Between two of the most beautiful World Heritage locations – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest – is a little place called Port Douglas. A picture perfect paradise that you’ll want to consider for your next tropical holiday. To help you get in to holiday planning mode, here are 17 photos to inspire you to visit Port Douglas.
If you’re anything like us, you probably love a good mini break. Think about a few days away with a combo of perfect weather, dozens of activities to keep you busy plus awesome accommodation where you and your besties, your partner, or kids can kick back and relax.
Sound like what you’re looking for? Then Port Douglas ticks all the boxes and is up there as one of our fave spots in Australia.
Think white sandy beaches, crystal blue water, tropical islands, coral reef teeming with marine life, exciting day trips and luxury accommodation options for when you want to kick back by the pool and chill with a cocktail.
17 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Port Douglas
Looking for something specific? Click on one of the headings below to jump straight to it.
- 1 17 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Port Douglas
- 2 Cairns to Port Douglas Drive
- 3 Sunrise at Four Mile Beach
- 4 Port Douglas Day Trips
- 5 Stretch your legs at Wonga Beach
- 6 Cocktails by the Pool at the QT Hotel
- 7 Sunset Picnic at Rex Smeal Park
Cairns to Port Douglas Drive
The one-hour drive from Cairns to Port Douglas will have you frothing over just how beautiful this part of the country is. And right about now, you’ll be feeling pretty good about your decision to come here.
On one side of the road tropical rainforest, on the other, the Great Barrier Reef. This drive has to be one of the most stunning in Australia.
Hot tip: Don’t forget to take your camera in the car. Or in our case, make sure you have memory on your SD cards! (Oops)
Sunrise at Four Mile Beach
As its name suggests, Four Mile Beach is a pretty long beach. I’m guessing around four miles…lol. Which is weird, right, as no Aussie thinks in miles?!
If you’re keen to see the sun come up, this is the place to do it. There’s plenty of access points along Four Mile Beach. We parked at the Macrossan Street beach car park. Being close to the rocky headland this spot makes for good photos!
Port Douglas Day Trips
Mossman Gorge has always been one of my fave day-trips to hit up when visiting Port Douglas. When the weather is hot and humid, there’s nothing better than a refreshing swim. Especially when you’re jumping in crystal clear pools in the middle of the rainforest!
Back in the day, this used to be a free day out but due to the increased number of tourists, the only way to access the gorge is by shuttle bus from the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre.
We drove to the visitors centre (20 minutes from Port Douglas) and then grabbed our return bus ticket there. The shuttle trip is short, and technically walkable, but for safety and environmental reasons it’s best to take the bus. It’s pretty cheap and they offer family discounting!
- SHUTTLE: Departs every 15 minutes, between 8am – 5:45pm daily
- Adult $9.10
- Child 5-15 years $4.55
- Infant 0-4 years FREE
- Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Kids) $22.80
Mossman River Lookout + Rex Creek Suspension Bridge
If you want to work up a sweat before you take a dip, there’s a couple of rainforest walks you can do. They start from where the shuttle drops you off. We took a short walk to check out the Mossman River Lookout and the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge.
I’ll admit, once we passed the bridge we were sweating like crazy mofos and decided to turn back and go for a swim. But, if you’re keen to do a more substantial walk then check out the different options at the Mossman Gorge Visitors Centre before you head off into the rainforest. The staff are super helpful at the centre too, so when you arrive just ask for their recommendations based on the weather for that day.
Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
Every time I come up to this part of Australia I have to hit up the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkeling. In my opinion it’s the best thing to do in Port Douglas. This time we went with Tropical Journeys on Calypso 10 and the crew were awesome.
There’s plenty of choice when you’re looking for who to go snorkeling and/or diving with. My top tip is don’t let money become the deciding factor. Most trips cost around the same anyway. Look for a company that has a smaller boat. I’ve been with the big boats before and you guessed it…big boat = lots of people!
Spot a Saltwater Crocodile!
I’m a total water baby, and love everything about the water, including boats. In fact, I really want to own a boat one day! When you’re in the top end of Australia, boat trips become way more exciting as there are badass man-eating saltwater crocodiles in the water!
The drive to the Daintree River is about 50 minutes north of Port Douglas and there are several companies that offer Crocodile River trips. We did this the same day as going to Mossman Gorge.
The best part of our trip BY FAR was when we were waiting for the other passengers to board. Vic and I spotted a little fish swimming next to the boat that seemed to be checking us out. The guide told us to tap the side of the boat. We did. Next minute…the fish SPAT in Vic’s face. Blahahahahaha!!!
Turns out this particular fish was an Archer Fish. These little guys squirt water at insects that hang out on the side of boats. When the insects drop into the water the fish eats them. Amazing!
Oh yeah, and we did see big crocs, small crocs, and even 11 day old teeny tiny baby crocodiles.
Depending what time of year you visit will dictate how many crocs you see. If you want to avoid disappointment, call before you go and find out how many crocs they think you’ll be able to spot.
Whoever you choose to go with (they all go from the same wharf), these river cruises usually last around 1 hour. The guides are super knowledgeable and you’ll learn heaps of cool things about the area. Besides crocs, you’ll also see a stack of different birds so you may want to bring a big lens for your camera.
- Crocodile Express Daintree River Cruises, 5 Stewart Street, Daintree QLD 4873
Stretch your legs at Wonga Beach
When we were driving back to Port Douglas after our crocodile adventure, we stopped at Wonga Beach. It boasts one of the longest stretches of beach in the area and is a popular spot for ocean fishing.
It’s a great spot to stretch your legs, have a walk along the beach and snap some pics. Our Instagram friends had told us that Wonga Beach is an amazing place for that picturesque beach shot. However when we went it was the day after a tropical storm and there was a whole bunch of seaweed on the beach. Vic wasn’t happy! No perfect IG shot that day.
Cocktails by the Pool at the QT Hotel
Vic and I have been busy travelling the world lately. A tough gig I know but someone has to do it. Our trip to Port Douglas was all about recharging our batteries and gearing up for more international travel.
We’d stayed at a couple of QT Hotels around Australia so we knew QT Port Douglas was the perfect hotel for some RnR. Plus I’m a total sucker for their breakfast buffet!
We upgraded our room to a one-bedroom villa so we had the option to cook at home or eat out if we wanted to.
Our fave thing about this by far was chilling by the amazing pool. With a winning combination of pool inflatables and a wet bar, this was the perfect place chill out.
Sunset Picnic at Rex Smeal Park
As you’ve probably guessed, we’re all about sunrises and sunsets! More so sunsets as we find getting up early a bit challenging at times. To experience the perfect Port Douglas sunset we packed up a picnic and found an epic place to watch the sunset.
We hit up Coles on Macrossan Street to stock up on picnic supplies and then walked over to Rex Smeal Park. We set up under the palm trees and tucked into our picnic and to watch Mother Nature do her thing. Stunning.
Hope you enjoyed our 17 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Port Douglas! If you’re keen to go Victoria has also compiled our Port Douglas Ultimate Travel Guide, which includes our full run down on where to eat, what to do, and where to stay.
If you’ve been before and we’ve missed one of your top recommendations please comment below and let us know what it is!
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