My favourite spots in Port Douglas
Around 11 months ago I visited Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, Australia on holiday, and I loved it so much that when I came to live here. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the hot, sunny weather, beautiful beach, friendly people and relaxed lifestyle. It’s the kind of place where I had always wanted to live, and pretty much exactly what I had pictured Australia to be like before I ever came here. So today I want to share some of my favourite spots in Port Douglas.
AKA the Irish Bar – always a lovely spot for a drink, night or day. I love sitting outside and people-watching during the day, watching live musicians in the evening, and taking advantage of daily happy hours, and $10 parmas on parma night.
Based on the corner of Macrossan Street, Courthouse is slightly more pricey than other drinking spots, but what I really adore is the large outdoor area that’s perfect for an evening drink. I’ve found that they get the best live musicians in compared to other pubs and bars in the area.
Best known for being a successful burger bar, serving delicious food to locals and tourists alike, N17 recently added a bar next door to the burger joint. There’s an exciting range of beers, wines and spirits an affordable prices, 2 daily happy hours, and both indoor and outdoor seating. But what really makes this place is the fun, chilled vibe that I haven’t found anywhere else in Port, and the friendly, experienced staff.
Jimmy Rums is the cocktail bar of Port Douglas, so it deserves a place on the list. The quirky decor and comfy seating are tempting, but I love sitting up at the bar. The bartenders really know what they’re doing, and are always happy to go off-menu or recommend a cocktail based on your preferences.
Hemingways is a brewery serving up their own range of craft beers alongside an impressive range of gins and other spirits as well as wines. Not to mention a tasty selection of food like pizzas or fish and chips. But my favourite thing about Hemingways is that it’s situated right on the waterfront and has a big outdoor area, where you can look out to sea, enjoy a sunset, and watch the boats return for their trips to the reef.
Salsa Bar & Grill
I’ve been to a few restaurants around Port Douglas but none of them compare to Salsa. The food is divine, with daily specials and a new menu every season. The cocktail list is tropical and delicious, and the range of wines is delightful. Despite 5 star food and drinks, the vibe is laid back, much like Port Douglas itself, with friendly staff and no dress code.
Favourite place to relax
4 mile beach
Day or night, I adore 4 mile beach. By day, it’s a lovely space for a swim and sunbathe, but I also love going down in the late afternoon/ early evening when it’s nice and peaceful. I love taking a walk in the edge of the sea or just sitting on the sand and watching the waves. I find that it always helps me to relax.
Favourite place to watch the sunset
Rex Smeal Park
This palm tree-lined grassy area on the inlet boasts unbelievable views of the sunset. I love heading down with a can of Great Northern and watching the sky change from blue to pink to orange – did I mention that Port Douglas has the best sunsets I’ve ever seen? There are also BBQs and picnic tables as well as a play area, so you can make a whole evening of it.
Flagstaff Hill Lookout
Despite the stunning beach, and the surrounding mountains and rainforest, my favourite view that’s actually in the town has to be from the lookout. You can drive up, and on a clear day you’ll see clear blue skies, deep blue sea, a glimpse of the golden sand on the beach, swaying palm trees, and the mountains all around.
Favourite swimming holes
Believe it or not, I don’t swim at the beach all that often. I prefer to swim in the local creeks, or even head further afield to discover new waterfalls and swimming holes if I have more time. I’ve been going to Spring Creek since I first moved here and it’s always a lovely spot for a swim. I love getting a whole group together, taking some beers, some music, some snacks, and cooling off in the water surrounded by amazing views of rainforest and mountains.
I adore this swimming hole on the road to Silky Oaks Lodge. The downside is that you have to walk through a little bit of rainforest, then walk through the creek to get to a spot where you can leave your belongings. The creek has a pretty strong current so this is a little annoying but worth it. Plus if you have floaties, you can float down the rapids which is fun! I even saw an adorable little platypus there once.
If you’re planning to visit Port Douglas, then I hope you will visit some of my favourite places and enjoy them as much as I do!