I feel like I say this about every where that I go buuuuuut this genuinely IS my favourite place on earth. In fact I’m instantly pumped full of positive energy just thinking about how magical it is. It’s pure paradise! So let’s get down to it..
Where is it and How do I get there?
Port Douglas is a small town about 45 minutes drive from Cairns in FNQ (Far North Queensland). A shuttle will take you along the road that connects the two places which parallels with the stunning four mile beach for around25 AUD (11EUR). You can drive yourself if you have a car. This road has been named on of the most scenic drives in the world in 2014.
TIP: If driving yourself be careful of corners as cars come round fast and there are some steep drops into the ocean if you miss calculate!
What’s the weather like?
Hot hot baby. Well, for most of the year anyway. The weather in Port Douglas is almost identical to Cairns. Same seasons, wet and dry. Dry season from May – November and wet from December – April. The weather when wet seems to be a little less intense in Port Douglas as it’s protected by the mountains. Win! There is an obvious high and low season for tourist which synchronises with the seasons. High is the dry and low is the wet!
Can you swim in the sea?
Oh yes. It’s an awesome highlight when you are staying in Port Douglas. Four miles of pristine beach. The water is incredibly warm, up to 32 degrees at certain times of the year. There are only 3 Life guards that cover the beach which means a god part of it is not manned. So best to watch out for signs and to swim near a life guard station.. I wouldn’t recommend swimming at night in Palm Cove unless you want to up your chances of becoming a crocodiles dinner. There is a jellyfish season, but they put up nets that you can swim in-between!
TIP: Get up for sunrise for a dip and see tiny reef sharks swimming in the shallows.
Where should I stay?
There are a lot of places to stay in Port D. If you are thinking of staying long term it’s best to look on Gumtree.com.au as a lot of people look for back packers to rent out their spare rooms a popular and safe option. For other options see my recommendations below;
Port Douglas Backpackers – Budget Backpackers
Rooms approx 30AUD (22EUR). Very central, clean and modern. They have group nights which are great for socialising. I.s movie night or drinking games night. Much fun. You can work for your accommodation.
Dougies Backpackers – Party in Paradise
Dorm room approx 25 AUD (11EUR). You can’t come here and not have fun, it’s impossible. Instant life long friends and memories are promised in this tropical getaway. I would often come round to visit even when I found more permanent lodging because.. it’s awesome! I mean they have their own bar! It’s perfect! About 10 minute walk into the centre.
Sea Temple Resort and Spa – Flashpackers
Rooms approx 250 AUD (120EUR). Yah, it’s pricey but you really get what you pay for in this tropical paradise. The rooms are bright and luxurious with giant hot tubs right in the room. The pool is something out of a magazine. Oh, and the spa! Wowzers. It’s what you see in the movies you can smell the spa from about a mile away and it smells of pure heaven. You are greeted with a scoop of handmade sorbet and you just in pure relaxation mode from that moment on. 5 minute drive into town.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort – Boujee Backpacker
Rooms approx 300AUD (145EUR). So this is one classy establishment. Not for the usual backpacker buuuuut even if you don’t stay here it’s 100% worth checking out. Private swimming pools and real sand in the pool!!! Whaaaat! You can walk directly onto the beach from the hotel. This is a pure win. 5 Minute walk into town.
How do I get around in Port Douglas?
Honestly you can walk around the whole of Port Douglas in about 15 minutes BUT they do offer numerous shuttles which can take you just 10 metres down the road if you want. They are in constant circulation of the town. There are about 6 different companies and having dealt with all of them, the kindest and most reliable of them all is SR Transport, ask for Robin and he’ll make sure you get to where you need to go. Tel: 0469723071. There re taxis but they are expensive.
Where are the best places to eat?
There are a lot of places to eat, mostly on Macrossan Street. Here are some favourites;
Watergate Lounge – Australian/ Asian Cuisine.
Romantically lit and sparking with candles in every direction. Follow the fire torches down into this cosy lounge where you can nestle in for a tropical cocktail or head down into the restaurant for delicious tapas. My favourite was the duck pancakes. Mid range prices.
Salsa Bar & Grill – Modern Australian Cuisine
This is one of my favourite restaurants possibly ever. Beautifully presented meals and packed full of flavour. Mid range prices. Over looks the ocean.
Star of Siam – Thai Cuisine
Honestly doesn’t look much from the outside but you are lucky to get a table most nights and for good reason. The food is so good, authentic Thai food and plenty of it. Low prices.
Viet Pho Café – Vietnamese food
Blink and you’d miss this tiny café. It’s nested in one of the side streets and is a hidden gem. I came across this place by accident one day and I must of been back a hundred times since. Amazing flavours and super cheap. Budget prices.
Where’s a good place to drink?
Where isn’t more like? There are so many places to have one, two or more than a few! Here are some of my recommendations;
Paddy’s Irish Pub – Perfect if you fancy something simple, pint of beer or a G&T. Chilled atmosphere and they always have a game on the T.V. They have $1 chicken wings on certain days! Yass!! It’s a great place to meet new people and play a game of poole. On weekends they have bands come and play and there’s always a huge crowd!
Rex Smeal Park – A beautiful park which is surrounded by palm
trees, over looking the ocean. The perfect place to bring a pack of beers, a blanket and some crisps and watch the sunset.
Barbados – Right next to the inlet, put your feet up and snuggle into bed like sofas. With boat like décor and warm but cosy lighting you’ll feel classy and relaxed sipping on one of their famous cocktails or sipping an ice cold beer.
Iron Bar – Restaurant by day, nightclub by night. I know what you are thinking, ‘What the hell!!’. Honestly it’s not the classiest of joints buuut it’s a lot of fun, it’s cheap and you will end up there at some point dancing the night away.
What is there to do?
Watch a movie outdoors – Walk to QT resort, grab a beanbag and watch a movie on a huge projector under the stars.
Rent a boat and search for Crocodiles – All you need is a valid drivers licence. It’s a great half day out! You can take the boat through the mangroves where you find crocodiles swimming or sunbathing. They supply you with fishing gear as well if you feel in the mood.
TIP: Bring mosquito repellent and water.
Yoga in Rex Smeal Park – Meeting at 8am everyday, Wolfie hosts a free yoga session in the park just after sunrise. It’s an amazing way to start the day. All he asks is that you bring some fruit that you can all enjoy after the session. You can attend at any experience level.
Take a trip around port Douglas – via the new walking trail. Starting at the beach and winding round to the park, hike around this scenic route. It’s an easy journey that takes 30 minutes at most. You can spot turtles and dugongs. There are water fountains along the way and it’s really therapeutic.
Walk around the Sunday Markets – There are over 200 stalls and each more interesting than the last. You can buy handcrafted gifts, have a massage, eat crepes, have your hair braided. Ah, options are endless. Two things I would recommend would be to check out ‘Simply Rose Designs’ to check out her impressive handmade collection of polymer clay jewels and to buy a salad coconut. You’ll know it when you see it! YUM!
BBQ on the beach – coming from England this is something I could only dream of doing. Well dreams easily come reality on Four Mile beach! They have many beach side BBQ’s which are easily activated by the touch of a button! Whip yourself up a saussie sanga and watch the waves roll in!