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Nestled between two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the town of Port Douglas is one of Queensland's most popular summer destinations. Originally a sleepy fishing village, Port Douglas now draws visitors from around the globe, lured by easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. When you're not snorkeling through vibrant coral gardens or walking past historic flora in the forest, explore Aboriginal Australian culture or take time to relax on Port Douglas' picturesque Four Mile Beach. In addition to being a gateway to the wonders of the region, Port Douglas also serves as a paradisiacal resort town, offering pampering spa treatments and charming markets for a break from the many adventures to be had in the region.
Given its unique location between two UNESCO-listed sites, Port Douglas has no shortage of places to explore. Pick from excursions into the Coral Sea, dense forest, or the heritage of the area to help decide your itinerary.
Great Barrier Reef - As a UNESCO-listed site and the largest coral reef system in the world, the Great Barrier Reef needs little introduction. Port Douglas is the closest town to the incredible area and offers easy access to its multitude of reefs and the Low Isles.
Daintree National Park - Daintree National Park is home to the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest and biologically diverse rainforests in the world. Take a day to explore the forest's vast foliage, which grows right up to the sandy shores of the coast, and visit nearby Cape Tribulation for a stroll along the coral sands. Daintree National Park is also home to the Mossman Gorge, whose steep valley is a popular site for hikes and bird-watching.
Tjapukai Cultural Park - The Tjapuka Cultural Park aims to immerse and educate you in authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. The traditions and heritage of the Djabugay people are highlighted through live performances, interactive demonstrations of art and sports, and Djabugay food. Visit during the day or at night for unique and insightful experiences.
Port Douglas is blessed with a wealth of natural beauty, such as the famous Four Mile Beach, a long and curved expanse of white sand melting into the calm cerulean waves of the Coral Sea. Climb Flagstaff Hill for a breathtaking view over the entire beach and parts of Port Douglas itself, ending with a glimpse of Dickinson Inlet in the distance. Port Douglas is also the jumping-off point for any number of reef excursions-take your pick of the thousands of individual reefs in the Great Barrier Reef, like those surrounding lush Green Island or Fitzroy Island. Back on land, catch aerial views of a tropical rainforest dotted with astonishing waterfalls aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
It's no wonder that Port Douglas is a popular destination for both relaxing and adventurous vacations. The town features a number of rejuvenating spas with a variety of treatments for the perfect afternoon indulgence, as well as luxurious cruises on the Coral Sea. Animal lovers can get up-close and personal with native Australian wildlife like koalas, kangaroos, cassowaries at parks like Kuranda Koala Gardens and Birdworld Kuranda. From snorkeling and sailing to stand-up paddleboarding and kitesurfing, the water sports and things to do in the waves surrounding Port Douglas are endless. After an exciting day of following fish, turtles and other sea creatures through the Great Barrier Reef, return to Port Douglas and absorb the laid-back atmosphere of its Mossman Markets. For a completely unique experience of the Daintree National Park, join a tour led by a Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal guide and learn about the Mossman Gorge from the perspective of its traditional owners.
There's fun for the entire family wherever you roam in Port Douglas. Here are a few family friendly experiences to try together that are sure to make your trip memorable:
A break in Port Douglas need not break the bank. You can leave your wallet at home if you check out:
Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina - Saunter down the streets and appreciate the character and charm of this favorite location.
Sugar Wharf - Widely recognized among local residents, this site is worth visiting.
St Mary's by the Sea Chapel - Whatever your religious leanings, this place will invoke a sense of reverence.
Four Mile Beach - Dive into the latest bestseller or listen to some music while sitting in the sunshine.
Rex Smeal Park - Nurture your green thumb and admire the diverse range of plants on display.
Take advantage of the fine weather (and get some exercise too) with these fun activities:
Try one or two of these indoor activities and turn a gray, rainy day into something memorable:
Great Barrier Reef is usually mentioned in the same breath as Port Douglas, so be sure to give yourself enough time to visit.
Impress family and friends back home by capturing a selfie in front of Mossman Gorge.
Keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your wallet with these cheap and cheerful activities:
Your trip to Port Douglas needn't cost a bundle with free attractions like these to keep you on the go: