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Stay and play – Port Douglas, QLD

Nestled between reef and rainforest in the famed Tropical North QLD region, this coastal resort town is an irresistible holiday destination.

Port Douglas has all the ingredients for a memorable getaway. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Where is it?

A 2hr 20min flight north of Brisbane or 65km north of Cairns (1hr 5min drive).

Why go?

For its laidback vibe, sensational scenery, rich mix of enthralling experiences, and easy access to two World Heritage wonders: The Great Barrier Reef and The Wet Tropics of Queensland.

Nearby gems add extra appeal. Location: Daintree National Park. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

The essentials – things to do in Port Douglas, QLD

Four Mile Beach

This long stretch of palm tree-fringed sand is regarded as Port Douglas’ best beach. And the stunning views contrasting the Coral Sea with a backdrop of rainforest-clad mountains are sure to impress. A stinger-resistant swimming enclosure provides safer swimming conditions during stinger season, which typically extends from November-May.

Four Mile Beach is a glorious stretch of sand. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Flagstaff Hill Lookout

For an even better perspective of the town’s eye-catching scenery, head straight for this popular lookout. With a position overlooking Four Mile Beach and extending to the ranges, it’s the prime place to snap that Insta pic. The viewing area can be reached via a walk, cycle, or short drive.

Flagstaff Hill Lookout shows off Port Douglas' immense beauty.

Explore the Great Barrier Reef

With this World Heritage wonder at your front gate, joining a Great Barrier Reef tour from Port Douglas is a must. Nearby Agincourt Reef is a show-stealer in these parts: A collection of smaller reefs, it’s a diver’s dream with plenty of interest and variation. Outstanding viewing options are available for those who wish to stay dry, including breathtaking helicopter flights.

Joining a Great Barrier Reef tour is essential. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Court House Museum

The town has an incredibly fascinating past, and this is the best place to retrace it all. From a devastating cyclone more than a century ago to quirky brushes with infamy, the museum explodes with colourful tales. Note: Limited opening times apply.

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

With a pointed focus on interaction and immersion, Wildlife Habitat raises the bar when it comes to animal park experiences. Enthralling up-close encounters with varied native animals, dedicated viewing platforms that include elevated boardwalks, and distinct zones that showcase North Queensland’s diverse landscapes combine to make this one of Port Douglas’ best attractions.

Enjoy up-close encounters at Wildlife Habitat. Credit: Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.

Port Douglas golf courses

If you’re a fan of chasing a little white ball, you simply must pack the clubs when visiting. Port Douglas is home to a few amazing golf courses that combine first-rate fairways with sparkling scenery. Among them is Palmer Sea Reef, ranked in Australia’s top 100 layouts.

Golfing greatness to a tee: Palmer Sea Reef. Credit: Palmer Sea Reef.

Rex Smeal Park

Looking for things to do in Port Douglas for free? Well, this fits the bill. Grab the picnic basket and join the crowds that gravitate towards the waterfront location for glittering views, boat watching, and admiring magnificent Tropical North QLD sunsets. A playground adds further appeal for families.

Rex Smeal Park reveals more vibrant vistas. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Bally Hooley railway

When it comes to things to do in Port Douglas with kids, this fun attraction should be marked on the itinerary. Powered by diesel and steam engines, the railway operates various services each Sunday that incorporate local highlights. It’s a great way to become acquainted with the town.

Crystalbrook Marina

Alongside operating as a departure point for several Great Barrier Reef tours, the marina is lined with vibrant bars, first-class restaurants, and Hemingway’s Brewery for craft beer. And it’s the perfect place for superyacht spotting.

Quench a thirst at Hemingway’s while at Crystalbrook Marina. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Things to do around Port Douglas, QLD

Daintree National Park

This famous national park is home to the world’s oldest continuously surviving tropical rainforest and is packed with unforgettable sights. It comprises two distinct sections:

  • Mossman Gorge: Dominated by greenery and boasting beautiful waters and granite boulders. Guided Dreamtime walks departing here are highly recommended.
  • Cape Tribulation: Has the rare distinction of being the meeting point of two World Heritage properties: The Wet Tropics of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef.

Distance: 20km north of Port Douglas (Mossman Gorge) and 85km north (Cape Tribulation).

Magical: Mossman Gorge. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Where rainforest meets reef: Cape Tribulation. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Palm Cove

A paradisiacal coastal village, Palm Cove features a brilliant beach, great restaurants, shops, and other amenities while exuding more of the chilled vibes synonymous with the area.

Distance: 45km south of Port Douglas.

Paradise-like Palm Cove. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.


Charm oozes from this picturesque mountainside village, packed with attractions and activities. Headliners include Kuranda Scenic Railway, which winds its way to Cairns among astounding scenery and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, offering incredible vantage points of sprawling greenery. River cruises, various wildlife attractions, and a visit to nearby Barron Falls are among other highlights.

Distance: 65km south of Port Douglas.

At Kuranda, even the train station is worth a photo.

Great Barrier Reef Drive

If you’re reaching Port Douglas from Cairns by road, you’ll likely follow what’s known as the Great Barrier Reef Drive. Extending from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, this route follows the Captain Cook Highway and encompasses plenty of jaw-dropping vistas along coast-hugging stretches. Have the camera or phone handy.

The coast-hugging highway reveals more epic scenery. Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland.

Random fact

Port Douglas is a favoured holiday hotspot with celebrities, including many Hollywood A-listers. It was famously the town where former US president Bill Clinton was holidaying on 11 September 2001.

Where to stay in Port Douglas, QLD

If you’re searching for accommodation in Port Douglas, look no further. Check out what we have to offer…

BIG4 Port Douglas Glengarry Holiday Park

Park type: Holiday

Planted in the peaceful Mowbray Valley just 7km to the town centre, this tranquil park is the ideal base for a north Queensland escape. Large, grassy sites for caravan and camping feature alongside an assortment of excellent cabins.

Both cabins and sites at BIG4 Port Douglas have ample appeal.

An inviting heated resort-style swimming pool with a toddler wading area and a five-slide waterpark with tipping bucket are among the park’s signature attractions. A shade cloth-covered jumping pillow, playground, two camp kitchens, and BBQ facilities are other leading facilities.

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