I'm an Australian living in Thailand. I like to read, write and travel. I'm currently working on my (commercial) travel website skedaddlecarhire.com.au to make more moolah for my trips.
Published November 4th 2015
Port Douglas, a town in Far North Queensland, Australia, is approximately 40 miles (70 km) north of Cairns, but is known for its close proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The weather in Port Douglas is reflective of its tropical monsoon climate with hot summers, warm winters, and heavy rainfall between the months of January and March. With average daily temperatures in the low 80s, numerous activities are available throughout the year.
The former gold mining town (est. 1877) is not only a haven for nature lovers but is a favorite of history enthusiasts as well. The town's small population of over 3,200 residents doubles during the peak tourist season of May through September, and many venues are able to appeal to people of all ages and interests.
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system and the biggest single structure made by living organisms (over 400 species of coral polyps). The reef is composed of over 3000 individual reefs, 900 Coral Sea islands, and is over 1800 miles (3000 km) long. Residents of the reef include over 1500 species of tropical fish, 200 types of birds, 20 species of reptiles, and giant clams over 120 years old. Many private companies in Port Douglas run daily trips from the marina to the Outer Reef for scuba diving, sightseeing and snorkeling with lodging accommodations on Port Douglas beaches.
The world's oldest existing rainforest, The Daintree Rainforest, is the most densely populated wilderness habitat with over 430 bird species, 23 reptile species, and 13 amphibian species. Because of the rare flora and fauna native to the park, the rainforest is a protected area of Queensland.
Operated by The Douglas Shire Historical Society, The Old Court House Museum provides a detailed history of the town of Port Douglas and surrounding areas through museum tours, historic walks, and genealogy research.
On the shores of the Coral Sea at Rex Smeal Park is an open-air market and dining experience every Sunday morning between the hours of 8 am and 1 pm on Wharf Street in the shopping district. Enjoy fresh produce and homemade goodies in one of the market's cafes. Buy locally crafted art pieces and jewelry from artisans year-round at the Port Douglas Sunday Market.
Learn more about one of the world's oldest culture, the Aborigines and the many indigenous tribes that reside in Queensland. Local companies Walkabout Cultural Adventures and Flames of the Forest provide tours by reservation year-round for both small and large groups.
Numerous 3, 4, and 5 star hotels, luxury resorts, holiday apartments, restaurants and specialty shops are a short walk from the firm and sandy Four-Mile Beach. Indulge in the tropical sun and enjoy first class water sports, fishing, golfing, and sailing. Squeeze in a trip to the wildlife sanctuary at the end of the beach.
Constructed in 1988 on a mere 8 acres of land, The Wildlife Habitat of Port Douglas is a special interactive wildlife exhibit committed to the conservation of native endangered animal and bird species. Guided tours, wildlife presentations, and special mealtime programs are available to tourists and visitors daily between 8 am and 5 pm.
Most independent travelers prefer to sightsee on their own schedules and some do not have specific ideas on what to do in Port Douglas during their visit so they drive to their destinations in a hire car from Cairns Airport (see carhireportdouglas.net.au for more details). For more information, visit the Port Douglas Tourism site.