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Guide to Port Douglas

Aboriginal name:  Manjal Jalunbuy

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  • Getting to Port Douglas
  • When to visit

With its luxe resorts and dining scene, Port Douglas is the ideal base for exploring pristine rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.

The laidback tropical town of Port Douglas is the gateway to two UNESCO World Heritage-listed natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and the expanses of the Daintree Rainforest. It’s also a popular resort destination in its own right, with the tree-fringed sands of Four Mile Beach stretching down the bay and a leafy, compact town centre lined with hip cafés and bars. Superyachts from around the world berth at Port Douglas’s sheltered marina, where tour boats depart for sightseeing cruises to nearby coral cays and expeditions to spectacular diving spots on the outer reefs.

Aboriginal culture is rich in Port Douglas/Manjal Jalunbuy. The Traditional Owners of the land are the Kukuk Yalangi people, who have been living in harmony with the rainforests of north Queensland for some 50,000 years. Aboriginal experiences are plentiful in Manjal Jalunbuy all year round and offer a unique perspective into the First Nation people’s fascinating, sustainable way of life.

  • Traditional name: Manjal Jalunbuy
  • Indigenous Peoples: Kukuk Yalangi people
  • Traditional lands: Yirrganydji 
  • Traditional languages: Guugu Yalandji (Kuku-Yalanji)
  • How to say g’day in Guugu Yalandji: Yurra Yalada

Port Douglas is an easy one-hour drive along the coastal highway from Cairns, the major transport hub in Tropical North Queensland. 

  • Cairns Airport (CNS) is 65km (40mi) from Port Douglas and services international and domestic arrivals
  • Hire cars and shuttle services to Port Douglas are available at Cairns Airport and in central Cairns
  • You can hire cars, scooters and even small boats in Port Douglas

You can visit most local restaurants and shops by foot, and most tour operators will pick you up from your accommodation. If you’re interested in a self-drive day trip, hiring a car is best.

Port Douglas enjoys two distinct tropical seasons. The dry season begins in late autumn, around May, with relatively warm temperatures and lower humidity extending through the winter months and into mid-spring, around October. The summer season of steamy heat and occasional rainstorms begins in November and continues through to mid autumn, in April. 

  • High season: Winter (June to August) and summer (December to February)
  • Low season: Autumn (March to May) 
  • Don’t miss: Taking a Great Barrier Reef cruise from Port Douglas Marina; you’ll experience the best underwater visibility between May and October

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Port Douglas Australia

Best Time to Visit Port Douglas

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The best time to visit Port Douglas is of course when you can visit. Never let the weather put you off too much, but should you choose summer or winter, wet season or dry and should you factor in stinger season ? A lot depends on which of the things to do in Port Douglas appeal to you most. Do you need the best time for visiting the Great Barrier Reef or to take a tour to The Cape and Daintree ? Would you like to see the humpback or minke whales or just enjoy Four Mile Beach? We’ll try to break it down for you. We’ve added an update about the recent cyclones (January 2024). Port Douglas is open but Cyclone Jasper did change the face of the Douglas Shire, somewhat.

You have been redirected from the website World Travel Family to this specialist Port Douglas website (by the same owners). This site will serve you better. If you’d like to return to World Travel Family, please do!

Use the index below to determine if your chosen month is a good time to visit.

Port Douglas Carnivale

  • Christmas and New Year in Port Douglas
  • Cyclone Season
  • Stinger Season

We’ll look at the weather in Port Douglas month by month and help you judge what the best time to visit Port Douglas is for you and the things you want to do.

We have a tropical climate here in Port Douglas so temperatures don’t fluctuate greatly.

The hottest, wettest time in Port Douglas is November to April, after the monsoon.

The cooler, dryer period is June to October. Really, we only have 2 seasons, the dry and the wet, with ” the build-up” preceding the start of the wet. During the build up it gets hotter and drier, clouds start to build, and we’re all waiting for the first rains, usually in December, sometimes November.

There are many things to do in Port Douglas, some you can do in the rain if you’re so inclined, but some businesses and activities close for a while in the wet season.

You also need to check out the things to do in Cairns because some of those will be best appreciated at certain times of the year.

So figure out what you’d like to do in Far North Queensland and then see when the weather will allow it.

It is our opinion, as locals, that the ideal time is the shoulder seasons, either side of stinger season and the wet season.

If you’re strapped for cash, come in the wet, prices can be lower then and if you’re in luck conditions on the reef could still be great.

There is also the risk of very bad days out there, so if you only have a day or two and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef is your goal, you could risk disappointment.

Without doubt, visiting outside of the main tourist season can make your Queensland holiday cheaper .

If you’re looking for a family holiday in Port Douglas and want to find things to do in Port Douglas with kids , school holiday times are popular. I think with kids I’d avoid the very hot times. October can be very hot as we wait for the weather to break.

Cyclones happen up here in Port Douglas too, we have a paragraph on that below.

Best Time To Visit Port Douglas – Guide

Stinger season & water temperature in port douglas.

Best Time to visit Port Douglas for Great Barrier Reef

The best time for swimming in Port Douglas, we think, would probably be April, May to October or November and early December.

Be aware that in the winter months here (northern hemisphere’s summer) it may be cooler, but you’re avoiding the marine stingers of tropical summer.

Stinger season is generally November to March, with the beginning and end of stinger season being safest. We do swim on the beach and on The Great Barrier reef throughout stinger season. You can wear a stinger suit or use the swimming enclosure on Four Mile Beach.

Water temperatures are at their lowest, at 23º C in July and generally max out in February at 29º C.

A good storm can, and hopefully does, cool the sea temperature at that time of year. 30º C is enough to cause coral bleaching. There has been some bleaching in the 2023-2024 summer, but there’s also plenty of pristine coral off Port Douglas.

Port Douglas Weather Month by Month

January in port douglas.

January a good time to visit POrt Douglas

January is super hot, humid and wet but you may still get some good days.

Expect temperatures between 32 and 26C . It’s the middle of summer and the middle of the wet season.

In January February and March, we will likely experience maximum rainfall at over 400 mm in an average month.

Early January will still be quite busy in Port Douglas as the Australian school holidays are long. After Australia Day things quieten down and some businesses will close. Is January the best time to visit Port Douglas? No, it’s not, but it can be a good time to visit if you have plenty of time to wait out any possible storms or weather events. On a good day, the visibility on the reef in January can be phenomenal.

In January 2024 Port Douglas had a few issues after Cyclone Jasper. The road from Cairns to Port Douglas was closed for a while, but did open towards the end of January. There have been intermittent issues with the mains water supply, but we believe that’s been fixed and the water is back on.

Can you get cyclones in Port Douglas in January? Yes, but a cyclone directly hitting Port Douglas is rare. Port Douglas had no real effect with Cyclone Kyrilli, which hit Townsville.

Is it worth visiting Port Douglas in January?

Many people visit Port Douglas in January because it is school holidays, Christmas to Australia Day are a fairly busy period for tourists in Port Douglas.

It doesn’t rain all day, every day, we still have good weather in January, some days, and the reef boats will run unless the weather is particularly bad.

If you have bad luck and your visit coincides with a tropical storm or cyclone being nearby, then yes, you may see days of never-ending rain. But if you’re lucky, January can be a great time to visit Port Douglas. If it’s not raining it’s likely to be very hot and humid, the sea should be like a warm bath. Yes, it will be stinger season and there may be more debris on Four Mile Beach because of storms.

There can be flooding nearby too. Port Douglas itself very rarely floods to any extent. This is a great time of year to see Barron River Falls, near Cairns , in full flood!

February in Port Douglas

Best times to visit Port Douglas February

Nothing much changes temperature-wise in February, maximum and minimum temperatures are still 32ºC and 26ºC.

Rain continues, it may be even wetter than January. Humidity is at its highest in February, 79%.

When we experience severe heavy rain in Port Douglas it’s quite likely that there will be flooding in Daintree or as far south as Townsville. This southern flooding can close roads and restrict access to far north Queensland so if you’re heading to Port by car be aware of that.

It’s very unusual to see flooding actually in Port Douglas itself, but it has happened.

Be aware that in February some local businesses and restaurants may be shut. This is the lowest of the low season and tourist numbers drop once the kids go back to school.

February is likely the quietest time in Port Douglas

The Port Douglas Hot and Steamy LGBTQ+ Festival was to be held in February 2024, but unfortunately it has been cancelled. ( source )

This event was planned to feature dining, partying and even a reef day.

Niramaya could be a good place to stay for this as they are planning to host a pool party for this event. Things can and do change often up here, so please double-check event specifics for yourself.

Can you get cyclones in Port Douglas in February? Yes, but as for January, it’s rare. In February 2024 Port Douglas is open after Cyclone Jasper although February is normally considered the worst time to visit Port Douglas, you may be able to find cheap deals and promotions.

March in Port Douglas

Visit Port Douglas March

Autumn is here! Temperatures just may drop a little in March and by the end of March, things should be getting more comfortable.

Expect temperatures between 31 and 25 C. Again, it may be wet, but we’re coming to the end of the rainy season and it feels like better weather is returning. Port Douglas starts to get a little busier in March, it’s not a bad time to visit and you may find some off-season bargains.

Easter 2024 is Sunday, March 31st, Port Douglas is always busy over the Easter school holidays and some tours will be booked out. Easter is a good time to visit, but book your hotel, tours and activities in advance.

April in Port Douglas

April is a good time, temperatures are easier to take, at between 29ºC and 24º C. It can still be pretty wet with an average of 200 mm of rain this month. s still stinger season, but it will be almost the end of the season.

Humidity seems to tail off around March / April /May and our hair gets less curly. April can be a good time to visit Port Douglas, but it isn’t usually considered “the best.” After the Easter school holidays, Port Douglas will be a little quieter, and probably cheaper.

May in Port Douglas

Port Douglas should experience another good temperature drop in May, we’re down to 28 – 23 C now and days of rain are starting to decrease nicely. Stinger Season will be coming to a close. The stinger nets are no longer in use at Port Douglas Beach as of this week (May 2024)

Port Douglas Carnivale is usually held at the end of May, the weather is pretty good and the tourist crowds are expected to arrive from next month. Carnivale dates and events are further down the page.

Another May event should be the Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week hosted by the local yacht club.

We recently went out to the reef at the very end of May. Visibility was good, water temperature was a cool to comfortable 26ºC. It was a great time to go out, but towards the end of a 40 minute scuba dive in a light shortie wetsuit (provided by the boat) I started to feel cool rather than perfectly comfortable.

Snorkelling for 30 mins in the same wetsuit we felt no cold at all. People were snorkelling without wetsuits and, as stinger season was over for us, no stinger suits.

I think May is a very good time to visit Port Douglas, possibly the best time, you can swim in Australia’s tropical waters without worrying too much about marine stingers in May to late October. But it’s never guaranteed!

June in Port Douglas

It’s getting dry and it’s the first day of winter.  Expect temperatures between 26 and 21 C and markedly less rain, this is the official dry season’s beginning. This is the start of high season and possibly my favourite month to live in Port. Nighttime temperatures could warrant a cardigan or fleece. During the day it can be comfortable to wear long sleeves or even light jumpers, depending on cloud cover.

June is not stinger season normally.

July in Port Douglas

Best Time To Visit Port Douglas July Weather

July is mid-winter and should be the coolest month in Port Douglas. 25-21 C is typical with low rainfall. 6 days. Nights are cool, you could call them cold even and if you’re out before dawn to run or walk, you’ll feel a nip in the air.

The humpback whales should arrive in the Coral Sea, off Port Douglas, about now and will stay until September. You are very likely to see the whales on your way to or from the reef. We recommend you book a Wavelength Cruise (here) because this boat will often stop for you to see the whales. This boat has a maximum capacity of 50 people, so book a spot.

July is probably the busiest month in Port Douglas because of school holidays in the northern hemisphere, coinciding with the shorter mid-year school holidays in Australia. If you plan to visit Port Douglas in July, book early. We recommend The Sheraton , or, a little more affordable, Oaks.

As July is winter, the swimming pools are likely to be chilly, most aren’t heated. Pullman Sea Temple also has an amazing pool. Check it out here.

August in Port Douglas

August will be a touch warmer than July as winter comes to an end. 27ºC – 21ºC and average just 6 days of rain bringing on average under 70 mm in the whole month. Nights can be comfortably cool, you may even feel a little chilly if you’re out running before dawn as we are. People still use the beach in the depths of winter, Port is busy, and yes, they go in the sea, but some swimming pools get pretty chilly at the coldest times of year.

September in Port Douglas

September is possibly the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas, the whales should still be around, the Trade Winds should be calming and the water is starting to warm up. Temperatures are rising, 28ºC -22º C with little rain. Humidity is lowest in Port Douglas in September at 67% This is the start of Australian spring, and my citrus and frangipani trees start to flower. The jackfruit are ripe and mangos are forming. Nights can still be comfortably cool. If the rain has quit for the dry season, expect brown, dead grass. This is a great time to spot crocodiles sunning themselves on river banks at low tide.

October in Port Douglas

Things are building up with maximum temperatures hitting 30C and minimums of 23 C Not much, if any, rain happening yet. This is possibly my favourite time of year for the beach or reef, just before Stinger Season.

October can be very hot, the wet season is about to arrive.

The Port Shorts Film Festival is due to be held in Port Douglas in October 2020.

November in Port Douglas

It’s pretty warm in Port Douglas in November ! 32-25 C and we look forward to maybe some electric storms in the afternoon.

Not much rain usually falls though, we need December to arrive for a good soaking. 

November is the official start of the wet season. November is a great time to visit Port Douglas, but it will be hot, and you will likely be visiting in early stinger season.

The stinger nets should be in the water at Four Mile beach from the start of November.

December in Port Douglas

In December everyone is usually waiting for the wet to arrive and bring more relief from the heat and water for our gardens. 2023 was a strange year, the wet season arrived in November with a cyclone / tropical storm. This is rare. So visiting Port Douglas in November or for Christmas can be a gamble, you may have great weather and swimming conditions. Or you may see a week of rain.

In December 2018 we had an early cyclone, a small but damaging Category 1.

Temps are normally getting up around 32 to 25 C in December and the rains will hopefully provide afternoon relief as the month wears on. Summer has arrived and the mango season with it.

We often have infrequent light rain at night through December and the beach can be perfection. Of course, Stinger Season is here by December and the stinger nets are in place on Four Mile Beach.

Sea and reef conditions can be good in the first weeks of December and we can have some great beach days plus enough rain to keep everything green. We have enjoyed a sunset sail with perfect calm conditions in early December. This is the sunset sail we recommend .

Very little happens for Christmas in Port Douglas but most hotels and restaurants are very busy over the Christmas period itself. Things quieten down either side of the big school holidays. The Pullman Sea Temple Resort and Spa normally offers a very good Christmas lunch and dinner. Book this resort here. The incredible swimming pool at this hotel should be nice and warm in December.

Expect prices for car hire and hotels to start increasing around the 15th to 20th of December.

Don’t expect much by way of public Christmas decorations and lights but some of the locals really go to town. You’ll find some houses decked out spectacularly in residential areas.

The lights on the trees on Macrossan Street are year-round features, they don’t go up just for Christmas. They’re really pretty!

Special Holidays, Festivals and Events in Port Douglas

Carnival is generally towards the end of May. In 2024 the Port Douglas Carnivale is May 24 – May 26 th, a lot shorter than previous years. This year marks Carnivale’s 30th anniversary.

The Street Parade is on Friday 24th May, from 4.30 pm. Macrossan Street will be closed for the parade. The best place to watch the parade is The Irish Pub, we think, but it will be packed and you’ll need to get there early.

The Spiegeltent opened in Port Douglas, with shows between the 16th and 26th May 2024. You can book tickets here.

Carnivale events usually include a street parade, seafood extravaganza, longest lunch, a small funfair and dining events. It’s fun if your visit happens to coincide with Carnivale.

Christmas in Port Douglas

It’s quite usual around here to stay in a hotel over Christmas with many big hotels offering seasonal feasts on December 25th.

Take a look at The Sheraton and SeaTemple if you’re looking for special dining events on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Not much happens in Port for Christmas other than a small tree at the end of Macrossan Street and a Christmas concert mostly featuring local kids – Carols in the Park. I’ve only been once and it was very hot and there weren’t many Christmas Carols, more general singing.

We also have a local amateur theatre group in Port Douglas, in 2019 they were presenting “The Wizard of Oz” at the Clink Theatre.

New Year in Port Douglas

There is normally a New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Port Douglas, 2 in fact. One is early for those who need to be tucked up in bed before midnight. January 1st is New Year’s Day.

The CIAF Indiginous Art Fair

School holidays in port douglas.

In Australia, the long school holidays are in Australian summer, which is Christmas. 2019 dates are ( approximately ) 22nd December to 3rd February. Local kids will also be on holiday over Easter (7th July – 22nd July 2019) and have a day off for Anzac Day ( 25th April ) and Australia Day ( 26th – 27th January). Half-term holidays are around 7th to 22nd July and 29th September to 14th October. These dates are meant as a guide only please double-check them yourself.

Port Douglas Markets Are Open Year-Round

Port Douglas Markets do run all year round but in the wet season expect a much smaller market than in the drier, cooler months. I used to have a market stall and if it was pouring with rain I wouldn’t go.

Also know that there is a small Saturday morning market in nearby Mossman .

This one mostly centres around produce but it’s a nice thing to go see on a Saturday morning and there is a good children’s playground right opposite.

The Reef Fleet Runs Year-Round

The reef fleet does run all year but bad weather will cause cancellations from time to time. It’s rare for the boats to not go out, however, it can get pretty windy out there sometimes and if good visibility and calm seas are important to you, pick your time to visit wisely.

Check the weather forecast.

Stinger season doesn’t normally affect diving or snorkelling but you will be required to wear a full-body stinger suit.

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in Australia

The seasons are strictly regulated in Australia with each season beginning on the first of the month and each season lasting exactly 3 months.

Spring starts in September, summer starts in December, autumn starts in March and winter starts in June. I know it’s confusing, I’m from the Northern Hemisphere!

When is Cyclone Season in Port Douglas?

Cyclone season isn’t the best time to visit. Cyclone season in tropical north Queensland and Port Douglas is approximately November to May.  

A tropical low, tropical storm or cyclone in the region can bring a lot of rain over several days.

Chances of getting a cyclone in November or April – May seem pretty slim to me, having lived here for over a decade, but it can happen.

As far as I know, there hasn’t been a major direct cyclone hit in Port in many years.

I’ve never experienced one. For information on current tropical cyclones, check the BOM

Driving Further North from Port Douglas, Flooding and Road Closures on Roads to The Cape

Obviously, road conditions are unpredictable and vary but in general, there is only a short window of opportunity to drive on up to Cooktown, Cape York and the Tip. 

If you want to do this you’ll join the 4 wheel drive convoys in June to October for the best chance of ideal conditions. You can check the Creb Track opening and conditions here.

Where To Stay in Port Douglas, At Any Time of Year!

As a very quick guide to places to stay in Port, the two big luxury resort hotels are The Sheraton Grand Mirage and The Pullman Sea Temple .

Both of these resorts are regarded as great for families with vast swimming pools. We know both well and we happily recommend either.

Our backpackers will want to look at Dougies (which has been sold, but it’s open still for now), it’s a bit of a classic and we first stayed there many years ago as young backpackers. We visited the town we now call home on a 12-month RTW. There are two other Backpacker’s (Hostels), Global Backpackers and Port Douglas Backpackers , both are in town, and cost about the same.

The Lazy Lizard Motel (see it here) wins awards for being a quality budget choice. We haven’t tried it so can’t comment. There are also a few adults-only luxury establishments. Try this one.

We hope that was helpful! So now you know your best time to visit Port Douglas, go ahead and book your Port Douglas accommodation and organise your trip of a lifetime to the Great Barrier Reef. We’re working on even more guides to our corner of Queensland Australia every day. For ideas on other destinations to visit in Queensland, see our post on places to visit in Queensland .

scuba diving from port douglas australia

Alyson Long

St. mary’s by the sea, what to pack for port douglas, 2 thoughts on “best time to visit port douglas”.

Port Douglas is a lovely place, quite exclusive actually. But as the author says, you may be unlucky with the weather in January. My wife and me were very unlucky in January 2019 because it rained all the four days we were there, leaden grey skies. Strewth we paid a fortune to escape those back in the UK. The Barrier reef in such weather is hopeless, nothing like you have seen on tv, even the sea is grey. We did have a great day out to the Daintree river, rainforest, Cape Tribulation beach etc. The rain held off that day until late afternoon. I couldn’t wait to get to the airport and fly to Sydney.

Hi David, sorry you only had four days here and got so unlucky. I have to say, that The Great Barrier Reef can be fabulous in the rain. It doesn’t rain underwater. If the sea isn’t too stirred up and the visibility is good it’s great. You can get outstanding visibility in January, but there can also be bad weather that forces boats to cancel. People unfortunately have strange expectations about the reef thanks to photos of unhealthy, distressed coral. When coral is in its death throws the colours become much brighter. Healthy coral doesn’t have much colour, it’s mostly brown, so the marine biologists and master reef guides on the boats go to great lengths to help people understand this. My husband works out there as a reef guide and it’s incredibly rare that they have a disappointed tourist, most days, even bad weather days, everyone is happy. The fish are always colourful, and there’s plenty of them. They see sharks and turtles pretty much every day and those are the big draws for tourists. The dolphins and whales are less common, but still common. It’s incredibly rare to have a full week of bad weather, but if you visit in January you’re obviously taking a chance with the cyclones and tropical storms, January is the middle of the wet season. Sorry you wanted to escape the UK too, as a British person I’d be delighted to be there and wouldn’t care about trivialities like the weather. All that history and culture, it’s an incredible place.

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Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

Embarking on a journey to the stunning shores of Port Douglas, Australia? This article is the perfect companion for you! It’s a comprehensive guide that maps out the most idyllic times to plan your visit to this coastal paradise. From sunshine-filled summer months to the tranquillity of the off-peak seasons, it provides a detailed overview, allowing you to perfectly tailor your trip to align with your preferences. So, pack your bags and get ready to embrace the adventure that awaits you in Port Douglas!

Table of Contents

Understanding Port Douglas’s Climate

Port Douglas in Australia offers a tropical climate, making it a revered tourist destination. The climate is largely characterized by two significant seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

General Climate Information

The tropical climate in Port Douglas is characterized by high temperatures and heavy rainfall especially during the wet season. The average temperature usually ranges between 20 to 30 degree Celsius throughout the year.

Seasonal Changes in Port Douglas

Port Douglas experiences a dry season, typically from May to October, and a wet season, which runs from November to April. The dry season is marked by lower humidity and less rainfall, while the wet season is characterized by heavy rain and higher humidity.

Typical Weather Conditions

The weather in Port Douglas is tropical year-round, with high humidity levels. During the wet season, you can expect frequent rain showers and thunderstorms. In contrast, the dry season brings milder temperatures and lower humidity, with less frequent rain showers.

Peak Season in Port Douglas

The peak season in Port Douglas usually coincides with the dry season.

Tourist Crowds

During the peak season, Port Douglas is bustling with tourists from all over the world, leading to a lively and energetic atmosphere. However, be prepared for crowded beaches and tourist spots.

Accommodation Rates during Peak Season

Due to the influx of tourists, accommodation rates tend to be higher during the peak season. It is recommended to book your accommodation well in advance to secure the best prices and avoid disappointment.

Activities & Events during Peak Season

The peak season is an excellent time to indulge in outdoor activities such as wildlife viewing, hiking, biking, and water sports. There are also several events and festivals held during this time that offer unique cultural experiences.

Off-Peak Season in Port Douglas

The off-peak season in Port Douglas usually coincides with the wet season.

Tourist Traffic during Off-Peak

During the off-peak season, Port Douglas sees fewer tourists, resulting in less crowded tourist spots and a relaxed atmosphere.

Accommodation Costs during Off-Peak Season

Accommodation rates are usually lower during the off-peak season. This period presents a great opportunity for budget travelers to explore Port Douglas.

Activities & Events during Off-Peak Season

Despite the wet season, there are still plenty of indoor activities and events to enjoy. Be sure to check out the local museums, art galleries, and indoor markets.

Visiting Port Douglas during Dry Season

The dry season is a popular time for tourists to visit Port Douglas.

Weather Conditions during Dry Season

During the dry season, you can expect sunny days with milder temperatures. The humidity is also much lower compared to the wet season.

Activities & Excursions during Dry Season

The dry season provides ideal conditions for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, swimming and exploring the Great Barrier Reef. This is also the best time for wildlife viewing as animals are more active during this period.

Travel preparation for Dry Season

Bring along sunscreen, hats and lightweight clothing to keep comfortable in the heat. Also, remember to stay hydrated, especially while undertaking outdoor activities.

Visiting Port Douglas during Wet Season

Although the wet season sees fewer tourists, it’s still a beautiful time to visit Port Douglas.

Weather Conditions during Wet Season

The wet season is characterized by heavy and frequent rainfall. However, it is also accompanied by an amazing lush greenery and spectacular waterfalls.

Activities & Excursions during Wet Season

Despite the rain, there are many activities to enjoy. You can visit the renowned rainforests or simply relax indoors, enjoying the local cuisine and culture.

Travel preparation for Wet Season

Make sure to pack an umbrella, a raincoat, and waterproof footwear. Mosquito repellents are also recommended as these insects are more prevalent during the wet season.

Best Time for Outdoor Activities

Outdoor activities in Port Douglas are plentiful, with the region offering everything from hiking and biking to wildlife viewing.

Best Time for Water Sports

Dry season, with its sunny days and calm seas, is the best time to enjoy water sports like snorkeling, diving, sailing and swimming.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is best during the dry season when animals are more likely to be out and about, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.

Best Time for Hiking, Biking and Adventure Sports

The dry season, with its milder temperatures and dry trails, makes for the perfect time for hiking, biking and other adventure sports.

Best Time for Beach Activities

Port Douglas is known for its beautiful and relaxing beaches.

Sunbathing and Beach Relaxation

The best time for sunbathing and relaxing on the beach is during the dry season when the weather is sunny and dry.

Swimming and Snorkelling

Swimming and snorkeling conditions are best during the dry season when the sea is calm and visibility is optimal due to lack of rain and wind.

Beach Parties and Events

With a lively tourist scene in the dry season, beach parties and other social events are more common and exciting during the peak season.

Best Time for Exploring Great Barrier Reef

Port Douglas is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.

Diving Conditions

The best diving conditions at the Great Barrier Reef are during the dry season when sea conditions are calm and visibility is highest.

Marine Life Visibility

Marine life visibility is best between August and December when the water is at its clearest.

Boat Tours and Cruises to the Reef

Boat tours and cruises to the Great Barrier Reef are best enjoyed during the dry season due to favourable sea conditions.

Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

Visiting Port Douglas during Special Events or Festivals

One of the unique ways to experience the local culture of Port Douglas is by attending its festivals and events.

Popular Local Festivals

There are a number of popular local festivals in Port Douglas, with the Carnival in May being one of the most famous and celebrated.

Cultural Events in Port Douglas

Cultural events such as art exhibitions and music concerts are held throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Sports Events and Marathons

Port Douglas hosts a variety of sporting events and marathons, especially during the dry season when the weather is optimal for outdoor sports.

Safety Considerations while Travelling to Port Douglas

Your safety should always be your priority when traveling to Port Douglas.

Safety Precautions during Wet Season

During the wet season, be aware of potential flooding and take precautions on the road. Also, beware of the increased mosquito activity during this period.

UV Protection

The Australian sun is strong and UV protection is essential year-round. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when outdoors.

Jellyfish Safety

Jellyfish can be a hazard in Australian waters. Always pay attention to beach safety signs and swim in netted areas where possible.

Tips for Safe Travel in Port Douglas

Apart from taking precautions against natural hazards, always make sure your valuables are secure and be mindful of your surroundings. With these simple safeguards in place, your visit to Port Douglas will undoubtedly be memorable.

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World >  Australia >  QLD >  Port Douglas >   Essential Info

Port Douglas: Essential Info

Updated: 2024

Port Douglas is an easy and relaxing place to visit. The weather is great and it's a tourist town, so everything is set up to help you enjoy the trip as much as possible.

Swimming safety is probably the main issue of concern, but risks of crocs and jellyfish are easily avoided (see below).

Take a look through our list below of all the essential information you will likely need before visiting Port Douglas and you will be ready for an incredible holiday.

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Port Douglas Essential Info

Getting around port douglas.

Port Douglas is small enough that everything is walkable, especially if you are staying near to the town centre, at the northern end.

The town is located on a spit of land with houses and hotels on either side of the one main road that provides the way in and out of town. Macrossan Street is effectively the town centre and it's located at the very end of the main road. Four Mile beach runs parallel, so wherever you are staying, you are sure to be within a quick walk to the beach.

The beach and town are approximately 5km long, so it will take around one hour to walk the full length. When you get to the town centre, it's fairly small and only takes 10 minutes to walk from the beach at one end to the St Mary's By The Sea chapel at the other.


Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas © Travel Unpacked

Shuttle Bus

If you choose a hotel that is a little bit too far to walk to the town centre you should look to use the many shuttle buses that run a loop around town, stopping at many of the larger hotels. There are different companies running these shuttles, so remember which one you go into town on for your return journey, if you buy a return ticket, which are around $5. They run all day, 7 days a week.

Cycles are too expensive to hire to make this your main transportation option. If you are driving to Port Douglas and bring your own, then Port Douglas is a good place to use your bike. The main road has a relatively wide shoulder that doubles as a cycle lane and, when the tide is low, Four Mile beach is cyclable too.

Taxi / Uber

There are Uber drivers in Port Douglas, but only a handful. There are some taxis too if you want door to door transport that cannot be provided by the shuttles.

A car is not needed for getting around town but it is very useful if you want to see some of the attractions outside town and you don't want to take a tour. Mossman Gorge, the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are all top choices in this respect.


Great barrier reef drive, Port Douglas © Travel Unpacked

Car Rental/Share car

There are a few car rental companies in Port Douglas, especially on or near Macrossan street, including Avis, Budget and some local companies. Another option may be to rent a car at Cairns airport and driving yourself to Port Douglas so you can stop at the lookouts on the magnificent Great Barrier Reef Drive.


Food in port douglas.

Port Douglas has plenty of great food options. Most of the restaurants are either on Macrossan street or at the Marina, where you can take in fantastic views across the water.

For a meal with an atmosphere try the Tin Shed for some great sunset ocean views or Nautilus to get under the rainforest canopy right in the town centre.

Flames of the forest offer an aboriginal  diner experience.

A couple of tours may be of interest - Brett's outback tasting adventure and the aboriginal  hunting tour , where you fish and spear some crabs.

For more info on food in Port Douglas try here  or here .

Shopping In Port Douglas

All the shops that would be of interest are on Macrossan street or at the Marina. The biggest shopping draw though is the Sunday market that is held on the grass beside the St Mary's By The Sea chapel and sells locally made products and crafts. A similar market is also held on a Wednesday at the marina.

Art galleries are a plenty and often have an aboriginal style.


Macrossan street, Port Douglas © Travel Unpacked

Events In Port Douglas

The Sunday market is the main regular event to look out for. In terms of annual events, there are the following: -

There is a marathon  with various shorter distances available. An ultra-marathon is run from Cairns with some of the distance options ending in Port Douglas. The croc trophy is a long running mountain bike stage event. A yacht race week takes place in May and for fishing, the Marlin Challenge is in November.

A week long tropical celebration with live music, cabaret acts, a parade, beach day, parties and much more. Takes place in May. More info here .

The Port Shorts film festival runs over two days in October. More info here .

New Years Eve

Two fireworks displays, one early one for kids and then another at midnight.

Information on smaller events can be found here and here.

Nightlife in Port Douglas

Things are a bit more relaxed and family friendly in Port Douglas, so there isn't a massive nightlife beyond quiet drinks by the water or with a meal. There are a few bars and hotels though to make the night last a bit longer - try The Iron bar and Jimmy's mixing lounge.

Port Douglas has good weather all year round. Summer is hot and humid with temperatures topping 30 degrees whilst winter is not that different, just less humid and expect temperatures to be more like 25 degrees. June to October is the dryer and cooler period whilst November to April is the hotter and wetter season, where monsoon rains can fall.

Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

Any time is suitable due to the year round warm tropical weather. If you can't handle the heat so much and want to avoid the chance of experiencing tropical rain storms, try to stick to the winter months. It's a good idea to check what events are on, if any, in case you want (or don't want) to coincide with Carnivale or the marathon, for example.

Port Douglas church.JPG

St Mary's By The Sea Chapel, Port Douglas © Travel Unpacked

Port Douglas is generally a very safe town with no specific concerns over safety, except for when you think about getting into the water.

Four Mile beach is the only beach you can swim at in Port Douglas - the inlet on the opposite side (around the marina) has a high risk of crocodiles being present. Crocs can be found at Four Mile beach too, but it is rare and lifeguards are watching out for them.

Stinger (jellyfish) season comes with a stinger net that protects an area of the beach near to the town centre, so be sure to use this when advised (usually November to May).

Always follow the advice on the warning signs and only swim between the flags where the lifeguards are present.

More info here and  here .

Other swimming options include your hotel swimming pool (most have them) or  freshwater swimming holes that are too cold for crocs - if you see warning signs at swimming holes, always follow their advice.

Port Douglas was established in 1877 and grew quickly off the back of a nearby gold discovery. A cyclone in 1911 demolished almost the entire town before it was rebuilt. It continued as a fishing village, steadily declining and only having a population of 100 people in 1960. Tourism arrived in the 1980's when the Sheraton Mirage was built and the town has never looked back. Today it's population is well over 3000.

Read more here  and here .


Outback sign, Queensland © Travel Unpacked

Where Next?

Port Douglas is almost at the very top of the stretch of tarmac (actually about 250km north of here) that runs up Australia's east coast, so unless you have an off-road outback trip planned, Port Douglas is usually the last destination.

Cairns - Whilst many would say that Port Douglas is superior  to Cairns, the small city does have a lot to offer tourists, so you could consider spending a few days here to extend your barrier reef/tropical Q ueensland trip.

Outback - North of Port Douglas is Cape York, where you can drive dirt roads on a 'trip to the tip' (the north eastern tip of Australia). Alternatively, you could head through the Atherton tablelands and go West, into the interior outback, towards the Undara lava tubes and beyond to Mt Isa or Normanton and onward to the NT, or south towards Longreach.

Queensland Coast - South of Cairns the coastline continues for a long way before you get to Brisbane. You will pass through Townsville before getting to the highlight  - the Whitsunday's.

Need info on 'How to get to Port Douglas?' or 'Where to stay?'

Go to the second page of our travel guide for the full run down.

Or, go to page 1 to discover all the 'Things to do' .


Christopher Jubb , Founder of Travel Unpacked

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Discover the Beauty of Port Douglas

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About Port Douglas

Welcome to Port Douglas, a stunning seaside town located in Far North Queensland, Australia. Port Douglas is a favourite destination for travellers who want to experience the best of tropical Queensland, with easy access to the iconic Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, and many other natural wonders.

Port Douglas is located approximately an hour’s drive north of Cairns and offers a laid-back, yet luxurious lifestyle. The town is surrounded by the lush greenery of the Daintree Rainforest and features a stunning coastline with crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches.

Facilities :

Fitness classes, hand massage, coffee morning, secured parking, airport pick up, daily housekeeping, restaurant and bar’s, things to do in port douglas.


The Great Barrier Reef

One of the most popular attractions in Port Douglas is the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system. Visitors can take a short boat ride to explore the reef's underwater world, filled with colourful marine life, including tropical fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and even whales during migration season. The reef is a must-visit for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts, as well as for those who simply want to relax and soak up the sun on a secluded beach.


The Daintree Rainforest

Another popular attraction is the Daintree Rainforest, which is located just north of Port Douglas. The rainforest is one of the oldest and most diverse in the world and is home to many unique species of plants and animals, including the endangered cassowary. Visitors can take a guided tour to explore the rainforest trails, waterfalls, and wildlife.


Accommodation options in Port Douglas

Accommodation in Port Douglas ranges from luxury resorts to charming bed and breakfasts, and everything in between. Whether you're looking for a romantic escape, a family-friendly holiday, or a solo adventure, Port Douglas has something to offer.


Port Douglas' vibrant café culture and world-class restaurants

For those seeking a more relaxed pace, Port Douglas has a vibrant café culture, boutique shops, and a variety of world-class restaurants. The town's main street, Macrossan Street, is a popular spot for visitors to browse local shops and enjoy a coffee or meal.

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Get To Know Port Douglas:

Uncover the Answers to Your Burning Questions About Port Douglas: An Exciting Guide for Curious Travellers

You can reach Port Douglas by car, bus, or shuttle from Cairns, which has an international airport. The drive from Cairns takes around an hour along the scenic Captain Cook Highway. Alternatively, you can fly directly into Port Douglas via Cairns Airport's domestic terminal.

The best time to visit Port Douglas is from May to September when the weather is warm and dry. This is also peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and crowds. If you prefer a quieter trip, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of April or October, when the weather is still pleasant but there are fewer visitors.

The must-see attractions in Port Douglas include the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, Four Mile Beach, and the Sunday Port Douglas Markets. You can also take a scenic drive to the nearby Mossman Gorge or the charming village of Kuranda.

Port Douglas offers a range of activities, including snorkelling and diving on the Great Barrier Reef, exploring the Daintree Rainforest, sailing, fishing, and kayaking. You can also take a scenic helicopter or hot air balloon ride, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the tropical vibe.

There are plenty of accommodation options in Port Douglas to suit all budgets, including luxury resorts, apartments, villas, and bed and breakfasts. Some popular areas to stay include Macrossan Street, Four Mile Beach, and the Marina Mirage precinct.

While Port Douglas has some beautiful beaches, it's important to be aware of potential hazards such as strong currents, stingers (jellyfish), and saltwater crocodiles in some areas. Always swim between the flags at patrolled beaches, and check local warnings before entering the water.


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Queensland Traveller acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

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Your Complete Guide To Visiting Port Douglas

Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Far North Queensland lies the laidback sultry haven of Port Douglas.

This charming coastal town, just 65 km from Cairns, is situated between the awe-inspiring Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest. It is a terrific place to visit for a relaxing or romantic beach getaway, to explore the lush rainforest that surrounds the area or to check out the islands that reside offshore.

In this complete guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about visiting Port Douglas. From how to get there and where to stay to what to eat and what to see, we’ll cover all the essential information required to maximise your time there.

So make sure you keep reading until the end to ensure you have a magical time in this stunning tropical destination.

Best Time to Visit Port Douglas

The best time to visit Port Douglas largely depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. But essentially it enjoys a tropical climate, characterised by two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season.

The dry season, which runs from May to October, is generally considered the best time to visit. During this period, the weather is warm and pleasant, with lower humidity levels and minimal rainfall. It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities such as snorkelling, diving, exploring the rainforest and enjoying the beach. The dry season also coincides with the peak tourist season, so if you come at this time expect larger crowds and higher accommodation rates. It is also advisable to make reservations well in advance.

If you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons, which are the transitional periods between the wet and dry seasons. These are from April to May and September to November. The weather is still favourable during these months and you can enjoy relatively lower visitor numbers and accommodation prices.

The wet season, from November to March, brings higher temperatures, humidity and tropical showers. While the rainforest becomes lush and vibrant during this time, the Great Barrier Reef can experience reduced visibility due to runoff from rivers. However, the wet season can be an excellent time for birdwatching, exploring waterfalls and taking advantage of off-peak rates. Just be prepared for occasional heavy rainfall and the possibility of stinger season (November to May), during which certain jellyfish can be present in the waters.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Port Douglas depends on your preferences. Just consider the trade-offs and plan accordingly to ensure you make the most of your visit to this tropical paradise.

How to get to Port Douglas

How to get to Port Douglas

Getting to Port Douglas is relatively easy, thanks to its convenient location and various transportation options.

The most common way for international and out of state visitors to reach Port Douglas is by flying into Cairns International Airport. The airport offers both domestic and international flights, making it easily accessible from major cities in Australia and overseas. From Cairns Airport, you can choose between renting a car, taking a shuttle bus, or arranging a private transfer to continue on to Port Douglas.

If you’re already in Queensland or planning a road trip, driving to Port Douglas is a popular choice. The town can be reached via the Captain Cook Highway which incorporates an incredibly scenic stretch of road that hugs the coast.

For those who don’t fancy driving, several coach companies operate scheduled services between Cairns and Port Douglas. These bus services offer a comfortable and affordable way to travel between the two destinations. The journey usually takes around one to one and a half hours, depending on traffic conditions.

Once you arrive in Port Douglas, it’s easy to explore the town and its surrounding attractions on foot or by renting a car or bicycle. Many accommodations also provide shuttle services or can help arrange transportation for your sightseeing adventures.

Things to do in Port Douglas

Whilst in Port Douglas there are plenty of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

From exploring natural wonders to indulging in long beach walks, here are some of the top things you can see and do in the town and the surrounding area.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a must for anyone staying in Port Douglas.

Located just off the coast, the reef is easily accessible from this tropical town, offering a range of options for exploration and adventure. Numerous tour operators in Port Douglas offer day trips and excursions there, providing an opportunity to snorkel or dive amidst the vibrant coral formations and diverse marine life. These tours typically include transfers from Port Douglas to the reef, ensuring a hassle-free and enjoyable experience.

Snorkeling, in particular, is a popular choice for those seeking an up-close encounter with the reef’s remarkable ecosystem. Guided tours take you to prime snorkelling sites, where you can swim alongside colourful coral gardens, tropical fish and perhaps even spot sea turtles and rays. If you’re a certified diver, you can explore deeper sections of the reef and discover its mesmerising underwater world in more detail.

For a truly immersive experience, consider a liveaboard trip. These multi-day expeditions allow you to stay on a boat or floating pontoon near the reef, providing ample time to explore different sites, engage in underwater activities, and even participate in night dives.

If you do visit the Great Barrier Reef, it’s essential to respect and protect this fragile ecosystem. Remember to follow responsible practices, including not touching or damaging the coral and using

reef-friendly sunscreen to minimise environmental impact.

Daintree Rainforest

Daintree Rainforest

Situated about a 90 minute drive north of Port Douglas, the Daintree Rainforest is another must visit destination.

One of the oldest and most diverse rainforests on Earth, it offers a remarkable opportunity to immerse yourself in a lush and ancient ecosystem.

To explore the Daintree Rainforest, you can join guided tours or venture out on your own. Guided tours provide valuable insights into the rainforest’s flora, fauna and indigenous heritage. They are also led by knowledgeable guides who will lead you through enchanting trails, pointing out unique plants, rare animals and sharing stories about the region’s rich cultural significance.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Daintree Rainforest is the chance to encounter its diverse wildlife. Keep an eye out for iconic species such as the endangered Southern Cassowary, colourful birds and playful tree-dwelling mammals. Along the way, you may come across sparkling streams, cascading waterfalls and hidden swimming holes, providing opportunities to cool off and connect with nature.

During your time there, make sure to visit the Daintree Discovery Centre, which offers informative exhibits, canopy tower walks and elevated boardwalks that allow you to experience the rainforest from a different perspective. This center provides a wealth of knowledge about the rainforest’s ecological importance and conservation efforts.

For an interesting immersive cultural experience, consider joining an indigenous-guided tour that showcases the local Kuku Yalanji people’s traditional connections to the land. These tours provide insights into their rich cultural heritage, including bush tucker, medicinal plants and the importance of maintaining the rainforest ecosystem.

Four Mile Beach

Four Mile Beach

Port Douglas is blessed with one of the nicest beaches in Far North Queensland – Four Mile Beach. So any tourists to the town should incorporate a visit there.

Providing a quintessential tropical beach experience, it stretches – as its name suggests – for four miles along the coastline. Offering a picturesque setting for relaxation, recreation and appreciation of the natural beauty that surrounds it.

With its crystal-clear waters and gentle waves, Four Mile Beach is ideal for swimming, sunbathing and beach strolls. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards and has a stinger net, ensuring a safe environment for swimming. You can also try your hand at beach activities like beach volleyball or simply unwind with a good book while soaking up the sun.

The palm-fringed shoreline provides plenty of shade and there are picnic areas and barbecue facilities available for use. It is great for walking on and is a particularly good location to be at sunrise, when the sky blazes with vibrant colours.

Macrossan Street

Macrossan Street

Macrossan Street is the main thoroughfare in Port Douglas and features a good selection of shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries to explore.

Overall it has a nice, relaxed atmosphere which creates a delightful experience to browse its various fashion boutiques, handmade craft stores and souvenir stores.

If you’re visiting on a Sunday, don’t miss the Port Douglas Markets. There you can browse through a diverse range of stalls and immerse yourself in the local community.

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

The Mossman Gorge is just a 20 minute drive from Port Douglas and is another must visit destination during your time in Far North Queensland.

A picturesque destination that showcases the beauty and tranquillity of the region, the main attraction of Mossman Gorge is the crystal-clear Mossman River, which winds through lush rainforest, creating a series of stunning swimming holes and cascading waterfalls. The area is renowned for its breathtaking beauty and offers opportunities for refreshing dips, scenic walks and peaceful picnics amidst nature.

Whilst there, be sure to embark on the Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk, which is guided by local indigenous people who share their deep cultural connection to the land. During it, you can learn about the Kuku Yalanji people’s traditions, ancient stories and traditional plant use. The guided walk also offers insights into the rainforest’s spiritual significance and allows you to appreciate its natural wonders from a unique perspective.

There are several other well-maintained walking trails you can also tackle, including the Gorge Circuit Track, which takes you through the rainforest, across suspension bridges and offering breathtaking views of the river and surrounding vegetation.

Palm Cove

If you fancy a change of scene consider visiting Palm Cove.

This delightful coastal town is just 25 km south of Port Douglas and offers a serene and laid-back atmosphere, a stunning beach and a good range of activities and amenities.

Once you arrive in Palm Cove, you’ll be greeted by a palm-fringed beach that stretches along the shore. With its pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters, it offers an idyllic setting for swimming, sunbathing and leisurely walks. The beach is lined with several charming restaurants, cafes and shops, allowing you to indulge in delectable cuisine and browse through local boutiques.

Palm Cove is also known for its spa and wellness offerings, with a range of luxurious day spas and resorts offering rejuvenating treatments and relaxation experiences. Take advantage of the tranquil surroundings and treat yourself to a massage, facial, or body treatment.


If you enjoy golf , you’ll want to bring your clubs with you to Port Douglas. With its idyllic climate and beautiful landscapes, this tropical paradise offers several exceptional golf courses that cater to

players of all skill levels.

One of the premier golf courses near Port Douglas is the Sheraton Mirage Country Club. Situated right on Four Mile Beach, this 18-hole championship course provides stunning ocean views and lush fairways lined with tropical foliage. Designed by renowned golf architect Peter Thomson, the course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers. The club also features a driving range, putting greens and a pro shop for golf enthusiasts to enhance their game.

Another fantastic option is the Sea Temple Golf Course, located in nearby Palm Cove. This 18-hole links-style course offers a unique and challenging golfing experience, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest. The course is designed by Thomson, Wolveridge and Perrett and features undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that add to the excitement of the game.

For those looking to combine golf with a luxurious resort experience, the Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club is an excellent choice. Located approximately 20 minutes from Port Douglas, this championship golf course offers 18 challenging holes set amidst lush tropical surroundings. The course is known for its scenic beauty, including lakes, waterfalls, and well-maintained greens.

Go on a Crocodile Tour

Far North Queensland is croc country. So why not take the opportunity to go on a crocodile spotting tour during your visit to Port Douglas?

Providing an exhilarating and educational experience that allows you to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, crocodile spotting tours typically depart from the Daintree River, which is conveniently located near Port Douglas. On these tours, knowledgeable guides navigate the river, sharing fascinating insights about the crocodiles’ behaviour, habitat and conservation efforts.

As you glide along the waterways, keep your eyes peeled for the telltale signs of these prehistoric reptiles, such as their eyes, snouts, or backs protruding from the water. Crocodile sightings can be thrilling, as you witness these ancient predators in their natural environment, often basking on the riverbanks or silently gliding through the water.

Crocodile spotting tours are not just about crocodiles though. The Daintree River is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including a myriad of bird species, tree-dwelling mammals and other reptiles. The guides provide valuable insights into the local ecosystem, pointing out various flora and fauna along the way.

It’s worth noting that crocodile spotting tours prioritise safety and adhere to strict guidelines to ensure a secure experience for visitors. Guides are trained to maintain a safe distance from the crocodiles, respect their natural behaviour and minimise any impact on their environment.

Places To Eat

Port Douglas is not a place you will go hungry. Renowned for its diverse culinary scene, it offers a range of dining options to satisfy every palate.

Here are some recommended places to eat in Port Douglas:

Salsa Bar & Grill: Located on Wharf Street, Salsa Bar & Grill is an iconic dining establishment that showcases the best of North Queensland’s produce. With a focus on fresh seafood, flavourful meats and innovative dishes, it offers a memorable dining experience in a vibrant atmosphere.

Nautilus Restaurant: Situated within the lush surroundings of the Sheraton Mirage Resort, Nautilus Restaurant specialises in contemporary Australian cuisine. You can enjoy an elegant meal while overlooking the resort’s lagoon pool and tropical gardens.

2Fish Restaurant: For seafood lovers, 2Fish Restaurant is a popular choice. This award-winning eatery on Macrossan Street serves up a delectable selection of locally sourced seafood, prepared with culinary flair. Their menu also features options for non-seafood eaters, ensuring everyone can enjoy a memorable dining experience.

Zinc Port Douglas: Located on the waterfront at the marina, Zinc Port Douglas offers modern Australian cuisine in a stylish setting. From fresh seafood to delicious steaks and vegetarian options, it caters to a range of dietary preferences. Enjoy the views while indulging in their innovative dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

Watergate Restaurant & Lounge Bar: Also on Macrossan Street, Watergate is a contemporary restaurant known for its sophisticated ambience and culinary excellence. Offering a diverse menu inspired by global flavours, the restaurant combines fresh local ingredients with creative cooking techniques to deliver a memorable dining experience.

Barbados Port Douglas: This beachfront restaurant and bar provides a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy delicious meals and refreshing drinks. With a focus on fresh and local produce, Barbados offers a menu that includes burgers, salads, seafood and tasty cocktails. Take in the ocean views while dining on their outdoor deck.

Hemingway’s Brewery: If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, Hemingway’s Brewery is a must-visit. Located at the Marina Mirage, this waterfront brewery and restaurant offers a range of handcrafted beers alongside a menu featuring gourmet pizzas, burgers and other pub-style favourites.

Choo Choos: For a unique dining experience, head to Choo Choos, a converted historic railway carriage located near St Mary’s by the Sea. This quirky eatery serves up delicious breakfast and lunch options, including specialty pancakes and creative sandwiches, with a charming vintage ambience.

These are just a few of the many dining options available in Port Douglas. Whether you’re craving seafood, international flavours, or contemporary Australian cuisine, you’re sure to find a restaurant that suits your taste buds in this charming town.

Where to Stay in Port Douglas

When it comes to holiday accommodation, Port Douglas offers a wide range of options to suit various budgets and preferences.

Here are some of the best places to stay whilst you are there:

Luxury Resorts

Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort

Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas Resort: This iconic 5-star resort is nestled along Four Mile Beach and offers luxurious rooms and suites, multiple pools, a golf course and a spa.

Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa: Located on the southern end of Four Mile Beach, this 5-star resort boasts spacious rooms, a lagoon-style pool, a spa and direct access to the beach.

Boutique Hotels

Coconut Grove: Situated just steps away from Macrossan Street, Coconut Grove offers spacious and modern apartments with private balconies or terraces.

Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas: This 5-star beachfront property features upscale rooms, a spa, massive lagoon-style swimming and convenient access to Four Mile Beach.

Holiday Apartments and Villas:

Oaks Port Douglas Resort: Located a short walk from Four Mile Beach, Oaks offers spacious and self-contained apartments with kitchenettes or full kitchens. It also features multiple pools and is a great option for families or longer stays.

Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel

Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel: This adults-only property is situated on the beachfront and offers well-appointed rooms and suites with stunning ocean views. It provides a tranquil and romantic setting for couples.

Rainforest Retreats:

Silky Oaks Lodge: Set in the Daintree Rainforest, Silky Oaks Lodge offers luxurious treehouses and riverhouses surrounded by lush greenery. It provides a peaceful escape with a focus on relaxation and reconnecting with nature.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Thala Beach Nature Reserve: Located south of Port Douglas, Thala Beach Nature Reserve offers eco-friendly bungalows and suites nestled within the rainforest, yet close to a private beach.

We hope you have found this complete guide to visiting Port Douglas a useful source of information.

At the end of the day, a visit to this charming town in Far North Queensland promises a fantastic experience that combines natural beauty, adventure and relaxation.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the pristine Four Mile Beach, embark on thrilling adventures in the Great Barrier Reef, or immerse yourself in the lush greenery of the Daintree Rainforest, Port Douglas is a destination that will leave you with memories you’ll cherish for many years to come.

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The Best Time to Visit Port Douglas, QL, Australia for Weather, Safety, & Tourism

The best times to visit Port Douglas for ideal weather are

May 28th to September 2nd

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

Port Douglas Travel Guide


  • Perceived Temperature
  • Rain and snow
  • Humidity and wind
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year

Other Port Douglas Travel Info

Weather in port douglas.

Average temperatures in Port Douglas vary little. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a fair chance of precipitation about half of the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 30th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above . If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Port Douglas, the hottest months are January, December, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid December where highs are regularly around 91.2°F (32.9°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 77.7°F (25.4°C) at night.

Port Douglas Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

Port douglas temperatures (celsius), “feels-like” temperatures.

The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

Port Douglas Perceived Temperature (F)

Port douglas perceived temperature (c), average port douglas temperatures by month.

Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

Show Fahrenheit

Show celsius, precipitation (rain or snow).

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in Port Douglas are July, August, and then September. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around early July. For example, on the week of July 2nd there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early February with an average of 4 days of significant precipitation the week of February 5th.

Chance of Precipitation

The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in Port Douglas.

Snow on the Ground

The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in Port Douglas (in).

Average Rain and Snow by Month

Show inches, show centimeters, humidity and wind.

Port Douglas has some very humid months, and above average humidity throughout the year. The least humid month is October (66.8% relative humidity), and the most humid month is February (78.4%).

Wind in Port Douglas is usually stronger than many places . The windiest month is May, followed by April and July. May’s average wind speed of around 15.5 knots (17.9 MPH or 28.8 KPH) is considered “a moderate breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early to mid April where average top sustained speeds reach 21 knots, which is considered a fresh breeze.

Relative Humidity (%)

The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in Port Douglas.

The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

Average Wind Speeds

Show wind speeds.

All wind speeds are in knots. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Show Relative Humidity by Month

Is it safe to travel to port douglas.

Our best data indicates this area is generally safe. As of Dec 04, 2023 there are no travel advisories or warnings for Australia; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories . This advisory was last updated on Nov 30, 2023.

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in Port Douglas, QL, Australia is July, followed by September and May. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit Port Douglas in December. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

Most popular months to visit, overall port douglas travel experience by season, fall (march through may).

Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel warm. Highs range from 87.8°F (31°C) and 79.3°F (26.3°C) with colder temperatures in the later months. Rain is very common with 8 to 14 days of significant precipitation per month. Fall is the second busiest for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for things to do.

Winter (June through August)

The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the least precipitation with 2 to 4 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in Port Douglas, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than usual.

Spring (September through November)

Spring daily highs range from 89.8°F (32.1°C) and 82.6°F (28.1°C), which will feel very nice given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a significant amount: 3 to 6 days per month. Tourism is fairly slow during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be lower priced.

Summer (December through February)

Weather is perfect this time of year in Port Douglas to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 91.2°F (32.9°C) and 87.7°F (30.9°C). On average, it rains or snows a great amount: 10 to 14 times per month. These times of year are the slowest with tourists.

Best Times to Travel › Australia › Port Douglas, QL, Australia

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Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

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What is the best time to visit Port Douglas?

June to August is the best time to visit Port Douglas as the pleasant climate is perfect to enjoy the coastal beauty and explore the Great Barrier Reef. The town tends to be crowded during this time, as it is the time of school holidays in Australia, with families from all over the country visiting. Due to its tropical climate, Port Douglas can be visited all year round, with each season presenting its own benefits. The Autumn season falling between March and May is perfect for budget travellers, as this is off-peak season in the town. It is also the best time to visit the nearby Daintree Rainforest. However this time period sees a lot of rainfall as well. December to February is a great time to enjoy both the Great Barrier Reef owing to the sunshine of the Summer season. The Daintree Rainforest is also full of life during this period as the flora is in bloom from the end of the Spring season. This time period is thus called the Green Season of Port Douglas.

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port douglas best time to travel

An Essential Travel Guide To Port Douglas

For the ultimate Tropical North Queensland destination, look no further than the quiet little town of Port Douglas, about an hour north of Cairns on the East Coast of Australia.

Sitting in the perfect location, only a hop, skip and a jump away from the Daintree Rainforest, surrounded by beautiful beaches and tropical waterholes, with plenty of opportunities to get out and explore the Great Barrier Reef, there is something in Port Douglas for everyone.

To help you plan your visit to Port Douglas, here’s our complete guide.

In this post:

Where is Port Douglas?

Port Douglas is found in Tropical North Queensland, near the top of Australia and follows the Australia Eastern Time Zone UTC +10.

Getting To Port Douglas

The closest airport to Port Douglas is Cairns (CNS), about an hour south by car. Cairns is a major domestic and international airport, with flights arriving daily from all around Australia, as well as many destinations in Asia. From Cairns Airport you can either rent a car and drive up to Port Douglas, or book a seat on a shuttle bus. Most Port Douglas hotels will be able to arrange a shuttle bus for you.

Find the cheapest flights to Cairns for your dates

Climate in Port Douglas

Port Douglas, as part of Tropical North Queensland, has two distinct seasons – a wet and dry season. During winter time (from approx. May – October) you will get the best weather, with warm days and nights and very little rainfall; while the summer period (November – April) is wet season, where the days are hot, humidity is very high and you should expect high rainfall.

Getting Around Port Douglas

Renting a car is always a good idea when you’re visiting Port Douglas. If you’re staying on or around Macrossan Street, you will be within close walking distance of the main town, however to truly experience Port Douglas and this beautiful region of Tropical North Queensland you need to get out of town and explore the wider region.

Places like Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, Kuranda the rainforest village and Hartley’s Crocodile Farm are all within a short drive of Port Douglas.

Organize your car rental now to avoid the lines!

Currency in Port Douglas

Australian Dollars $. ATMs are accessible and credit and debit cards are widely accepted everywhere.

Internet Access in Port Douglas

Free wifi is often hard to come by in Australia. Most hotels and accommodation will offer free wifi in public spaces but do not cover the rooms (even if you want to pay).

Make sure you load up on maps and information when you find some wifi – or alternatively, purchase an Australian sim card for access to 4G internet. Many BYO plans (where you use your own phone) offer generous data limits for prepaid customers, which gives you internet wherever you are!

The Main Street of Port Douglas

Macrossan Street is the main street in Port Douglas, which runs from Four Mile Beach at one end to the marina and Sugar Wharf at the other.

On Macrossan Street you can find heaps of hotels and all the restaurants, bars, cafes, unique boutiques and gift shops you could want during your stay.

Check out the best places to stay in Port Douglas for your dates

Best Time To Go to Port Douglas

Due to Port Douglas being located in the tropics there is a wet and dry season in this region. The best time to visit is generally between April and October when the weather is still warm and sunny, but there is little rain and minimal threat of stingers and crocodiles. The wet season months have a significantly higher amount of rain as well as higher humidity and muggy days.

Can’t Miss Experiences in Port Douglas

+ Take a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef  to go snorkelling or scuba diving ( Low Isles  is the most popular location from Port Douglas). + Try your luck betting on a cane toad race at the Iron Bar. + See the reef from above with an insane scenic helicopter flight. + Get up close and personal with crocodiles, koalas, kangaroos and wallabies at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures . + Go parasailing high above Port Douglas for the ultimate views. + Go swimming in Mossman Gorge and learn about the Aboriginal history of the area. + Road trip up to Cape Tribulation and experience more of the Daintree Rainforest. + Experience the perfect sunset on a private sailing cruise. + Take a walk along the infamous Four Mile Beach.

Good to know for your trip to Port Douglas

Summer time in Port Douglas also brings with it an increased threat of crocodiles and stingers. Make sure to always check for warning signs before entering any body of water to avoid a bad situation. And always make sure you swim between the flags in Australia, as rips in the current are very strong, especially for people who aren’t used to ocean swimming.

Read more about our adventures through Queensland

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Happy travels, if you enjoyed this post, we'd love you to share it for us follow us on instagram @exploreshaw to see our latest adventures around australia. check out our travel favourites: click here to subscribe to our newsletter, for blog posts and updates emailed straight to your inbox use this link for $25 aud off your next hotel stay with booking.com, or this link for $55 aud off your first booking with airbnb..

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Emma is a travel writer, photographer and blogger, chasing the sun around Australia. Travelling in her recently renovated vintage Viscount caravan, along with her husband Thom and daughter Macey, she's sharing the very best experiences from around her beloved sunburnt country.

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7 day weather forecast for Port Douglas, Mossman & Daintree

Weather in Port Douglas

No holiday would be properly researched without checking out the weather! Port Douglas weather is generally represented by three distinct seasons of which are all renowned individual experiences in their own right, making the Port Douglas Region a 365'on world travelers destination. 

"Tropical Beach Season" occurs in the southern hemisphere winter/spring period from around April to November. 'Gondwana Greentime' fills in the December to February period of the southern hemisphere summer months. 'Warm Autumn Rain' is the month of March and is the truly spectacular monsoon period for Australia's Tropical North. 

Winter / Spring (Beach Season)  April - October

Port Douglas weather temperatures during this period fluctuate between 19 and 24 degrees C, boasting lots of clear blue skies during the day with comfortable, balmy temperatures in the evening. Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach is rated in the top five beaches in Australia and is remarked the world over for its untouched, tropical white sand and palm tree appearances.

This period coincides with the regions peak travel periods and pre booking of Port Douglas Accommodation is highly recommended.

Summer (Greentime) November - February

Known to the locals as the Waterhole Holiday period, this period is when Port Douglas weather showcases the true beauty of Tropical Paradise. Temperatures average between 23 and 30 degrees C, so travelers need only bring with them real summer clothing.

The Greentime is a period of calm Coral Seas making Reef Trips more unforgettable than at other times with unbelievable water clarity and tropical water temperatures. The Port Douglas Greentime is the season of Exotic Tropical Fruits with most in prime readiness in this period.

The period also attracts a lot of rainfall at night and in the days brings to life the worlds most beautiful waterfalls and river systems. There is no better time to experience the worlds oldest rainforest The Daintree, than some time during the Greentime, ask the tour operators what they think.

Autumn (Summer Rain) March

This is the period that allows Port Douglas to boast its World Renowned reputation as the Jewel of the Pacific Rim with its immediate access to two World Heritage Listed Areas, The Great Barrier Reef and The Daintree Rainforest. If you have never experienced a monsoon period and what the locals call Curtain Rain then we recommend you book for this period and you wont regret it, especially from the comfort of Port Douglas.

This season brings a raging Mossman Gorge and rivers, a super rich rain drenched Daintree Rainforest and calm Coral Seas. These are just some of the reasons travellers come to the region during March. Never before have so many people enjoyed the warm exploits of walking, running, eating and drinking in a summer rain. If you are adventurous type and like an experience worth talking about, seriously look into booking for this period.

Summer rains often occur at night leaving the days sunny with a slight chance of a sun shower.

Port Douglas Annual Weather Table

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Visiting Port Douglas Queensland Australia

Are you thinking of visiting Port Douglas Australia? Good choice! Port Douglas is a beautiful part of the world and a top holiday destination. The town and region are rich in natural beauty, amazing wildlife and good hotels. There are dozens of diverse things to do in Port Douglas and the surrounding area and we’ll try to point you in the right direction from our Port Douglas travel blog section. We are professional international travel bloggers and Port Douglas just happens to be our family home. You’ll find 50+ countries and over 900 posts on this website. Continue for our insider look at Port Douglas Australia.

The owners of World Travel Family have started a new site, portdouglasaustralia.com.au . Most of our Port Douglas travel information is now on this new site, updated, current (June 2024), with loads of new photos. So if you need help planning your trip to Port Douglas , click through and try the new site. The links open in a new tab so you won’t lose this family travel blog page.

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We lived in Port Douglas Australia for almost 7 years with young children, returning after visiting as young backpackers touring Australia.

My husband worked in hospitality in the town, giving us a behind-the-scenes peek into the kitchens, hotels and tourist draws. Later, after almost 7 years of full-time world travel, we returned to live with teens and have been in Port Douglas ever since.

We can give you all the best insider information and tips here in the Port Douglas blog section.

Port Douglas Australia

Port Douglas Australia is a small town, popular with tourists, in Far North Queensland. It lies on Australia’s northeastern coast and has a long sandy beach lapped by the Coral Sea. Port Douglas Marina is a beautiful spot, home to a fleet of boats and yachts for fishing, snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef, crocodile spotting and trips to The Low Isles.

Port Douglas is packed with hotels, from luxury 5-star resorts, to backpacker accommodation and campsites. There are many bars and restaurants, some with marina views . There are enough shops for necessities and souvenirs, but Cairns , about an hour south, has far more stores and a shopping mall.

From Port Douglas, it is easy to access the Great Barrier Reef, The Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and the Atherton Tablelands.

Why do people love Port Douglas Australia so much? Port Douglas is rich in natural beauty, amazing wildlife, and world-heritage listed conservation zones. It is laid back and tropical, has a small-town feel, but at the same time is luxurious and exclusive.

It is a gateway to amazing adventure activities, from scuba diving to hot-air ballooning. It’s no wonder so many people want to visit Port Douglas or relocate here.

Natural Beauty

Be it Port Douglas’s Four Mile Beach, the Great Barrier Reef tours , Cape Tribulation’s pristine beaches or the Daintree Rainforest, everybody must accept that this is a beautiful part of the world.

The drive from Port Douglas to Cairns is one of the most stunning I’ve seen and I highly recommend a dawn walk on the beach to see the sunrise over the Coral Sea.

Visiting Port Douglas

If relaxing or walking in beautiful surroundings isn’t enough, there is plenty to do in this part of the world for everyone.

The Port Douglas Sunday Markets

Sugar Wharf

Everybody in town heads to the markets on Sunday. Locals shop for fruit and veg and stop to chat with friends. Tourists browse the craft stalls, listed to travelling musicians and enjoy the stunning setting. Children play, climb trees and get their faces painted. You cannot miss Port Douglas Sunday Markets.

Boat Trips To The Reef

A day on the reef is an amazing experience for everyone, all ages, all abilities.

It’s the biggest reef in the world, it’s on everyone’s bucket list and there is a fleet of boats based in Port just waiting to take you there. If you’re a snorkeller or a scuba diver, maybe even if you hate the water, you’ll find the boat for you.  You can check out Great Barrier Reef tours available from Port Douglas here.

Read more in our post on Snorkelling on The Great Barrier Reef.

Wildlife Encounters

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas is where you can hand-feed a kangaroo, stoke a koala or keep your distance from some impressive reptiles.

If crocodiles are your thing and the Habitat isn’t enough, try a river cruise on the Lady Douglas or head south for Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Maybe even head out to spot a croc of your own, there are plenty about if you know where to look.

The Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas have recently launched a new attraction, you can get in the water with a saltwater croc now, if that’s the sort of thing you like to do.

Keep a look out for other local residents like giant green tree frogs, rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras , cockatoos, maybe even a wild cassowary if you head into the rainforests.

On your trip out to the Great Barrier Reef you have a chance of seeing dolphins and humpback what’s in season. You’re very likely to see sea turtles, sharks, and stunning reef fish.

You may be able to spot a sea turtle at Four Mile Beach too, particularly from the Flagstaff Hill walking track.

Swimming at Port Douglas

port douglas australia swimming options

Swimming is possible in Port Douglas Australi a year-round thanks to our tropical climate. Just be aware of seasonal jellyfish and crocodiles.

Four Mile Beach is popular with swimmers and has a stinger net and lifeguards or lifesavers between set hours. Most hotels and houses in Port Douglas have their own swimming pools.

In the Port Douglas area, there are many natural freshwater swimming spots and waterfalls which bathers enjoy, particularly in summer. These may be chilly in winter!

Port Douglas Carnivale

Clear waters at Four Mile Beach Port Douglas. Helicopter Ride

In May, Port Douglas hosts Carnivale. Multiple events strung out over the Carnivale period will please foodies, lovers of the arts, families and anybody looking for a good time.

Attractions in the Port Douglas Area

Mossman Gorge Port Douglas

Port makes a great base for exploring this part of Queensland. Mossman Gorge is just up the road, you can take an Aboriginal guided walk or just swim in icy waters in a tropical rainforest setting.

Adventurers can drive up through Cape Tribulation to Cooktown or take the high road up onto the Atherton Tablelands for a change of climate.

The Tablelands hold attractions as diverse as wild platypus , cheese, chocolate and wine producers along with stunning lakes for outdoor recreation. Cairns , with its free swimming lagoon , airport and large shops, is around an hour away by car.

Food and Drink, Dining or Self Catering in Port

Dinner in Port Douglas

Have a cold one in The Courthouse, watch the cane toad races (these are now elsewhere) at the Iron Bar or go for more up-market dining at restaurants like Salsa, Sassi, or Nautilus.

For some extra special entertainment while you enjoy a drink or early evening meal, head to On The Inlet to see George The Groper being fed. ( Update: Unfortunately Marina development has forced this to be discontinued, current 2022).

If you choose to self cater or camp in Port Douglas we have a large Coles supermarket on Macrossan St and an IGA near the Wildlife Habitat.

You can also buy fruit and veg at the Sunday Market in Port or the Saturday market in Mossman . The best place to buy prawns is fresh off the boat or we have a couple of fishmongers.

There is fish and chips, pizzas and the whole range of take away, fast and eat-in foods.

Great Hotels and Resorts

Sea Temple Port Douglas pool

Port Douglas has hotels, hostels and resorts to suit your pocket and your family. Stunning resorts like Sea Temple or The Sheraton have pools to die for, while there is plenty of cheaper accommodation in places like Dougies or Parrot Fish Lodge. We even have camping right in town.

You can pinpoint the best hotel for you in Port Douglas using the interactive map below.

I’m producing a review guide to hotels in Port Douglas .

Weather in Port Douglas

Weather in Port Douglas is tropical. As such, Port has 2 basic seasons, “the wet” and “the dry”, with “the build up” coming before “the wet”.

Recently 3 seasons or times of year have been publicised by local tourism boards, “Tropical Beach Season”, “Gondwana Greentime” and ” Warm Autumn Rain”. These are poetic descriptions but what do they mean?

  • Tropical Beach Season is described as winter and spring in the southern hemisphere tropics. That’s April to November roughly.
  • Gondwana Greentime. Summer, December to February.
  • Warm Autumn Rain. March. Monsoon time.

Using the old fashioned definitions

  • The wet. Summer. November to April
  • The dry. Winter. May to October.
  • The build up. The period preceding the wet.

Stinger season may affect your decision making

  • Stinger season , roughly December to April or May ( summer, the wet season or Gondwana Greentime, roughly)

Best Time of Year to Visit Port Douglas

Our favourite times in Port were always the shoulders of the wet season. When the skies are blue, the seas clear, the stingers absent and the temperatures not too intense. We’d say the best time of year to visit Port Douglas would be around April-May and Around October-November.

Of course, you can visit at any time of year and have a great holiday. I would probably avoid cyclone season though ( November, more likely, Christmas to about April) because if a tropical storm comes through you could see days of rain and cancelled reef trips.

General, normal, wet season rain isn’t too bad. A tropical downpour in the late afternoon is dramatic and refreshing and you’ll hear the frogs start to sing. A full-blown tropical storm can be disruptive. We have a post on best times to visit.

Marine Stingers and Crocodiles in Port Douglas

Port Douglas Four Mile Beach

Before I moved to Port Douglas I spent a lot of time Googling the risks of marine stingers ( jellyfish) and crocodiles in the Port Douglas and Cairns region.

I know I’m not alone, I get thousands of hits on this page Stinger Season Port Douglas and Cairns. Not quite as many to this page Living With Crocodiles in Far North Queensland.

We have interesting wildlife but it’s nothing to worry about so long as you play by the rules. Have a look at the two posts above to put your mind to rest. Instead enjoy being safely up-close and personal with these fascinating creatures. It’s a chance many people don’t get.

Want to find more images and information from Port Douglas and Far North Queensland? Try our Port Douglas Pinterest board or pin the image below to your own holiday boards.

Follow World Travel Family Travel Blog’s board Port Douglas on Pinterest.

Port Douglas Queensland Australia church

So are you visiting Port Douglas? This is a beautiful part of the world, you’ll take away treasured memories and learn something of the incredible wildlife and climate of Far North Queensland. If you’d like to know more feel free to use the comment section below or visit our other posts on the region. Anything new or interesting, we’ll add to the Port Douglas blog.

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Living in Port Douglas on the beach

Alyson Long

5 unmissable north india destinations for families, ripley’s london. expect the unexpected., 3 thoughts on “port douglas australia travel blog”.

Thank you we are soon setting off on a four month trip with our 6 and 8 year old daughters, we have seven weeks in Australia including time in Port Douglas from where we will be driving to Townsville, any more specific advice/tips for what to see/do would be greatly appreciated

Hi Steve. I’ll have to read the posts on this area gain, I haven’t looked at them in years! Do you know about Plansify? There is a link in the side bar, up towards the top. It’s a great way of getting personal, tailored advice. Cheers!

Sweet! Thanks for sharing…will be in this area for a cycling tour in May. Great info…great tips!

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Tourists snorkeling offshore from Low Isles.

Port Douglas

Welcome to your holiday. Port Douglas (Port or PD) is equal parts flash and fun, from the million-dollar marina to the dreamy Four Mile Beach and the five-star resorts big enough to warrant their own postcode.


Must-see attractions.

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

This sanctuary endeavours to keep and showcase native animals in enclosures that mimic their natural environment, while allowing you to get up close to…

Four Mile Beach

Four Mile Beach

This broad stretch of squeaky sand wraps around the eastern side of the peninsula in a near-perfect arc of sand and swaying palms – access is off the…

Trinity Bay Lookout

Trinity Bay Lookout

Head up to Flagstaff Hill for sensational views over Four Mile Beach and the Coral Sea. Drive or walk up via Wharf St, or there's a walking path leading…

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina

The hub of waterbased activities in Port Douglas, Crystalbrook Marina is also attempting to be a social hub with a few restaurants, bars and boutique…

St Mary's by the Sea

St Mary's by the Sea

Worth a peek inside (when it’s not overflowing with wedding parties), this quaint, nondenominational, white timber church was built in 1880, rebuilt after…

Court House Museum

Court House Museum

The quaint and quiet 1879 Court House contains historical exhibits, including the story of Ellen Thompson, who was tried for murdering her husband in 1887…

Island Point

Island Point

You can walk to the former Island Point lighthouse, via Wharf St.

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Australia , Queensland , Travel Guides · March 18, 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Port Douglas, Australia

The Ultimate Guide to Port Douglas, Australia

Located just to the north of Cairns in beautiful tropical North Queensland , Port Douglas town is a tiny holiday hotspot in Australia with a big heart. For such a small village, there are a surprising number of incredible things to do in Port Douglas for locals and overseas visitors alike. And the locals are some of the friendliest people in the world!

This beautiful Australian beach town often doesn’t make it onto the radar of many international visitors, who tend to opt for more popular tourist hotspots like Noosa , Byron Bay, Hamilton Island , The Whitsundays , or one of these stunning island holidays . But I think Port Douglas is seriously underrated and somewhat of a hidden gem!

With stunning natural scenery, world-class restaurants, great weather, and a relaxed beach town-kinda vibe – Port Douglas is definitely one place that should be on everyone’s Australia Bucket list !

This extensive Port Douglas travel guide has all the information you need to start planning your own holiday itinerary!

we recommend you spend at least 3 days in Port Douglas (but ideally a week) to experience EVERYTHING this little holiday town has to offer!

Planning a holiday in Australia right now? Here are 150 Australia Bucket List experiences to tick off!

port douglas best time to travel

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Port Douglas At A Glance

Where is port douglas.

First things first, if you’ve never heard of Port Douglas, it’s a quaint, uniquely Australian beach holiday town located in a remote part of tropical North Queensland, Australia. It’s about an hour and a half drive north of Cairns, making it a popular place for tourists to visit on a day trip from Cairns .

But to experience all the best things to do in Port Douglas, we recommend staying a few nights.

To reach Port Douglas you first have to fly to Cairns, so we recommend spending a few nights in Cairns or Palm Cove and then staying in Port Douglas on the same trip! You could even plan a full Cairns to Cape Tribulation Road Trip, including stops in all three destinations.

Port Douglas is also one of the more well-known tourist gateways to some of Australia’s most iconic landmarks – the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and Cape Tribulation.

Related Post: 50+ Famous Landmarks in Australia to Add to Your Bucket List

Line of poolside cabanas at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas

Left to right from the top: Pool Cabanas at the Sheraton Mirage Resort; A palm tree-lined beach at Palm Cove; The view from Four Mile Beach Viewpoint.

The Best Time to Visit Port Douglas

Due to its location near the Tropic of Capricorn, Port Douglas experiences a warm tropical climate for the majority of the year. There are two main seasons in Port Douglas – the wet and the dry season. 

The best time to visit Port Douglas is undoubtedly the dry season (April through October), but it’s also the most popular time of year for tourism. The temperature during the dry season is mild, the water is still warm enough to swim, there are fewer stingers around, and the visibility out on the reef is at its best. 

We actually visited in January, during the wet season (November through March) and the weather wasn’t too bad. We experienced a few afternoon showers and the odd evening downpour, but it passed quickly. The weather during the day was beautiful and humid and mostly sunny. We loved that the hotel prices were much cheaper during this time and there were far fewer tourists around.  

However, in saying that, the weather during the wet season can be unpredictable. There’s always a risk of a tropical monsoon passing through. We had some friends visit a month after us and they experienced an entire week of rain. There are also a lot of stingers around during these months, so you’ll have to wear stinger suits if you plan to go swimming in the ocean. Most boat tour companies will lend you a stinger suit to use during the tour. 

Both seasons have their pros and cons. Hopefully, this information helps you decide when is the best time to go to Port Douglas depending on your budget and what you plan to do while you’re there.

How Much Time Do You Need in Port Douglas?

I recommend at least 3 days in Port Douglas, but ideally for 5 days. Three days is enough time to experience all the best things to do in Port Douglas town, plus add a day trip from Port Douglas to the Daintree Rainforest or the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re planning on staying for a week (or more), you can still use this guide to plan your Port Douglas itinerary and add on one or two additional day trips to Cairns, or Cape Tribulation.

Rock formations on the drive to Port Douglas along Captain Cook Highway

Left to right from the top: Unique rock formations found along the Cairns to Port Douglas drive; Watching the sunset on Palm Cove Beach; A waterfall at Sheraton Port Douglas Resort.

Getting to Port Douglas

First things first –  how to get to Port Douglas!  Due to its remoteness, getting to Port Douglas is only possible via Cairns in the south or from Cook Town in the North. However, Cook Town is even more remote than Port Douglas, so it’s most likely you’ll be arriving from Cairns.

There are no direct flights to Port Douglas, the closest domestic airport is Cairns Airport, which offers daily flights from all the major capital cities in Australia (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) serviced by Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Jetstar.

Alternatively, if you’re planning to do a bigger road trip around Australia or Queensland (lucky you!), it would be easy to add a 2 or 3-day side trip from Cairns to Port Douglas.

How to Get to Port Douglas from Cairns

To get from Cairns to Port Douglas, you can either rent a car and drive, or take a bus, or if you have the cash to splash, you could take a helicopter! 

By Car 

To rent a car, pre-book through  Rentalcars.com  to get the best rate and arrange collection at Cairns airport.

The Cairns to Port Douglas drive takes just over an hour, depending on traffic. The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas hugs the coastline almost the entire way and offers some spectacular scenery. I would recommend arriving in Cairns early so you can do the drive during the day.

By Bus 

There are a few shuttle bus companies offering transfers from Cairns to Port Douglas. Some companies offer fixed departure times, while others offer transfers on request. You can expect to pay between $36 to 50 AUD one-way for an adult It’s usually cheaper if you book a return transfer. Check out these shuttle bus companies:

  • BTS Port Douglas
  • Cairns Airport Shuttle
  • Krystal Transport  offers a regular shuttle, as well as private transfer services between Cairns and Port Douglas.

By Helicopter

To book a Cairns to Port Douglas transfer by helicopter, check out  GBR Helicopters . They can fly you from Cairns Airport, landing at the  Sheraton Mirage Resort  (our favourite Port Douglas resort, located right on the beach!)

Private cabana at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas

Left to right from the top: View from the poolside cabanas at the Sheraton Mirage Resort; Entry to the Sheraton Mirage Resort along the 18-hole golf course; Stunning saltwater lagoon pool at the Sheraton Mirage Resort.

Best Places to Stay in Port Douglas

Luxury resorts.

Sheraton Port Douglas  – This is our top pick for the best place to stay in Port Douglas! The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort has a world-class 18-hole golf course, 295 rooms, and over 2 hectares of man-made saltwater lagoons and is the prime beachfront accommodation option in town! It has recently been completed revamped, and the food was absolutely fabulous!

Silky Oaks Lodge  – Although not theoretically located in Port Douglas town, Silky Oaks Lodge is actually situated in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest and is a tranquil retreat for those wanting some peace. Part of the Luxury Lodges of Australia group, a stay at Silky Oaks Lodge is a once-in-a-lifetime  bucket list experience !

Pullman Port Douglas  – Also known as the Sea Temple Resort and Spa, this is one of the most well-known (and affordable) luxury hotels in Port Douglas. The Pullman is located just outside of town on Four-Mile Beach, with a stunning lagoon pool, 18-hole golf course, fitness centre, and day spa.

Affordable Luxury Hotels

Peppers Port Douglas  – One of the best hotels in Port Douglas that offer self-catered style accommodation and a large lagoon pool.

Oaks Lagoon Port Douglas  – The perfect affordable luxe option for families with kids. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and a lagoon pool with a swim-up bar, and a games room.

Mandalay Port Douglas  – There actually aren’t many resorts on the beach in Port Douglas, but Mandalay is one of only a handful. So, if you have your heart set on staying in absolute beachfront accommodation, be sure to check this one out!

Apartments & Holiday Rentals

NOMAD  – One of the most Insta-worthy luxe apartment rentals you’ll find in town. Perfect for a couple wanting to be in the centre of town, within walking distance of all the restaurants, bars, shopping boutiques, and Port Douglas markets!

Retro Port Douglas  – Apartment-style accommodation with retro-themed interiors and all the mod-cons, from a Bose Sound System to Netflix, free WiFi, espresso machine, and more!

The Bahama House  – If you’ve got up to eight people in your party and cash to splash on the ultimate in luxury accommodation, be sure to check out The Bahama House. It’s won several awards for the best accommodation in Port Douglas!

Pineapple Petes Beach House  – Funny name, a great place to stay. A luxury holiday home with retro beach house vibes, that sleeps up to 8 people, just steps from Four Mile Beach.

Read More: 15 Incredible Queensland Island Holidays & Resorts for Your Next Vacay

Sparrow Coffee interiors with cute bird artwork in Port Douglas

Left to right: Enjoying my morning ritual at Sparrow Coffee; The Sunset Deck at the Court House Hotel.

Best Places to Eat in Port Douglas

There are many varied places to eat in Port Douglas – from top coffee spots to casual bites and fancy fine-dining food experiences. For such a tiny town, the Port Douglas restaurant scene is seriously top-notch! Here is our pick of the best Port Douglas restaurants, cafes, and bars to check out during your visit.

Breakfast & Coffee

Sparrow Coffee  – Hands-down the best coffee in town. These guys originally hailed from Byron Bay but have now set up shop in Port Douglas. Open from 6 am to 12 noon.

The Little Larder  – One of the best places for breakfast in town, and always full of happy diners!

Café Fresq  – Acai bowls, corn fritters, smashed avo on toast, bacon and eggs – these guys do all the breakfast basics, and they do it well!

Casual Restaurants

Salsa Bar & Grill  – Great cocktails, quintessentially Queenslander-style alfresco dining, friendly staff, and a great vibe in the heart of town. What more could you ask for?

Seabean Tapas  – Contemporary Spanish tapas and Sangria, need we say more. Famous for their Crema Catalana!

Sassi La Cucina  – The best Italian food in Port Douglas, run by a local Italian family. Sassi has won several awards and is always full – be sure to book early!

The Mexican  – Practically an institution in Port. Come for the sunset Margheritas and stay for the brilliant fish (or kangaroo) tacos!

Something Fancy

Melaleuca Restaurant  – Recently opened and possibly my favourite dining experience during our stay! A modern Australian-style restaurant with an Asian twist and a great wine menu!

Nautilus  – A tropical garden oasis featuring fine dining with Modern Australian flavours and impeccably paired wines. The entrance is like stepping into another world!

The Watergate  – This one was closed during our trip, but everyone in town recommended it, so it must be good!

Where to Grab a Drink

The Court House Hotel  – The oldest Pub in Port Douglas has had a retro Bahamas-style facelift. Set in an old Queenslander with beautiful breezy verandas. Perfect for an afternoon drink and a casual Pub-meal.

Zinc  – Another institution in the Port Douglas restaurant scene, Zinc Restaurant, and Bar has a great cocktail menu. Located right in the heart of town.

The Tin Shed  – The best place for sundowners in Port Douglas!

Top Things to Do in Port Douglas

#1 | shopping on macrossan street .

Dress shopping at Tamar Boutique in Port Douglas

Left to right: Dress shopping at Tamar Boutique; Swimwear shopping at Tahitian Lime on Macrossan Street.

Along the main street (Macrossan Street), you’ll find quaint little boutique shops, local handicrafts, and aboriginal art galleries. My favourite shop was Tamar, a boutique store that stocks some iconic Aussie fashion labels. There’s also Shinta – another clothing boutique – and Tahitian Lime for swimwear lovers!

#2 | Port Douglas Markets 

Couple sitting on the beach at Sugar Wharf, Port Douglas

If you time your visit just right, you’ll catch the well-known Port Douglas markets held at Anzac Park every Sunday morning from 8 am. 

This is one of the most authentic markets I’ve found in Australia! Stall-owners are strictly locals selling their handicrafts – from jams to ceramics, hand-crafted timber bowls, pearl jewellery, and a range of other trinkets. 

For a delicious breakfast treat, be sure to pay a visit to the coconut man. For $8-10, you’ll get an ice-cold coconut to drink for the first course. Bring the empty coconut back and he’ll split it in half and serve the second course with coconut meat, banana and honey. 

The Port Douglas markets is an absolute must-do on your list, so I recommend timing your visit to include a Sunday!

#3 | Farm-to-Table Cooking Experience 

Oaks Kitchen and Garden is a unique farm-to-table dining experience started by two passionate foodies, Ben Wallace (the Chef) and Rachael Boon (the Gardener). Featuring an outdoor kitchen and dining space, surrounded by an extensive garden brimming with South-East Asian fruits, vegetables, and herbs,  Oaks Kitchen and Garden  offers Asian-style cooking classes and a Chef’s Table dining experience.

#4 | Helicopter Ride Over the Great Barrier Reef 

Ever dreamt of seeing the amazing landscape of the Great Barrier Reef from the air? Here are 20 photos that will inspire you to travel to the Great Barrier Reef, including the iconic Heart Reef. Taking a helicopter ride is one of the best activities to do beside snorkeling.

Left to right: Spectacular scenes of the Great Barrier Reef from a helicopter; Enjoying the view from the front seat.

For the luxury traveller, one of the absolute best things to do during your visit to Port Douglas is to see the Great Barrier Reef from the air, on a scenic helicopter flight. GBR Helicopters offers 30 to 60-minute scenic tours over the reef leaving from the  Sheraton Mirage Resort . Hands down, this is one of the best  bucket list experiences  I’ve ever done!

#5 | Explore Mossman Gorge 

Girl standing on a rock in Mossman Gorge, Australia

Left to right: A moment of tranquility in the Daintree Rainforest; Suspension bridge over Mossman Gorge.

Only 20 minutes drive away, the spectacular Mossman Gorge boasts Australia’s cleanest water. Head to the Mossman Gorge Tourist Centre and board a bus for the trip into the rainforest. From here you can walk through the rainforest canopy over a purpose-built platform and down onto the riverbank where you can take a cool, refreshing dip in the Mossman River. The bus trip costs approximately $12 AUD per adult round trip.

#6 | Flames of the Forest 

An evening of locally foraged food and spectacular performances will leave you feeling in awe of Australia’s indigenous culture. At  Flames of the Forest  you’ll be whisked away from your hotel and down a candle-lit path in the forest. At the other end, you’ll be served canapés followed by a spectacular banquet-style dinner while enjoying didgeridoo performances and Dreamtime storytelling by two local indigenous brothers. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience!

#7 | Check Out the Best Viewpoints in Town

Girl looking out at Four Mile Beach view point in Port Douglas

Left to right from the top: Enjoying the view over Four Mile Beach Viewpoint; Flagstaff Sky Deck; Pathway to Trinity Bay Lookout.

For such a small place, there is a number of great viewing points around town. Walk down Macrossan Street towards Four Mile Beach, turn left at the end of the road, and take the footpath up the hill to the Four Mile Beach viewpoint. Continue along the same walking path and you come to Flagstaff Sky Deck, which offers great views over the Coral Sea. A little further along the same path and up the stairs will bring you to the top lookout. Complete the circuit and end up at Rex Smeal Park at the other end of town.

#8 | See Australian Native Animals up Close 

A visit to  Wildlife Habitat  offers the opportunity to get up close and personal with some Australian wildlife that a native to the Daintree region of Australia. See the crocodiles, cassowaries, and jabiru, hand-feed the kangaroos or cuddle a cute koala. 

Entry to Wildlife Habitat will set you back around $37 AUD for adults and $18.50 AUD for children. Opening hours are 8 am to 5 pm daily.

#9 | Sunset Picnic at Rex Smeal Park 

Girl walking towards tall palm trees at Rex Smeal Park in Port Douglas

Left to right: Sunsets at Sugar Wharf Beach; Palm tree-lined Rex Smeal Park.

The absolute best spot in town to catch the sunset. Bring a picnic blanket (or lightweight Turkish towel), a bottle of bubbly, some cheese and crackers, and drink in the beautiful Port Douglas sunsets over the beautiful mountain ranges. From Rex Smeal Park, you can also take a walk around Sugar Wharf to see the sailboats arriving back from the reef.

#10 | Visit the Daintree & Cape Tribulation

The Daintree Rainforest is one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world. Its remote location has made sure it remains as pristine and unspoiled as possible.

There are many great tours available from Port Douglas to Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation . Alternatively, hire a car or camper and plan out your own Port Douglas to Daintree road trip itinerary .

#11 | Bike Ride Along Four Mile Beach 

Four Mile Beach stretches from Port Douglas town in the north to Oak Beach in the South, and as the name suggests, it’s approximately four miles from one end to the other. Hire a bike from one of the many bike rental outlets around town (or from your hotel) and plan an early morning ride along the beach to catch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.

Read Next: The Ultimate World Travel Bucket List – 150+ Places to See Before You Die

Best Day Trips from Port Douglas

Due to its great location, there are many diverse day trips on offer from Port Douglas, from rainforest experiences to reef visits. And while the town itself is very beautiful, most of the best things to do in Port Douglas are actually outside of the town. 

Here is our pick of the best day trips that you can experience from Port Douglas:

  • Visit the Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
  • Great Barrier Reef Cruise with Snorkel & Diving
  • Sailing and Snorkelling at Low Isles on a Luxury Catamaran
  • Sunset Sailing Cruise on a Luxury Catamaran
  • River Drifting through the Daintree Rainforest

Pro Tip:  If you plan to spend 3 days in Port Douglas as we did, I would recommend choosing one- or two-day trips and spending the extra time you have exploring the other things to do around Port Douglas town (see above). If you plan to spend 5 days (or more) – even better – this should be plenty of time to do all three of these day trips – depending on how much time you want to spend relaxing around the pool of course!

View from plane of Cairns mountains covered in mist

Left to right from the top: View of mountain ranges around Cairns Airport; Palm tree-lined beaches along Palm Cove; St. Mary’s by the sea church in Port Douglas; Tropical flowers at Sheraton Mirage Resort.

Port Douglas Wrap Up

Port Douglas truly is a hidden gem in tropical North Queensland! With beautiful scenery, world-class restaurants, and a relaxed laid-back Aussie-kinda vibe, I would love to spend more time there, if only it were more accessible! Whether you’re planning to spend 3 days in Port Douglas or perhaps a week-long holiday with the family – we hope this article has helped you to plan your own Port Douglas itinerary!

Feeling Inspired? Here are 10 other amazing places to add to your Bucket List !


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Planning a Queensland adventure? Read more:

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  • 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit the Great Barrier Reef
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  • The Ultimate Travel Guide to Port Douglas, Australia
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  • 50+ Famous Landmarks in Australia to add to your Bucket List

Stunning view of the saltwater lagoon pool at the Sheraton Mirage Resort Port Douglas

Planning a trip soon? Here’s a list of the websites we use for booking our trips:

  • Skyscanner  for the best flight deals
  • Booking.com for the best rates on hotels
  • HomeAway  for the best price on apartment and home rentals
  • Rentalcars.com  for quick and easy car rentals
  • Luxury Escapes  | Expedia for luxury package holiday deals and tours
  • Get Your Guide  | Klook | Viator  for booking day tours and attraction tickets
  • Tourradar  for a wide selection of multi-day tours
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  • Best Time to Visit Port Douglas
  • How To Reach Port Douglas
  • Events & Festivals in Port Douglas
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  • Port Douglas Map
  • Things To Do in Port Douglas
  • Port Douglas Itineraries
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Weather and Seasons in Port Douglas

  • Port Douglas

Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

The best time to visit Port Douglas is in the dry winter season around the months of June/July. Weather in Port Douglas generally comprises of two seasons, the wet season and the dry season.

  • Dry Season: The dry season falls in the winter months of May to October and temperatures range from 19 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius. The season is also characterized by pleasant breeze and relatively low humidity. It is a time of almost perfect weather in Port Douglas.
  • Wet Season: This is essentially summer time in the “Port” characterized by hot and humid climate, tropical rainfall and the occasional storm. The wet season temperatures range from 29 to 31 degrees Celsius and falls in the months of November to April.
  • 20℉ 0℉

Highest temperature in Port Douglas is recorded as 96.8℉ in March.

Lowest temperature in Port Douglas is recorded as 55.4℉ in June.

Most humid month in Port Douglas is February.

Least humid month in Port Douglas is August.

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

  • Everyday : 11:00 AM to 03:00 PM

Four Mile Beach

  • Everyday : 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM

Daintree Rainforest

  • Everyday : 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM

Agincourt Reef

  • Everyday : 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Port Douglas

Getting There

Best time to visit Port Douglas

The best time to visit Port Douglas is during the winter dry season from mid-May to early-November, when you can expect mainly clear blue skies and warm, sunny days tempered by gentle sea breezes.

For hot-weather activities, the best time to visit Port Douglas is during October and November.

Port Douglas weather

Port Douglas experiences a hot tropical climate with two seasons: a warm, dry season and a hot, wet season.

The so-called ‘green’ or wet summer season lasts from December to April, with January through to March receiving the most rain. Average daytime temperatures rise to 32°C (89°F) and above, with a night-time low around 25°C (77°F).

What is the best month to visit Port Douglas? July, August and September are considered the best months to visit Port Douglas – the weather is warm and sunny, with clear blue skies and little to no rainfall.

However, anytime between May and October is good for a range of outdoor activitiies.

Which is the hottest month in Port Douglas? The hottest months in Port Douglas are usually December and January, each with an average high temperature of 32°C (89°F), with high heat and humidity, and a low of 25°C (77°F).

However, on the warmest days, the temperature may climb to around 35°C (95°F).

The hot season lasts from mid-November to mid-March, with an average daily high temperature above 30°C (86°F).

Which is the coldest month in Port Douglas? The coldest month in Port Douglas is July, with an average day-time high of 25°C (77°F) and a night-time low of 20°C (68°F).

The cooler season lasts from June to mid-August, with an average daily high temperature below 27°C (80°F).

When is it sunniest in Port Douglas? The sunniest time of year in Port Douglas is normally August with bright sunshine on average for 69% of daylight hours; that's eight hours of sunshine per day.

What is the humidity in Port Douglas? Port Douglas experiences notable seasonal variation in humidity, with approximate average relative humidity calculated at between 72% – 85% over the course of the year.

What do the humidity conditions feel like in Port Douglas? We derive the humidity comfort level – what conditions feel like – from the dew point temperature, which measures moisture content in the atmosphere: a higher dew point feels more humid, while a lower dew point feels drier.

Meteorologists agree that dew point temperature is a more consistant indication of 'absolute humidity' than relative humidity, which fluctuates with temperature. 

The average annual dew point in Port Douglas is 21°C (70°F), and varies over the course of the year from starting to feel humid at 18°C (64°F) to muggy and uncomfortable at 24°C (75°F).

The more humid time of year in Port Douglas lasts from mid-September through to mid-June, when you can expect the comfort level to be muggy at least 37% of the time.

The months with the most muggy days in Port Douglas are January, February and March, with every day in each month muggy or worse.

July and August are generally more comfortable, with around six days in each month that are muggy.

When is the sea warmest in Port Douglas? The sea is usually at its warmest in Port Douglas in February when the water temperature averages 29°C (84°F), which is very pleasant for swimming.

You can expect warmer water from December through March, with an average temperature above 28°C (82°F), which is warm for swimming.

The sea water is warm enough to swim year-round in Port Dougls. The month with the coldest water in Port Douglas is July, with an average temperature of 24°C (75°F), which is still warm enough for swimming.

The time of year with cooler water lasts from mid-June to mid-September, with an average temperature below 25°C (77°F).

Are there marine stingers at Port Douglas? The waters of tropical Queensland – including the waters off Port Douglas – are home to marine stingers and jellyfish.

The peak stinger risk season is from November to May. Most accredited Port Douglas tour operators offer protective ‘stinger suits’ to all customers at little or no cost, so you can still enjoy swimming and snorkelling.

Which month has the most rain in Port Douglas? Rain falls throughout the year in Port Douglas. February is the wettest month in Port Douglas, with up to 500mm (20in) of rainfall on average, distributed across 16 days.

The wet season lasts from mid-December to late-April, with a greater than 39% chance of a given day being a wet day. January through to March receives the most rain.

The drier season lasts from late-April to mid-December. The months with the least rainfall in Port Douglas is July, August and September.

What is the windiest month in Port Douglas? April is the windiest months of the year, with an average hourly wind speed of around 14 kilometres per hour (8.7 mph; 7.6 knots).

Mid-March through to mid-November is usually the windiest time of year in Port Douglas, with average wind speeds of more than 13 kilometres per hour (8 mph; 7 knots).

Port Douglas experiences less wind in the months from mid-November to mid-March. The calmest month of the year in Port Douglas is February, with an average hourly wind speed of 11 kilometres per hour (7 mph; 6 knots).

The predominant wind direction in Port Douglas is from the east throughout the year.

Is there a risk of a tropical storm in Port Douglas? The risk of a tropical storm in Port Douglas is greatest between January and March. The region is prone to tropical cyclones, which usually form between November and May.

Queensland has an excellent cyclone warning system that provides plenty of advance notice of an impending cyclone.

Note : The waters of tropical Queensland are home to marine stingers (Irukandji jellyfish). The high risk season is from November to May. Stinger nets are available for ocean swimming and most accredited tour operators offer protective ‘stinger suits’ to all customers at little or no cost.

If you do get stung do not rub the sting area instead, apply vinegar immediately and seek medical attention urgently. Dial 000 for an ambulance.

Port Douglas Weather Averages

Holiday seasons.

High season: June to October during the dry season. Low season: November to May.

Source : Meteorological data for Port Douglas is based on weather statistics gathered for the 30-year period 1991 to 2020 by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) from the closest weather stations that include Port Douglas Warner Street AWS and Low Isles Lighthouse AWS, the latter located 14km (8mi) northeast of Port Douglas.

Advice on the best time to visit a particular destination is based on average local weather statistics, when the weather conditions are generally better than at other times of the year. We consider high and low temperatures, risk of rain (and thunderstorms, etc.), amount of sunshine and sea temperature. For general outdoor activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 18°C (64°F) and 27°C (80°F); and for hot-weather activities we favour clear, rainless days with a temperature range between 24°C (75°F) and 32°C (89°F). Often, the best times to visit correspond to high season and therefore involve higher prices.

More about Port Douglas…

Latest update: Best time to visit Port Douglas: 11 May, 2024

Disclaimer : The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data and conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable. We assume no responsibility and can not be held legally responsible for any decisions made on the basis of the information presented on this site.


port douglas best time to travel

Best time to visit Port Douglas , QLD, Australia

Our verdict

The best time to visit Port Douglas is September-October

In the height of summer, temperatures in Port Douglas can reach a maximum of 31℃ (88℉). The weather at night in the winter, which is around July-time, can get down to a minimum of 17℃ (62℉).

If you’re keen to work on your tan in Port Douglas, you’re most likely get the longest days between sun-up and sun-down around October. The wet season in Port Douglas usually falls during the months surrounding January each year. It’s not uncommon to get some decent rainfall or light showers during this time, but on some days the weather tends to be fine for a majority of the day, with only a few drops of rain falling from a passing shower.

Keep reading to find out more detailed information about the seasons and climate in Port Douglas, as well as our favourite tools to help you find the best options for transport, accommodation, and much more.

Quick links: Fast facts / Seasons / Average temperatures / Monthly climate / FAQs / Map

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Port Douglas seasons

Before you continue, it’s important to know when the seasons are in Port Douglas as they might be different to yours depending on where in the world you’re travelling from. Port Douglas is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons fall during these months:

Average temperatures in Port Douglas

If the temperature is a big factor for you to help you decide when to visit, the chart below shows the average minimum and maximum temperatures in Port Douglas for each month side-by-side so you can easily see the difference in weather throughout the year. To see the temperatures in both Celsius (°C) and Fahrenheit (°F), hover or tap the shaded boxes on the graph.

Port Douglas climate by month

If you already have a rough idea about which months you might want to travel, the section below shows a detailed breakdown of the climate in Port Douglas for each month so you can see if it all suits your wants and needs. Scroll down, or use the quick menu below to jump to your preferred month.

Port Douglas in January

  • Average temperature: 27℃ (80℉)
  • Average high temperature: 29℃ (85℉)
  • Average low temperature: 25℃ (76℉)
  • Average humidity: 79%
  • Average sunny days: 8 days
  • Average rainfall: 155mm (6") over 20 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in January, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Add visitor or local insider tips >

Port Douglas in February

  • Average low temperature: 25℃ (77℉)
  • Average humidity: 78%
  • Average sunny days: 7 days
  • Average rainfall: 107mm (4") over 18 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in February, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in March

  • Average temperature: 26℃ (79℉)
  • Average high temperature: 28℃ (83℉)
  • Average low temperature: 24℃ (75℉)
  • Average humidity: 80%
  • Average sunny days: 9 days
  • Average rainfall: 102mm (4") over 18 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in March, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in April

  • Average temperature: 25℃ (76℉)
  • Average high temperature: 27℃ (80℉)
  • Average low temperature: 23℃ (73℉)
  • Average sunny days: 13 days
  • Average rainfall: 45mm (2") over 14 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in April, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in May

  • Average temperature: 23℃ (73℉)
  • Average high temperature: 25℃ (77℉)
  • Average low temperature: 21℃ (70℉)
  • Average sunny days: 17 days
  • Average rainfall: 29mm (1") over 10 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in May, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in June

  • Average temperature: 22℃ (71℉)
  • Average high temperature: 24℃ (75℉)
  • Average low temperature: 20℃ (67℉)
  • Average sunny days: 18 days
  • Average rainfall: 13mm (1") over 8 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in June, make sure you pack t-shirts for the daytime and maybe a light jumper for the evenings as it cools down a bit.

Port Douglas in July

  • Average temperature: 21℃ (70℉)
  • Average high temperature: 23℃ (74℉)
  • Average low temperature: 19℃ (66℉)
  • Average humidity: 77%
  • Average sunny days: 19 days
  • Average rainfall: 10mm (0") over 8 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in July, make sure you pack t-shirts for the daytime and maybe a light jumper for the evenings as it cools down a bit.

Port Douglas in August

  • Average humidity: 75%
  • Average sunny days: 23 days
  • Average rainfall: 6mm (0") over 6 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in August, make sure you pack t-shirts for the daytime and maybe a light jumper for the evenings as it cools down a bit.

Port Douglas in September

  • Average temperature: 22℃ (72℉)
  • Average high temperature: 26℃ (78℉)
  • Average low temperature: 20℃ (68℉)
  • Average humidity: 74%
  • Average sunny days: 21 days
  • Average rainfall: 6mm (0") over 5 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in September, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in October

  • Average temperature: 24℃ (75℉)
  • Average low temperature: 21℃ (71℉)
  • Average sunny days: 22 days
  • Average rainfall: 18mm (1") over 7 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in October, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in November

  • Average temperature: 25℃ (77℉)
  • Average rainfall: 23mm (1") over 10 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in November, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

Port Douglas in December

  • Average humidity: 76%
  • Average sunny days: 14 days
  • Average rainfall: 77mm (3") over 13 days

What to pack: If you’re heading to Port Douglas in December, make sure you pack t-shirts and light clothing.

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Is Port Douglas Worth Visiting & 15 Best things to do!

Palm Trees in Rex Smeal Park Port Douglas

You’re on the hunt for a tropical getaway, honeymoon destination, or family beach vacation. Then, I would love to think that the Tropical North Queensland region has what you’re looking for. But, Is Port Douglas Worth visiting, and what are the best things to do that make it worth it?

We spent a few weeks exploring the area between Cairns and Cooktown, which included the lovely Port Douglas. Therefore, I’m here today to relay my personal experience, tell you about what I go up to, and help you decide if it’s the place for you.

So read on below to find out!

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Please read my disclaimer, T&C’s & privacy policy here .

Is Port Douglas Worth visiting?

Key Takeaways: I can’t stress this enough – I think Port Douglas is worth visiting for so many reasons! For starters, it’s lined with an amazing beach, is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, and convenient access to the Daintree National Park.

This means, you can no longer imagine pursuing two UNESCO World Heritage sites from the same town and ideal if you’re looking for high-end restaurants or indulgent spa treatments. And, of course, let’s not forget about the pristine beachside living that makes this town such a relaxing escape. 

sunrise on the beach in Port Douglas

15 Reasons why I love visiting?

Port Douglas is nestled in the heart of Tropical North Queensland and only an hour’s drive from the bustling city of Cairns. Despite its small population of around 3.5 thousand, it attracts countless visitors every year for it’s luxury beachside lifestyle.

➡  Compare prices for All Port Douglas Accommodation HERE with Booking.com

1. Mossman Gorge

Before you visit the main parts of the Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge will be one of the best introductions and should definitely be on your itinerary. It’s conveniently located just 20 minutes from town and an easy day trip that immerses you in the lush rainforest surroundings. 

Make sure you check out some of the hiking trails and waterfalls, but you don’t want to miss out on the  Mossman Gorge swimming hole . The water are crystal clear and invigorating when you jump in, but you’ll also be surrounded by lush rainforest scenery.

➡  Compare prices for Mossman Gorge Tours HERE with Get Your Guide, or HERE with Viator.

While a self-drive tour would give you more flexibility, an organised tour might include areas that you would never have discovered on your own. Whichever option you choose, you’ll be glad to know that a significant tourist information centre awaits you at the entrance to the gorge. 

Cool off from the summer heat by swimming in Mossman Gorge

2. Daintree National Park

No visit to this area would be worth it without seeing the Daintree National Park. It’s one of the oldest National Parks in the world, and it’s located in the captivating UNESCO-listed Wet Tropics of Queensland.

The entire National Park is divided by the meandering Daintree River, offering plenty of opportunities for crocodile tours. To get across, you need to take a car ferry transfer, adding an extra bit of adventure to your journey. 

➡  Compare prices for Daintree National Park Tours HERE with Get Your Guide, or HERE with Viator.

The northern side is where the main section is, and the Discovery Information Centre. This is where you can learn everything you need to know about the park, grab a snack, coffee or see the tree top walk out the back. 

Walking the boardwalk at Daintree National Park

3. Crocodile Tours

Before crossing over the Daintree River, we embarked on a Saltwater Crocodile adventure. While it wasn’t the best of weather for us, the tour leader was exceptional at spotting the large deadly crocodiles and also the tiniest of ones. 

What’s great about these tours is that you have options! There are several companies running them, making it easy to plan a day trip or incorporate it into your other excursions. While there isn’t much difference between the companies themselves, it’s worth noting that some operate out of wildlife parks instead of in the wild. 

➡  Compare prices for Port Douglas Tours HERE with Get Your Guide, or HERE with Viator.

Personally, I think nothing beats seeing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. But don’t worry, no matter which company you choose; you’re sure to catch a glimpse of these deadly critters. 

Tip:   If you have the flexibility, my biggest advice is to book a tour during  low tide and sunny days . Plus, remember to bring a  high-zoom camera lens , as some of the animals may be small or far away from your phone’s camera. 

See Saltwater Crocodiles on the Daintree River

4. Snorkelling the Outer Great Barrier Reef

Your Itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a  day trip going to the Great Barrier Reef  for some   epic snorkelling .  This is easily one of the best places to immerse yourself in the underwater world. And with tours venturing out to the outer reef, you’re sure to witness some of the most awe-inspiring marine life and colourful coral around. 

Keep in mind that I have snorkelled all along the coast, and this would have to be one of the  best snorkelling areas in Queensland  to try out. It’s is not as high profile as places like Cairns or Airlie Beach, and I thought the quality of underwater life and coral was better in the outer Reef areas.

➡  See Outer Reef Snorkelling Tours HERE with Get Your Guide, or HERE with Viator.

There is also walking through the underwater viewing chamber, a truly unique experience that will have you marvel at the marine world beneath the surface. On the downside, Yes, it’s a long 2-hour ride out to the reef, but if you bring a little entertainment (like playing cards) to keep you company, the time will fly by. 

Coral Reef with fish and snorkeller

5. The Wildlife Habitat

As you drive into the town on the highway, you’ll spot the Wildlife Habitat with its sprawling grounds that house an impressive collection of local Australian wildlife. If you’re looking for an adventure with Aussie wildlife like Kangaroos , wallabies, Koalas, and saltwater crocodiles, this is definitely the place to be.

It’s the perfect option for anyone who can’t leave town but still yearns for a wild experience in a more controlled environment. With plenty of friendly keepers who are passionate about their animals, you’re sure to have fun and learn more about the Australian Wildlife. 

Wildlife Habitat entrance

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6. Four Mile Beach

Who doesn’t love a good beach day, especially from a small beachside town? Four Mile Beach definitely fits the bill and has consistently been voted one of the  best beaches in Queensland.  

Obviously, this stunning stretch of sand runs a whopping 4 miles long, and while swimming isn’t advised due to the potential for crocodiles and stingers(jellyfish), there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the beach. 

On the other hand, you will often find people swimming, but this will generally be outside of Stinger Season and only in lifeguarded areas. This means if you intend to go swimming, please chat to the lifeguard on duty first and know the risks. 

Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas from a drone

7. Sunday Markets

What could be better on a lazy Sunday morning than grabbing your wallet and heading to the Sunday Markets! You can browse the stalls of countless vendors, selling everything from one-of-a-kind arts and crafts to locally sourced food products. 

You’ll find everything you need to stock your pantry, dress up your home, and fill your tummy. These markets are the perfect place to spend a leisurely morning, wandering around with your family and friends. 

8. Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail

If you’re looking for a scenic walk, the Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail is sure to impress. The 1.5 kilometre trail winds its way from Four Mile Beach all the way to Rex Smeal Park, making it the perfect afternoon activity. 

And the best part? You can start your walk at either end or even at the lookout point in the middle. This means that you can mix things up and enjoy different views on your return journey. Also know there are a few stairs to climb at the start, and there’s actually a phone holder for the ultimate photo opportunity. 

Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail has some amazing views

9. Mossman River Drifting

Firstly, we had an absolute blast on the  Mossman River Drift Snorkelling tour, and I would totally recommend it to anyone. While it’s only listed as a 2.5-hour tour, it ended up being about 4 hours with transportation. However, that still gave us plenty of time to see other things for the rest of the day. 

This tour provides all the necessary gear – mask, snorkel, raft, and boots – so all you need to bring is your swimsuit. Although, just a heads up, there are no change rooms, so make sure you’re already suited up before you get there! 

➡  Book your River Drift Snorkelling Tours HERE with Get Your Guide.

Honestly, it just feels calm and tranquil, too, as you drift through the gorgeous rainforest. The best news is, it’s suitable for any age, so you can bring your whole family along for the experience!

Mossman River Drift Snorkelling Tour - Floating down the river

10. Rex Smeal Park

If you’re in the mood for a picturesque spot to spend an afternoon, why don’t you stop into the Rex Smeal Park? This park is downright dreamy, from its lush grassy expanse to the swaying palm trees that line its walkways. 

But there’s more to it than just beauty – come sunset, it’s a full-blown Instagram sensation. Get your camera ready because you won’t be able to resist snapping a picture or two of the natural beauty on display here.

11. St Mary’s by the Sea Chapel

If you’re wandering around Rex Smeal Park, it’s worth seeing The St Marys by the Sea Chapel. This historic gem has been in existence since 1811, with a tumultuous past that has seen it destroyed and rebuilt twice over. 

It’s been used for a variety of occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and christenings, which only adds to the unique charm of this building. A major highlight is the breathtaking architecture and rightfully listed as a Queensland heritage building!

St Mary's By the Sea Chapel

12. Great Barrier Reef Drive

The Great Barrier Reef drive runs along the Queensland coast from Cairns to Cape Tribulation (including Port Douglas). If you’re ever after a scenic route in Australia, then this is one to add to your list. 

You have the Great Barrier Reef on one side and the Wet Tropics of Queensland on the other. This means you’ll be driving through two UNESCO World Heritage Listed areas and stopping at all the things to see along the way. 

I featured at least ten stops along this road trip in  my video HERE , but some of these are also mentioned below. This was filmed over a few days since we had a week stop in Port Douglas.

Rex Lookout on the Great Barrier reef Drive

13. Thala Beach Reserve

I would have to say there are two reasons tourists visit the Thala Beach Nature Reserve! One for the luxury accommodation or two for the Palm Tree Valley. 

This breathtaking reserve boasts thousands of coconut palm trees lined up in perfect symmetry. This provides the ideal Instagramable backdrop that will surely make your friends at home envious. 

What’s more, it’s just a quick 20-minute drive south of town, making it an easily accessible hideaway that’s excellent for a day trip or longer stay. And with an eco-friendly accommodation onsite, you can rest easy knowing that your holiday has a minimal environmental impact. 

The Thala Nature Beach Reserve is just north of Cairns

14. Palm Cove

If you’re looking to switch things up during your vacation? Why not explore some of the other nearby beaches and towns that Queensland has to offer? One spot to consider is the charming seaside village of Palm Cove. 

With its picturesque palm trees and cobblestone path, this small town certainly packs a punch when it comes to stunning scenery. Plus, it boasts another one of the best beaches in all of Queensland.

Palm Cove cobblestone path

15. Kuranda Village

I firstly have to say, that I think  Kuranda is worth visiting  more so from Cairns, but it’s nice you have the options from Port Douglas as well. This can be done on a self-drive option along the “Great Barrier Reef Drive” or through an organised tour. 

➡  Compare prices for Kuranda Tours from Port Douglas HERE with Get Your Guide. Or find other options HERE with Viator.

This charming little village offers locally made products ranging from clothes to food to arts and crafts to souvenirs. Plus, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can grab a delicious lunch during your day trip. 

I highly recommend taking the Kuranda Rail from Cairns on the way there and the Skyrail Gondola on the way back to Smithfield. I think this is best on an organised tour, since you won’t have to worry about returning to your car or using the extra transfers. 

Kuranda Village Entrance Sign

Where to Stay?

If you’re after a luxury lifestyle,  Port Douglas has accommodation options  and is known as the ultimate getaway destination. And while the prices may seem steep, rest assured that the quality of service and beachside locations are what you’re paying for.

Although, budget-friendly choices are still around, and if you stay in a less high-profile area, you will save some dollars. This includes having fewer facilities, away from the beach, or looking out for special deals. 

Ultimately, where you stay will largely depend on your wants and needs, but with some careful consideration and planning, you’re sure to find the perfect accommodation to suit your style.

Bedroom of the Dreamcatcher Apartments in Port Douglas

Wrap up – Is Port Douglas worth visiting?

To sum up, Port Douglas is worth visiting and should definitely be added to your destination holiday list. Even if the main reason to visit is to experience the Great Barrier Reef, there are still tons of other activities and luxury accommodations available for you to enjoy. 

Visit now while it remains unchanged and unspoilt, don’t forget to check out my  other Port Douglas posts for more inspiration about the region. On the other hand, if you’re travelling more around the state,  explore my Queensland features  to help plan your trip. 

Read More Articles:

The Best Cairns Itinerary | Planning 7 days or more

Is Cairns worth Visiting in Queensland & Why it’s Not?

How Many Days do you need in Port Douglas?

How to Get to the Waterfall Circuit from Cairns in the Atherton Tableland

The Best Cairns to Cooktown Road Trip Stops (Via Bloomfield)

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“Hi, travel enthusiasts! I’m Chris Fry, The Aquarius Traveller Blogger. I’ve been exploring the world since 2007, documenting my journeys through the lens of my camera. Having visited over 37 countries (including my home Australia), I’ve gained first-hand experiences that help you plan your adventures.

So, whether you need insider tips, or want to live vicariously through my escapades – You’ll find something to love in my blog.”

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  1. Best Time to Visit Port Douglas

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  2. 11 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Port Douglas

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  3. 25 Of The Best Things To Do In Port Douglas, Australia

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  4. Visit Port Douglas on a trip to Australia

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  5. 9 Reasons Why Port Douglas Is the Ultimate Summer Destination

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  6. The ultimate guide to Port Douglas

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  1. Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

    October through December is a great time to visit Port Douglas. While October marks the end of the dry season, there are still plenty of sunny days to enjoy with temperatures reaching a top of 28°C. Rain is more common throughout this period, so it's always a good idea to pack a light rain jacket with you. The Port Shorts Film Festival occurs ...

  2. Best Time of Year to Visit Port Douglas, North Queensland

    Best Time of Year to visit Port Douglas. As someone who has experienced the city firsthand, I highly recommend visiting Port Douglas anywhere between April to November. This is essentially the Winter and shoulder seasons in Australia and helps you stay away from the scorching hot temperatures in the summer.

  3. Travel guide to Port Douglas, QLD

    Guide to Port Douglas. With its luxe resorts and dining scene, Port Douglas is the ideal base for exploring pristine rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef. The laidback tropical town of Port Douglas is the gateway to two UNESCO World Heritage-listed natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and the expanses of the Daintree Rainforest.

  4. Best Time to Visit Port Douglas

    September in Port Douglas. September is possibly the best time to visit the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas, the whales should still be around, the Trade Winds should be calming and the water is starting to warm up. Temperatures are rising, 28ºC -22º C with little rain.

  5. Best time to go to Port Douglas

    Tourist seasons in Port Douglas. Very low season in Port Douglas The months with the lowest number of tourists are: January, February, March and May. Low season in Port Douglas The months with low numbers of tourists are: April and June. High season in Port Douglas The number of visitors to Port Douglas is high in: November and December.

  6. The Best Port Douglas Itinerary, Plan 2 to 6 days in 2024

    The Best Port Douglas Itinerary - Plan between 2 to 6 days. Port Douglas is located in Tropical North Queensland, about 60 kilometres and 1 hour north of the international Gateway city of Cairns. It has about 3.5 thousand permanent residents, and the highest tourist season is around May to September.

  7. Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

    Seasonal Changes in Port Douglas. Port Douglas experiences a dry season, typically from May to October, and a wet season, which runs from November to April. The dry season is marked by lower humidity and less rainfall, while the wet season is characterized by heavy rain and higher humidity.

  8. The only Port Douglas holidays planning guide you'll ever need

    With the mercury rarely dropping below 19°C, there's never a bad time to visit Port Douglas. While Australia's winter is considered peak travel time thanks to warm days, cooler nights and minimal rainfall, there are many good reasons to visit Cairns & Great Barrier Reef in the summer.You'll never get cold, there's fewer tourists, and accommodation is cheaper and more available - not ...

  9. Things to know before Traveling to Port Douglas

    Port Douglas is an easy and relaxing place to visit. The weather is great and it's a tourist town, so everything is set up to help you enjoy the trip as much as possible. Swimming safety is probably the main issue of concern, but risks of crocs and jellyfish are easily avoided (see below). Take a look through our list below of all the essential ...

  10. Discover the Beauty of Port Douglas: Your Ultimate Guide!

    The best time to visit Port Douglas is from May to September when the weather is warm and dry. This is also peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and crowds. If you prefer a quieter trip, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of April or October, when the weather is still pleasant but there are fewer visitors. ...

  11. Your Complete Guide To Visiting Port Douglas

    Best Time to Visit Port Douglas. The best time to visit Port Douglas largely depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. But essentially it enjoys a tropical climate, characterised by two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season. The dry season, which runs from May to October, is generally considered the ...

  12. The Best Time to Visit Port Douglas, QL, Australia for Weather, Safety

    If you're looking for the very warmest time to visit Port Douglas, the hottest months are January, December, and then February. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally early to mid December where highs are regularly around 91.2°F (32.9°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 77.7°F (25.4°C) at night.

  13. Best Time To Visit Port Douglas > Weather And Festivals

    June to August is the best time to visit Port Douglas as the pleasant climate is perfect to enjoy the coastal beauty and explore the Great Barrier Reef. The town tends to be crowded during this time, as it is the time of school holidays in Australia, with families from all over the country visiting. Due to its tropical climate, Port Douglas can ...

  14. An Essential Guide to Port Douglas

    Best Time To Go to Port Douglas. Due to Port Douglas being located in the tropics there is a wet and dry season in this region. The best time to visit is generally between April and October when the weather is still warm and sunny, but there is little rain and minimal threat of stingers and crocodiles. The wet season months have a significantly ...

  15. Port Douglas Weather: What to expect and when

    Winter / Spring (Beach Season) April - October. Port Douglas weather temperatures during this period fluctuate between 19 and 24 degrees C, boasting lots of clear blue skies during the day with comfortable, balmy temperatures in the evening. Port Douglas' Four Mile Beach is rated in the top five beaches in Australia and is remarked the world ...

  16. Port Douglas Australia Travel Blog

    Best Time of Year to Visit Port Douglas. Our favourite times in Port were always the shoulders of the wet season. When the skies are blue, the seas clear, the stingers absent and the temperatures not too intense. We'd say the best time of year to visit Port Douglas would be around April-May and Around October-November.

  17. Port Douglas travel

    Port Douglas. Queensland, Australia, Australia & Pacific. Welcome to your holiday. Port Douglas (Port or PD) is equal parts flash and fun, from the million-dollar marina to the dreamy Four Mile Beach and the five-star resorts big enough to warrant their own postcode. 01 / Attractions.

  18. Travel Guide: Best Things to Do in Port Douglas, Australia Page 1 of 1

    The best time to visit Port Douglas is undoubtedly the dry season (April through October), but it's also the most popular time of year for tourism. The temperature during the dry season is mild, the water is still warm enough to swim, there are fewer stingers around, and the visibility out on the reef is at its best. ...

  19. Best Time To Visit Port Douglas

    The best time to visit Port Douglas is in the dry winter season around the months of June/July. Weather in Port Douglas generally comprises of two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. Dry Season: The dry season falls in the winter months of May to October and temperatures range from 19 degrees to 26 degrees Celsius. The season is also ...

  20. Port Douglas weather averages

    Source: Meteorological data for Port Douglas is based on weather statistics gathered for the 30-year period 1991 to 2020 by the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) from the closest weather stations that include Port Douglas Warner Street AWS and Low Isles Lighthouse AWS, the latter located 14km (8mi) northeast of Port Douglas.. Advice on the best time to visit a particular destination is based on ...

  21. Best time to visit Port Douglas , QLD, Australia

    You're in the right place! The perfect time to visit Port Douglas is September-October due to the excellent weather conditions, and you might even find that the cost of flights and accommodation are lower than if you travel during the peak holiday seasons. In the height of summer, temperatures in Port Douglas can reach a maximum of 31℃ (88℉).

  22. Is Port Douglas Worth Visiting & 15 Best things to do!

    Port Douglas is nestled in the heart of Tropical North Queensland and only an hour's drive from the bustling city of Cairns. Despite its small population of around 3.5 thousand, it attracts countless visitors every year for it's luxury beachside lifestyle. Compare prices for All Port Douglas Accommodation HERE with Booking.com. 1. Mossman Gorge