Port Douglas

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Port Douglas is a coastal resort town north of Cairns, near the Daintree National Park.

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Points of Interest in Port Douglas

It is the place where the reef meets the rainforest, a tropical wonderland of diversity.

Port Douglas provides access to the Great Barrier Reef and also the Daintree Rainforest.

Another great day trip is also the nearby Atherton Tablelands.

  • The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, Port Douglas Road,  +617 4099 3235. Provides visitors with a chance to observe a huge range of flora and fauna, up close and personal. Visitors wander through three unique environments: The Rainforest, where boardwalks meander along the forest floor to the canopy allowing views of native species such as the Cassowary; The Wetlands, where wading birds can be seen foraging for fish in waterways, and The Grasslands, an open-air exhibit where you can hand-feed kangaroos and observe emus and crocodiles. Informative, free guided tours and presentations take place throughout the day. Famous for its Breakfast with the Birds and Lunch with the Lorikeets.
  •    The Australian Muster Experience, Kingston Rd, Whyanbeel Valley via Mossman,  +61 7 4098-1149. Lunch. An authentic outback cattle station that puts on BBQ lunch shows illustrating daily life on a remote cattle station. Includes real stockmen and women, mobs of cattle, stock horses, cattle dogs and live music! A beautiful venue with views across to Port Douglas, fringed by the Daintree rainforest. Starts at $63.

Marina Mirage

St Mary\'s by the Sea Chapel

Wildlife Habitat

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About Port Douglas

Background

Port Douglas is a small town (year-round population around 5000 people). It is a very popular tourist, beach and reef destination, with the peak season being during the Australian winter. It largely, although not exclusively, caters for family holidaymakers and offers higher-end resort stays to couples and families. There are some backpacker hostels but far fewer than in Cairns. Port Douglas maintains a village feel: the palm trees are taller than the buildings and you can meander through the town to do some shopping, or enjoy a wide variety of cafes, pubs, restaurants & bars, ranging from those offering excellent value to world class cuisine.

Port Douglas is an ideal base for visits to the Great Barrier Reef or to the Daintree Rainforest, with Cape Tribulation a 90 minute drive on well maintained sealed roads.

Activities

  • Get a free sunset sailing experience each Wednesday at the Port Douglas Yacht Club. All you need to do is be at the club and they will fit you up with an appropriate member’s boat and voila – you’re sailing!
  • Swim in a rainforest glade at Mossman Gorge or anywhere in the lovely Mossman River, being very careful of the dangerous currents there. Take a snorkel and see what’s really under the refreshing water.
  • Immerse yourself in the Port Douglas Sunday Markets at Rex Smeal Park. The quality and varied contents of the markets will keep everyone in the family happy.
  • Picnic at the gorgeous private beach on the far right hand side of Rex Smeal Park (you can even pick up some tasty eats and fresh juices in the markets!)
  • Catch a Sunday Session – there are up to eight local bands playing in the shire every Sunday so just check out a gig guide or ask a local what they are recommending.
  • Bike along Four Mile Beach – the firm sand is just sensational for cycling and the whole family will enjoy freewheeling along the beach.
  • Spot superstars in the streets – Macrossan Street is tops for celebrity sightings and Marina Mirage is also no stranger to rich and famous faces (and their boats!)
  • Catch the Cane Toad Races at The Iron Bar. Catch a piece of the Tropical North as the jockies kiss the racing toads before kick-off. Every night at 8PM; $5 pp. 5 Macrossan St.
  • Fish off the beaches, off the wharf or in the creeks and rivers. Anglers of any experience will be satisfied with tossing a line into the waters around here.
  • Get in touch with the past and visit the Port Douglas Courthouse museum – a gold coin donation is your link to an amazing array of riches in this conveniently located museum.

SCUBA Diving

  • ParrotFish Dive, 37 Warner St (near Macrossan St),  +61 7 4099-5011, e-mail: info@parrotfishdive.com. Port Douglas. Dive school with courses starting weekly. Spend 2 days diving on the Great Barrier Reef. Special private courses for a family or groups of 4 or more.
  • Blue Dive - Port Douglas +61 427 983 907 info@bluedive.com.au. All PADI courses from Open Water to Divemaster. No factory diving as a maximum of 4 on all courses. Courses complete on the Outer Barrier Reef on a high speed catamaran.
  • Dive Sites near Port Douglas. Explore the fantastic Agincourt Reefs, Opal Reef and Tongue Reef, reached in an hour from Port Douglas by one of the many dive operators or live-aboard trips out of Port Douglas.

Food

There are plenty of restaurants on Macrossan street. 2Fish, Zeus, The Living Room and Salsa restaurants on Wharf street (among others are also very lively in the evening. "On the Inlet" restaurant offers great sea food, including many barramundi recipes. The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary has a great buffet experience with Breakfast with the Birds or Lunch with the Lorikeets: as you dine, birds and other wildlife wander amongst the tables!

4 Mile Beach takeaway on the road in lets you have local reef fish and chips. Add a bottle of sav blanc from the bottleshop next door and take it down to 4 Mile Beach.

Drinks

The Iron Bar - good patter

For cocktail lovers, Watergate & Zinc are front runners.

Shopping

Port Douglas plays host to a weekly Sunday Market where everything from fresh tropical fruit & vegetables, to clothes, jewellery and gifts.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Port Douglas on Wikivoyage.

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