5 Tips to enjoy Port Douglas on a Budget
Travelling around Australia can get incredibly expensive, so many people are looking for ways to cut costs. It’s important to find the balance between making the most of the location and not over-spending. It’s also essential to avoid wasting money on things that you’ll regret. Here are a few of my top tips to enjoy Port Douglas on a budget.
1. Dining out
Whilst there’s always the option of choosing accommodation with kitchen facilities and saving money by cooking, it’s always nice to go out for dinner on holiday. Spend some time finding out what deals are available on different days. For example, Paddy’s currently does $10 parmas on Wednesday nights. Chilli’s has pizza night, and Central has a range of different deals on various days. Some restaurants are also just much cheaper than others – head to Grant Street where Menu Thai and Vietnamese Kitchen offer delicious, large meals for a very reasonable price. You can also bring your own alcohol to these two places. Another option is to cook yourself dinner at one of the BBQs at the park or beach – this way you can still have a special dinner experience on the cheap.
Similarly buying alcohol at the bottle shop will save you some money. However, when you do want to go out for a drink, make sure to find out when the happy hours are and what’s included. Between several venues with happy hours, there’s usually deals available somewhere between 3pm and 11pm every day.
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is often top of the bucket list for visitors to Port Douglas. However these trips can cost $270pp or even more if you want to add on extras. Ask in tourist information centres about any deals that may be available, especially during the quieter months. Alternatively, consider a half day trip with Calypso or a speedy visit with Reef Sprinter to save some $$.
For other day trips such as the Daintree Rainforest, Kuranda, or the Atherton Tablelands, you may have to choose between renting a car or paying for a tour. The best way to get around this is to calculate the costs beforehand to determine the most affordable option. If hiring a car you could also schedule all of your excursions for 2 or 3 consecutive days, rather than paying to rent the car for your entire trip.
During quieter months, many resorts and tour companies offer reduced rates compared to peak season. Of course, some of the quietest months are during the wet season so you may be dealing with stormy weather. However, even during the shoulder season deals are often available.