The scenery may be breathtaking, but it’s not the only reason why you should make the trip. There are plenty of fun experiences you should not dare miss when in Port Douglas.
Most tourists go to Port Douglas for three things – relaxation, rainforest, and the reef. But the fact is that there’s more to this coastal Queensland town than its picturesque beauty.
Tons of adventures await once you set foot in town. And if you want to make your trip one for the books, here’s a list of some of the most fun things to do in Port Douglas.
#1 – Tour the Great Barrier Reef
One of the greatest Port Douglas experiences is to see the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world. It’s located some 40 miles northeast of Port Douglas.
There are a variety of catamaran and even helicopter tours that provide guests with the ultimate view. However, taking a boat to the reef is often the best idea. It makes it easy for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts to jump in the water and see the coral reef up close.
A tour can last up to a full day, depending on how many of the smaller coral islands you want to visit.
#2 – Visit the Wildlife Habitat
The Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat is a family-friendly attraction with no shortage of thrilling experiences. You can see various colorful birds, reptiles, koalas, and even some rare and elusive specimens like the cassowary.
Having breakfast with the birds is considered one of the unique things to do in Port Douglas. Mingling with kangaroos and other mammals is also part of the attraction. And if you’re traveling with kids, why not go on the nocturnal tours?
#3 – Take the Skyrail or Railway to Kuranda
Many tourists who come to Port Douglas make it a point to visit Kuranda. Although there’s plenty to see there, it’s the trip itself that provides them with the most excitement.
There are two popular ways to get to Kuranda.
The first one is on the Kuranda Skyrail, which soars over the rainforest and offers a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the area.
Your second option is the Scenic Railway. It’s called like that for an excellent reason: the trip to the mountain takes you through fantastic scenery that consists of canyons and tumbling cascades.
#4 – Go Rafting on the Barron River
If you ever get tired of sightseeing via the Port Douglas tours, it’s perhaps time to go on an adventure. Fortunately, Port Douglas offers quick access to the Barron River. It carves right through the Barron Gorge National Park and it’s the perfect spot for adrenaline seekers.
The river has calm stretches and white water rapids that go up to a grade 3 in difficulty.
For an even more thrilling experience, there’s always the Tully River with good stretches of grade 4 rapids. Keep in mind that the Tully River is a three-hour drive away from Port Douglas.
#5 – Spend a Day at Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas
Four Mile Beach is the most famous in the area. And what makes it a terrific spot is the absence of gigantic hotels and massive residential buildings – the beach has mostly lush tropical foliage as its backdrop.
The soft sand and turquoise sea look out of this world and the long stretch of land is enough to keep the place from getting crowded. It even has a gorgeous hilltop lookout that offers a superb view of the entire coast.
Whether you want to take a stroll, sunbathe, or swim, Four Mile Beach is a great spot to do just that.
#6 – Explore the Daintree Rainforest
You can always take the Skyrail to see the Daintree Rainforest from above. But why not explore the rainforest itself?
It’s one of the best things to do in Port Douglas and offers a unique experience. After all, Daintree is the world’s oldest living rainforest.
Tours of the rainforest take you on both land and water and allow you to engage in a wide range of activities. You can do some jungle surfing, bungee jumping, or even enjoy fruit tastings accompanied by aboriginal guides.
#7 – Hike and Swim in the Mossman Gorge
Another one of the top 10 things to do in Port Douglas is to explore the Mossman Gorge. This part of the Daintree National Park has numerous clear water pools that are perfect for cooling off on a hot day.
Colorful butterflies and local wildlife bring the Mossman Gorge to life.
And for an even cooler experience, try the rainforest aerial walkway that has you exploring the area through the canopy.
#8 – Spot Wildlife While on a River Cruise
Do you want to see some saltwater crocodiles in their natural habitat on your Port Douglas vacation? Check out one of the many gentle river cruises that depart from the marina.
These cruises take you through undisturbed mangrove territory where you can see multiple crocs going about their day. Birdwatchers enjoy these cruises, too, as they provide the perfect opportunity to spot white-bellied sea eagles, kites, ospreys, and many more species.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the small shipwrecks that are scattered all over.
#9 – Take a Trip to Cape Tribulation
Visiting Cape Tribulation offers you an opportunity to experience something unique. After all, it’s the only place in existence where two UNESCO World Heritage sites come together.
A trip there is nothing but a two-hour journey that takes you through otherworldly scenery.
You can also make the most out of your trip and visit the actual heritage sites themselves: the Great Barrier Reef or the green jungle that is the Daintree Rainforest.
#10 – Book a Ticket on a Heritage Steam Train Tour
Most tourists know Port Douglas as a paradise location with lush jungles, sandy beaches, and clear waters. But there’s more to the region than nature at its finest.
If you hop aboard the Bally Hooley, you can take a different kind of Port Douglas tour. This guided train tour will teach you about the sugarcane pioneers in the area, as well as the gold rush. You can also check out a variety of old diesel and steam locomotives on the route.
It’s Easy to Forget How to Relax
There’s so much to do in and around Port Douglas. Although this list already provides plenty of ideas, don’t forget to relax, sip a cocktail, or even get in a few spa treatments to make the most out of your holiday.