Port Douglas is 70 km (40 mi) north of Cairns. It is a tropical coastal town with a very good marina and great access to the Great Barrier Reef.
Port Douglas is the perfect gateway to both the Daintree rainforest and Great Barrier Reef on Queensland’s Far North Coast – making it an irresistible tropical getaway. The nearest major airport is Cairns. The population of locals is about 5,000, but this doubles in the high season – May to September. Port Douglas is 1,767 kms (1,098 mi) north of Brisbane, 2,453 kms (1,537 mi) from Sydney, and a whopping 2,868 kms (1,782 mi) from Melbourne. When it is cold and dreary in Melbourne and Sydney in June, July and August, it is warm, balmy and sunny in Port Douglas.
History of Port Douglas
The coastline was first mapped by Captain James Cook in 1770. The first full time European settlers appeared around 1880, attracted by the mining and timber cutting opportunities, though the local Aboriginal Tribes had been there for over 30,000 years.
Gold fever gripped the developing town in 1887, but the completion of the Kuranda Railway linking Cairns to the Atherton Tableland reversed its fortunes. The death knell for Port Douglas was the Cyclone of 1911. Only two buildings remained intact. Not much happened for the next 70 years. In the mid-1980’s the tourist boom started with the building of the Sheraton Mirage Resort and the development of a first class golf course. Since then, Port Douglas has become a major tourist centre.
Things to do
The climate and weather of Port Douglas is the same as Cairns. Hot in summer, beautiful in May to September. The beach is much better than Cairns city. You will be able to walk in solitude as the sun rises out of the Coral Sea. Fishing in the area is great, from heavy tackle marlin fishing outside the Reef, to excellent river and estuary fishing along the coastline. Kitesurfing has become popular and equipment can be hired in the township.
Top things top do in and Around Port Douglas are:
- Snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef
- Go on a cruise
- Day trip to the Daintree
- Play a round of golf
- Deep sea fishing charters
- Go to Wildlife Habitat
- Nature walks
- Explore Mossman Gorge
- Relax in the sun
Map of Port Douglas
Zoom in and out for an interactive map of Port Douglas