Travel guides

Top 5 Day Trips From Port Douglas

Top 5 Day Trips From Port Douglas


As much as I adore Port Douglas itself, I love getting out and about for a good day trip. The best part is that there are so many amazing ones to choose from. You can opt to book organised tours or do what I tend to do and go by yourself. I always feel that people who live in Port Douglas without a car are missing out because there are so many fun day trips to be had. So here are five of my favourites.

Great Barrier Reef

great barrier reef

Obviously I couldn’t not include the infamous reef that’s right on my doorstep. I can’t believe that anyone would come and and not see it. I’ve been three times and each time has been so much fun – I can’t wait to go again! Snorkelling or diving amongst the vibrant corals and diverse marine life is so beautiful. There’s so many boats to choose from at the Port Douglas marina.

Read: How to choose a Great Barrier Reef trip

Read: Introductory dives on the Great Barrier Reef

Read: Day tripping to the Great Barrier Reef

sailaway great barrier reef

The Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation

cape tribulation

This is probably the second most popular day trip from Port Douglas, after the Great Barrier Reef. Organised tours can take you on fun trips with knowledgeable guides, or you can just drive yourself. The Daintree Ferry is a 40-minute drive from Port, and costs $30 return per car. There are so many exciting activities to choose from, from spotting wild crocodiles on a cruise, to seeing gorgeous beaches. Take a scenic walk through the jungle, take a dip in one of Mother Nature’s swimming pools, or sample some locally made ice cream!

Read: A lovely day out at Cape Tribulation


Atherton Tablelands

davies creek falls

The tablelands are stunning, and dotted with glistening lakes, cascading waterfalls, natural infinity pools, and quaint towns and villages. Once again there are so many things to choose from! I think my favourite is chasing waterfalls – there’s something about taking a swim beneath dramatically tumbling water that’s just magical.

Read: Day tripping around Yungaburra

Read: Waterfall circuit: Atherton Tablelands

Read: Davies Creek Falls

millaa millaa falls

Cassowary Coast

One of the things that people look forward to doing in the Daintree is seeing cassowaries in their natural habitat. However, although there are plenty of wild cassowaries there, it can be hard to spot them. Driving a few hours down the coast provides a much more likely opportunity, as well as beautiful scenery, idyllic beaches, and fun towns like Mission Beach. Read about my drive with Conor and his parents from Magnetic Island to Port Douglas via the Cassowary Coast, featuring Mission Beach, Etty Bay, and five cassowaries.

Read: Trip Part 2: Magnetic Island


german tucker kuranda

Kuranda is only about an hours drive from Port Douglas – just head towards Cairns and turn off when you see the sign – then meander your way up the ranges! I always love going – it’s such a vibrant and colourful rainforest town. Check out the shops and the unique markets, eat at a quirky cafe, and see wildlife at Rainforestation and the Butterfly Sanctuary. If i’m being brutally honest, one of my favourite things to do is eat lunch at German Tucker, which serves delicious hotdogs with tasty German beer, complete with cheesy upbeat music, and the friendliest staff. I’m visiting Kuranda next week to give the Scenic Rail and Skyrail a go, so expect a detailed post next week!

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