Port Douglas: A touch of Paradise in Far North Tropical Queensland

Long-loved as a popular holiday spot, this tiny town Port Douglas is one of my favourite places in all of Far North Queensland. It offers an abundance of choice when it comes to recreational activities, dining, sightseeing and shopping. If you settle in for a longer holiday, you will soon find there is so much more to the township than just breathtaking beaches and colourful nightlife. Here you will find people from all walks of life and all enjoying a great life in tropical lifestyle – A touch of tropical Paradise.

With the population of just under 4000, this seaside township is located about 60 kilometres north of Cairns city. It not only make it the perfect attraction for visitors but perfect getaway for both locals and tourists to the region. It is an easy scenic drive to reach this small classy and lively seaside town of Port Douglas which is bordered by the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef on the east and the Daintree Rainforest on the west. These fantastic geographical features make it the idyllic attraction for tourists all over the world.

Taking a drive up this scenic bitumen road to Port Douglas from Cairns is a “Day-Visitors” hot spot whether your up there for sightseeing, relaxing by the beach or exploring more of this seaside town gives you an insight of what tropical paradise atmosphere is like. Along this scenic route, not only take you through incredible sea views, coastline and mountain ranges but bypass some of the major award winning tourist attractions in the far north Queensland including Skyrail,  Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure park, Thala Eco-lodge and including views of  some of the untouched and beautiful beaches, coastline and breathtaking lookouts. This road is one of the most wonderful coastal scenic route in the far north Queensland. You will appreciate every views of the coastline and the surrounding mountain ranges from the very moment you start your journey. It has perfect views and scenery for photographers dream route. For any visitors to the region, this is the great place to kick-off your perfect holiday and you will never be disappointed.

Just a short drive out of Cairns is the Ellis beach. This beach is a very popular beach spot for families as well as visitors to the region and is the beginning of the scenic drive to Port Douglas. 

View of Ellis Beach

A little further up the road is the Rex Lookout, which is not only for hand-Gliders lovers location but also a very popular stop-over spot for visitors. Here you’re able to take a photograph of this magnificent view and absorbing this incredible breathtaking glimpse of the coastline and the mountain ranges.

View from Rex Lookout

Port Douglas

As you drive along the main street of Port Douglas township – Macrossan st, either pathways of the street is filled with endless of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants from fine dining and designer clothing to souvenir shops and side-street food cafes and food stalls. Port Douglas has some of the best restaurants in the far north Queensland and they do come at a price.  It is a very popular spot for fascinated onlookers, diners and shoppers. The township has variety of accommodations for every budget travellers from laying out a swag in an outdoor caravan park to five-star resorts and hotels. The choice of where to eat and stay is absolutely endless.

Port Douglas township located right next to one of the natural wonders of the world – The Great Barrier Reef is the major gate-way to the reef. Each year millions of visitors from all over the world flood this township to make their once in a life time trip out to the reef. Apart from the reef cruises, there are many other leisure activities to do in Port Douglas and you will be spoilt for choice.  

Some of the best tourist attractions in Port Douglas

Port Douglas Lookout

Port Douglas Lookout known by tourists is officially known as Flagstaff Hill. This lookout is just a shot walk from the main street of Port Douglas township. This is the perfect lookout to view the spectacular Coral Sea and Four Mile Beach which is the main beach in Port Douglas which stretch for miles and miles. The view is incredibly spectacular

View from the lookout to 4-mile beach

The Reef Marina

Just a short 500 metres walk from the northern of the Port Douglas main street is the Reef Marina where many reef cruise boats depart to the Great Barrier Reef. Taking a stroll along the Marina and inside the reef building gives you an idea how peaceful this place is. The Marina is clean, pretty and a quite atmosphere but there are souvenir shops, restaurants on the waterfront, variety of speciality shops and local brewery. It is a great place to have a local beer or enjoy a tasty cocktail as you witness the sun goes down.

View of the wharf
Inside the reef building

Bally Hooley

Just right next to the Marina is a mini-train operated and owned by one of the high-profile local business entrepreneur. This train operates both on steam and diesel randomly. This leisurely short train ride leaves from the Marina to Crispin station. Along the way, the train has few stops for passengers to hop-off and hop-on. There is a cafe at the both ends of the station where you will be able to have morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea at your leisure. With just less than $25.00, it is one of the best easy-to-do activities that any visitor can do and great way to explore more of this township. It is a must do for any families visiting the area.

Just a short drive away north of Port Douglas is the spectacular Mossman Gorge, which offers some great walking trails and fantastic swimming holes. Just north-west of Port Douglas is Mossman Mount Molloy road which  takes you to stunning and forever green country side of Julatten. For any visitors want to explore and discover further north, it will take you to Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation where rainforest meets the reef. This is one of the most picturesque part of north Queensland with stunning views of the rainforest, reef and mountains leaving the outside world behind. It is all waiting for you with style and tropical sophistication.

Mossman Gorge
Cape Tribulation

From a personal perspective: It is always fun and exciting in exploring and discovering someof the best places and activities in your own backyard. There are lot more hidden places then what you know. I find that travelling does not mean, you travel overseas to enjoy things away from home. It is always fascinating to discover many things in and around the city where you live and surprising yourself is never ending. 

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