If you’re looking for a chic, relaxed beachside holiday destination with access to the best natural wonders in Australia, look no further than Port Douglas. The gem in the crown of Far North Queensland, this laid back yet sophisticated resort town is just an hour north of Cairns. Considered the jumping-off point for both the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Port Douglas is also a destination in its own right. With world-class dining, shopping and accommodation to suit all budgets, a Port Douglas holiday package will tick all the right boxes. Port Douglas tours like outer reef diving, crocodile encounters, nearby Mossman Gorge, Cape Tribulation and the Low Isles are simply icing on the cake of a picture-perfect Far North Queensland destination.
Plan before you go to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the must-do Port Douglas tour packages. The very best of the region is right on your doorstep, and hassle-free operators will ensure you don’t miss a thing. You’ll want to book a Port Douglas reef tour; there’s an abundance on offer that cater to land lovers, snorkellers, divers and even those short on time. Port Douglas sunset cruises are hugely popular, as are eco-tours that delve into the Daintree Rainforest. Of course, there’s a world of choice here: fishing charters, scenic helicopter flights, Indigenous guided Dreamtime walks at Mossman Gorge, swimming with playful turtles on the Low Isles, Segway tours on the tree-fringed sands of Four Mile Beach (possibly Australia’s best beach). If you can dream it, Port Douglas will deliver it.
So when should you go? Port Douglas is pretty attractive year-round, with sunny days, refreshing sea breezes and a warm climate that is hard to beat. With high rainfall, summer is hotter, making winter's warm, dry days (May to October) the preferred option for most travellers. Our selection of Port Douglas tours depart throughout these pleasant winter months. The ocean temperature rarely dips below 23 degrees Celsius in winter. It can be as high as 29 degrees in February, making for a bath-like experience. It’s also box jellyfish season from November to March, meaning you can only swim in special enclosures at popular beaches.
To get to Port Douglas, you’ll first have to make your way to Cairns (by plane, train, car or bus). From the moment you leave Cairns, your Port Douglas experience begins. Driving north (self-drive or transfer shuttle) along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is an unforgettable journey; you’ll immediately understand why the tagline ‘where the reef meets the rainforest’ is no understatement. Here, rainforest-clad mountains grace one side of the road, and the sparkling coral sea, the other.
Port Douglas and its surrounding areas offer a diverse range of wildlife experiences, allowing you to encounter various native species. Some of the wildlife you can see at Port Douglas includes saltwater crocodiles, eastern grey kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wombats, and possums.
While snorkelling or diving, you may encounter colourful coral formations, tropical fish, rays, sharks, and even sea turtles.
Port Douglas is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with numerous bird species inhabiting the area. Keep an eye out for rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, cockatoos, and various waterbirds like egrets and herons.
The Great Barrier Reef is relatively close to Port Douglas, making it an ideal destination for reef exploration. The distance between Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef can vary depending on the specific reef site visited and the tour operator's departure location.
Generally, the outer reef, where the most diverse and vibrant marine life can be found, is located approximately 50 to 70 kilometres offshore from Port Douglas, taking about 1.5 to 2 hours by boat.
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