a great space to enjoy a meal and some good company, and while the food might be what brings you there, the fantastic drinks list, containing everything from smoothies to craft cocktails, will make sure you never want to leave. The Courthouse Hotel has a regular schedule of events, including sporting event viewing parties, live music in the beer garden, and a gaming lounge.
18-20 Wharf St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-51-81
21.Flames of the Forest
© Flames of the Forest
Flames of the Forest is so much more than a restaurant. A meal at Flames of the Forest is a whole experience that will immerse diners in the rainforest and the culture of the Aboriginal people who have called it home for centuries. There are two dining experiences available for guests. First, the Aboriginal Cultural experience will feature traditional didgeridoo music, storytelling, and Aboriginal songs, along with a delicious seven course feast of locally sourced food, served under the canopy of the trees. The Rainforest Dining Experience is more intimate, and is popular with couples, with six courses of food served in a candlelit rainforest and set to the music of a live acoustic guitarist.
29 Barrier St, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia, Phone: +61-7-40-99-39-66
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21 Best Things to Do in Port Douglas, Australia
- Mossman Gorge, Photo: owsigor/stock.adobe.com
- The Great Barrier Reef, Photo: owsigor/stock.adobe.com
- Four Mile Beach, Photo: eqroy/stock.adobe.com
- Wildlife Habitat, Photo: Acres/stock.adobe.com
- Shopping in Port Douglas, Photo: nd3000/stock.adobe.com
- St. Mary’s by the Sea, Photo: Port Douglas Weddings
- Kuranda, Photo: Acres/stock.adobe.com
- Port Douglas Market, Photo: themorningglory/stock.adobe.com
- BARBADOS, Photo: BARBADOS
- 2 Fish, Photo: 2 Fish
- Watergate, Photo: Watergate
- Sassi La Cucina, Photo: Sassi La Cucina
- Seabean, Photo: Seabean
- The Mexican, Photo: The Mexican
- Salsa Bar and Grill, Photo: Salsa Bar and Grill
- The Beach Shack, Photo: The Beach Shack
- Nu Nu, Photo: Nu Nu
- Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge, Photo: Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge
- Hemingway’s Brewery, Photo: Hemingway’s Brewery
- The Courthouse Hotel, Photo: The Courthouse Hotel
- Flames of the Forest, Photo: Flames of the Forest
- Cover Photo: Martin Valigursky/stock.adobe.com
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