Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas from above

Where to go

Port Douglas

Port Douglas is the Capital of Barefoot Luxury

Resorts draw celebrities and families to this little slice of paradise between the rainforest and the reef.

This is nature’s playground … where her wildlife flaunts its beauty in a stunning native context

Jack Jenkins – The Nature Kid

Swimming at Port Douglas Sea Temple

THE PERFECT PLAYGROUND

When the Sheraton Mirage resort opened in 1987, it transformed Port Douglas from a sleepy village into a tropical playground for the rich and famous. In three decades, the town has become the region’s high-end resort hub. But even with all that luxury, Port Douglas hasn’t lost its classic Queensland charm and it’s still the kind of place where you’ll be more at home in board shorts than a ball gown.

View of four mile beach from lookout

A STUNNING STRETCH

The famous Four Mile Beach runs along the edge of Port Douglas, a pretty stretch of golden sand that’s remained largely undeveloped. Flop on the sand, swim in the warm waters of the Coral Sea or explore the rock pools at the beach’s northern end.

Bar with cane toad racing sign

TRY THE TASTES OF THE TROPICS

Macrossan Street is the town’s main artery, with more than 60 restaurants and cafes within walking distance. Settle in for al fresco seafood at 2Fish, house-made gnocchi at Salsa Bar & Grill or an acai smoothie bowl at Betty’s Bohemian Beach Cafe. After dark, Macrossan Street comes to life with the best nightlife often bouncing between the Courthouse Hotel and Paddy’s Irish Pub. Don’t miss Tropical North Queensland’s regional sport – cane toad racing – held at the IronBar on Macrossan Street every night at 8pm.

Beers at Hemingways

ICE-COLD INDULGENCES

At the newly redeveloped Reef Marina you’ll find some of Port Douglas’ top eateries, including Hemingway’s Brewery where locally brewed beer (made with water from Mossman Gorge) is paired with a deliciously casual menu. Grab a spot under the striped umbrellas at Barbados, a chic cocktail bar and restaurant overlooking the Dickson Inlet, serving tapas-style small plates, fresh seafood and pizza. Get a table at On the Inlet at 5pm to watch George (a 250-kilo groper), be fed and then stay for your own dinner of a towering seafood platter.

Shopping in Port Douglas

THE URGE TO SPLURGE

The shopping in Port Douglas is on par with what you would find in the country’s most stylish capitals, making it a much-loved sartorial hotspot for locals and visitors alike. There are boutiques selling major international labels, one-of-a-kind local designs, handcrafted jewellery and breezy beach-inspired homewares. Don’t miss the markets held every Sunday morning. Producers come from all over the region to sell jewellery, crafts, clothes, pottery, fresh fruit and more.

Great tropical drive from above

THE ROAD TO PARADISE

Port Douglas is at the centre of the Great Barrier Reef Drive, the most picturesque stretch of highway in the region. It hugs the coast from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, winding along with rainforest on one side and the ocean on the other. It’s also the closest town to Tropical North Queensland’s twin UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef – and is a great jumping-off point for day-trips to either.

Tips

  • Join the locals for a low-key dinner of fish and chips on the wharf. Or keep that feet-in-the-sand feel at The Beach Shack, a tropical bar and restaurant with comfy couches, brightly coloured lanterns and a sandy floor.

  • Take a drive inland to the picturesque town of Mossman, set among the cane fields at the foot of the mountains. It’s famous for its Saturday morning markets, held in the shade of towering raintrees, and selling locally grown fruit and vegetables, clothing, arts and crafts, cakes and excellent coffee.

  • Port Douglas is one of the best golfing destinations in Australia, with three exceptional 18-hole courses close to town. Choose between the Palmer Sea Reef Golf Course and Country Club, the Mirage Country Club and the Mossman Golf Club.

  • While the town is compact, many of the resorts are spread out along the highway. If you don’t have a car, shuttle buses run between the main resorts, the town and the marina. Or you can hire a bike and get around under your own steam.

Discover More

Explore Port Douglas’ award-winning restaurants and fashion boutiques, or get out of town to discover the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, right on your doorstep.

What’s On

Indulge at food, wine and beer festivals, or push yourself with a coastal triathlon or one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races.

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Getting here

  • Car at Red Cliff point

    By car

    Self-drive or hire a car and explore the Great Barrier Reef Drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation, stopping at Port Douglas.

  • Bus on road to Port Douglas

    By coach/bus

    Tours depart Cairns and Palm Cove daily for the Daintree, with return stops available in Port Douglas. Shuttle services and private transfers are also available from Cairns and Palm Cove.

Stay

Creature comforts have never looked so elegant.

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