port douglas sunset
Travel advice

Why You Need to Add Port Douglas to Your Australia Bucket List

Why You Need to Add Port Douglas to Your Australia Bucket List

port douglas sunset

It’s funny, I had never even heard even heard of Port Douglas a couple of years ago, even though I had been in Australia for a few months. Yet as soon as I came here I never wanted to leave. I see so many travellers heading for the big cities and missing out on this incredible destination. Here are my top ten reasons why you should add Port Douglas to your Australia bucket list.

  1. The reef

The iconic Great Barrier Reef is basically Port Douglas’ back yard. Snorkel or dive amongst vibrant corals with sea turtles and a diverse range of fish before the reef is destroyed and it’s too late. The reef is a must and Port Douglas is an ideal place to base yourself for a trip.

Read more about Great Barrier Reef day trips here.

great barrier reef

2. The rainforest

Port Douglas is also in close proximity to the Daintree Rainforest, home of Cape Tribulation. Explore the lush, tropical rainforest scenery and emerge from the shady palms onto sensational beaches. Cape Tribulation is also the only place in the world where two world heritage sites meet: the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef.

3. The climate

Far North Queensland has a tropical climate, so the wet season in summer is hot and wet and the dry season in winter is pleasant temperatures and rain-free. If you’re into pretty impressive storms then visit in wet season, however don’t miss the chance to come here in the winter when it’s perfect beach weather whilst the south of the country is steeped in winter chills.

4. It’s basically paradise

With sunny weather, a stunning beach, palm trees galore, and tropical cocktails to hand, Port Douglas is basically textbook paradise.

port douglas

5. See your Australian stereotypes come to life

All my life when I thought of Australia I thought of kangaroos, hot weather all year round, crocodiles, amazing beaches, and casually dressed people owning no shoes other than thongs. Imagine my surprise when I landed in Melbourne. Whilst it is a beautiful and amazing city, it wasn’t what I imagined at all. I think we all deserve to indulge our Australian stereotypes a little.

croc spotting with the daintree river cruise centre

6. The stunning beach

Four Mile Beach is beautiful, there’s no two ways about it. Sunrise and sunset are magnificent times to be there, although of course it’s always nice to come whilst the lifeguard is on duty so you can have a swim. I love lazing on the pristine sand, and swimming in warm waters with a view of white sand surrounded by palm trees and mountains.

4 mile beach port douglas

7. Home to some of the best restaurants in the country

Who would have thought this laid-back little town would have multi-award winning restaurants? Some of my favourites are Salsa for delicious modern Australian cuisine, Seabean for mouthwatering tapas, and On the Inlet for tasty seafood.

dessert at salsa port douglas

8. Aboriginal culture

I think that all visitors to Australia should indulge in a little Aboriginal culture and learn about the traditional owners of the land. Mossman, close to Port Douglas has a huge Aboriginal community, and you can learn about their culture and Dreamtime stories at Mossman Gorge. It’s also a lovely place for a rainforest walk and refreshing swim.

9. The Tablelands

The Tablelands are the stunning playground for anyone staying or living in Port Douglas. Home to spectacular waterfalls, rolling greenery, scenic hikes, farms and much more, there is so much on offer. Some of my favourite spots are Millaa Millaa Falls and Gallo Dairyland, but there’s still so much more to explore.

Read more about day tripping around the Tablelands

Read more about waterfalls in the tablelands

millaa millaa falls, atherton tablelands, queensland

10. It’s cheaper than the big cities

Sure, Australia’s big cities are amazing, but everything is cheaper in Port Douglas. Rent is cheaper, accommodation is cheaper, and drinking at bars is cheaper. It’s nice to save a few extra £££ and indulge in somewhere more luxurious to stay or live.

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