There are enough activities in and around Port Douglas to keep you busy for Months. Deciding on what to do while your here will be the difficult part.
We have added a few ideas below to help you get started with your holiday itinerary.
Port Douglas Markets takes place every Sunday at Anzac Park from around 7:30am until mid-afternoon. Wandering around under the palm trees, you'll discover 150 stalls featuring fabulous local arts, hand-made crafts, homeware, clothing, organic beauty products, local practitioners, fresh produce, unique jewellery and more! Treat yourself to a massage or some reflexology, enjoy a freshly squeezed tropical fruit juice, try a skin rejuventaing salt scrub, and wile away a good couple of hours enjoying the music and atmosphere. The market is a regular "must do" for locals and visitors from all over the world.
Try the Sugar Cane juice if you have not tried before. Freshly made, it looks a bit brown but tastes superb and is really good for you containing a range of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibre. Also keep an eye out for the local coconut growers, they will drill a hole into a coconut so you can drink the water, then when you're done come back and they will crack it open, grind up the coconut meat, then you can add your choice of a salad or sweet mix and enjoy a meal in a shell!
Four Mile Beach is a tropical paradise, lined by coconut palms and golden sand as far as the eye can see. Four Mile Beach is the premier beach of Port Douglas. This naturally beautiful beach is free from development with all resorts and buildings tucked away behind the vegetation. Beginning at the northern rocky headland, Four Mile Beach stretches for - yep you've guessed it - 4 miles! and ends amongst the rocks, reefs and mangroves of the Mowbray River mouth.
For the most part the beach is very low, flat, and the sand is compact making it a great option for bike rides too. Kitesurfing is popular at the southern end of Four Mile Beach, particularly during the winter months when the trade winds blow from the South.
Four Mile Beach runs parelell with Davidson Steet & is in easy walking distance from Macrossan Street. Four Mile Beach is is one of the best known and most popular beaches of northern Australia.
Four Mile Beach can be accessed from the end of Macrossan Street, and also along a public footpath that is located beside The Portsea Resort. Guests staying at the Sheraton Mirage have direct beach access from the resort, there is also a beach access footpath for guests at the Sea Temple Resort.
This beach is a great place to see incredible sunrises. For the best view drive, ride or walk up to Flagstaff Hill to see Four Mile Beach in all its glory.
The Iron Bar is renowned for the best cane toad races in the country! Totally unique and utterly hilarious, they have been racing cane toads for nearly 16 years now. Tickets to get in cost about $5 each and can be bought as you go in (show starts at 8pm) or purchased earlier in the day, which is the best option during peak times.
There are usually 2 races - the first is a random draw of the entry tickets. If your number is called you are then assigned a toad. Runners include Fat Bastard, Gay Freddie, Pigeon Toad, Shagging Camel Toad, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie and all time favourite Jerry Springer. A quick kiss of the toad for luck and then the fun begins. As the toads are released encouragement is needed, so this is a great opportunity for the whole crowd to get involved with cheers and screams. For the second race the Toads are auctioned off. If you miss out in the first round, make sure you bid and buy one for the second round, and be prepared for lots of laughs!
This is a must do if you have a free evening in Port Douglas, the guy who hosts the races is really funny and engaging. So grab yourself a beer or a wine, come with an open mind and have a ball.
Don't wait to bid on the last Toad as it is normally the most expensive. Buy one of the earlier ones or buy the winner of the previous race.
Where: IronBar Port Douglas, 5 Macrossan Street.
When: Monday to Saturday nights from 8pm.
A short scenic drive 15 minutes north of Port Douglas will bring you to the town of Mossman. From here turn left and follow the bright green fields of sugar cane towards the mountains, and you will discover a hidden gem that is Mossman Gorge. Situated in a stunning section of the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge is one of the most visited spots in the Wet Tropics. Huge granite boulders line the gorge, with crystal clear water cascading into freshwater swimming holes. Lush rainforest cloaks the steep mountainsides where you can embark on your own adventure through the Gorge.
There are two circuit tracks. A short, 400m track provides access to lookouts over the Mossman River, or follow the suspension bridge across the river to explore the 2.7 kilometre rainforest loop trail. These can be self-guided. Afterwards take a refreshing and invigorating dip in the cool freshwater streams.
Getting There: To access Mossman Gorge you will need to park at the Mossman Gorge Centre. From here you can either walk the final 2km into the park or for around $8 per person take the shuttle bus. Shuttle buses depart every 15 mins from the Mossman Gorge Centre.
Don't forget to bring water and insect repellant. Swimming in Mossman Gorge can be dangerous so before entering the water assess the conditions based on your skill level and use caution.
For avid wildlife spotters and nature lovers, Hartley's Crocodile Adventures is the place to be. Set in the foothills of the MacAlister Range, in a World Heritage listed area, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is home to a range of habitat types including melaleuca wetlands, riverine rainforest and eucalypt woodland.
Wildlife on show includes snakes, birds, cassowaries, koalas, quolls and the featured crocodile. Nowhere else is it possible for visitors to obtain such an intimate insight into the biology and behaviour of crocodiles than at Hartleys Crocodile Adventures.
Hartley's Lagoon is an immersion exhibit whereby the animals are displayed in surroundings that not only reflect their own habitats but also give viewers the feeling that they are, even for a few moments, a privileged and exclusive witness to a part of their daily lives.
Nineteen crocs ranging in size from 2.5m to 5m cruise the waters, laze on the bank or build their nests, interacting with each other just as they would in the wild as well as keeping all the other residents of the lagoon on their toes!
The wildlife amphitheatre is located in the heart of the park and features shows throughout the day including a 'Snake Show' and 'Crocodile Attack Show'. The Cassowary Walk provides an easy, relaxing self-guided walk through the Cassowary Garden where you can view these creatures up close and learn about their relationship with the rainforest.
No Australian wildlife park is complete without Koalas.
These are Australia’s great wildlife ambassadors and a favourite with visitors worldwide. They spend most of the day fast asleep until 4:30pm when it is feed time. Come and share the excitement when they wake up and are presented with fresh gum leavees. Hartley's is open from 8:30am until 5:00pm daily. You can choose to self drive or pre-book onto a shuttle bus from your accommodation.
The largest attraction in Port Douglas is the Great Barrier Reef. Port Douglas in close proximity to the Reef and is the starting point for a number of excellent trips to the Outer Barrier Reef. Visitors can choose between exciting day trips or world-class extended liveaboards for the ultimate snorkeling or diving experience.
There are a number of reef sites visited from Port Douglas, all of which are considered to be among the best and most pristine along the Great Barrier Reef. Despite the hundreds of visitors daily, sites like Agincourt Reef or Opal Reef continue to boast an enticing underwater world of diverse marine life and vibrant coral.
Port Douglas is well known for it’s style and sophistication and the reef cruise vessels at the Marina Mirage offer no less. Visitors can choose from stunning sailboats or luxury yachts, to the ultimate in high tech marine on the wave piercing catamarans operated by Quicksilver.
Snorkelling is a fantastic, easy way to view the reef; and is available on all reef trips. Free equipment is provided on most tours and guided snorkeling tours are available to maximize your reef experience. A marine naturalist will point out the different corals and marine life and explain their place in such a diverse ecosystem.
Diving is the only way to see the reef up close and personal. From beginner to expert, there is a dive tour to suit all levels, including one day or extended liveaboard expeditions.
Introductory Dives led by qualified dive instructors are available on many reef tours, with onboard tuition and equipment included. Beginners are briefed on the way out to the reef site to ensure both an exciting and safe first dive.
For the certified diver, the reefs off Port Douglas are home to dramatic drop offs, swim throughs and bommies.
Buddy up with a dive partner, or tag along with a dive guide for a grand tour of all the nooks & cranies.
Liveaboard expeditions are the best option for Certified divers, with tours to the world famous Cod Hole a must see dive spot.
For absolute indulgence, why not charter a vessel for your own private reef experience. Charters are available to groups or independent travelers, for both day trips and overnight expeditions. Follow the set itinerary, or plan your own trip to suit your needs.
Once a year, around full moon in November, the simultaneous mass spawning of corals takes place. This very special event tracks the release of the reef’s polyps in an intense reproductive explosion, as billions of tiny eggs & sperm fill the water at the same time. They float to the surface and form a slick cover that may last for days. Coral Spawning is a once in a lifetime experience and highlight of night diving during November and December. Special tours are available to view this annual wonder, if you are lucky enough to get the timing
The Bally Hooley Train is a steam engine that runs on most Sundays in Port Douglas between Marina Mirage Station and St Crispin’s Station. It was originally operated by Mossman Mill to haul sugar through the cane fields for refining in Mossman. It is now operated by a group of dedicated volunteers.
BALLY HOOLEY....Does that sound Irish to you? Well, you may well be right, as this was the name given to the end of the line up the Mowbray Valley, more than a hundred years ago, possibly by an Irish immigrant.
Nowadays Bally Hooley is the name given to the historic little steam train that operates from the Marina Mirage station in Port Douglas every Sunday.
It is historic because the two coal-fired steam locomotives (Speedy and Bundy) that haul the trains are both over 55 years old, being the very last ones used by the Mossman Sugar Mill before switching to diesel locomotives for hauling the sugar cane from the fields to the region's mill.
It is also historic because the track on which these trains run has been in existence for over a century, and the whole little set-up is much loved by locals and visitors.
The railway is operated by a dedicated small group of passionate volunteers. All moneys collected go towards the cost of coal and insurance which are both very big “cash consumers”. Maintenance costs are extremely high also.
The excursion, which takes a bit under one hour for the return trip from the Marina Station, passes through some attractive areas of mangrove, the Sheraton Country Club, and a couple of resorts to the Station at St. Crispin’s which is adjacent to the 12th tee of the Mirage Golf Course. Located right alongside a tidal lake at St.
Crispin’s, a couple of resident crocodiles can often be seen. At the terminus of St. Crispin’s Station, the locomotive is turned around on the turntable for the start of the return run to the Marina.
This is great little trip to do with the kids. Operating on a Sunday which is also the day the markets are on, so it makes for a good day out.
For a perfect way to finish off your day, take relaxing sunset cruise. Departing from the Marina Mirage in Port Douglas daily at 5:00pm, the sunset cruise allows adults to relax, unwind and enjoy the peace and serenity of pure sailing. A welcome drink of wine, sparkling wine, beer or spirit mixers sets the mood as you settle in on the deck of the yacht and enjoy the warm breeze. Cruising from Dickson Inlet and out over the Coral Sea you will get to enjoy a tropical sunset with spectacular mountain views. A selection of delicious hot/cold canapés accompanies this trip, making for an ideal pre-dinner excursion. Sailaway returns at 6:30pm.
Shaolin Port Douglas Sunset Sail
Shaolin takes you on a romantic sunset sailing cruise through the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, along Dickson Inlet, along the Port Douglas waterfront and out into the Coral Sea. Enjoy spectacular views of the local mountains, scenic coastline, surrounding islands and Port Douglas’s famous Four Mile beach, while relaxing on Shaolin’s teak deck or cushioned lounge area.
Delicious Yum Cha canape’s and a beverage are complimentary and more drinks can be purchased along the way.
Lady Douglas is a beautiful riverboat that has been taking tours of the Dickson Inlet since 1989. Most Port Douglas locals know this as a gem of a cruise, and many visitors have been coming back for over 25 years! If you're not a hardy sailor then this calm water cruise is an ideal option. taking in the wilderness and scenery of the mangroves, and the coastal and harbour views around the inlet entrance. Lady Douglas has 4 scheduled cruises that depart daily from the Port Douglas Marina. The 1.5hr relaxing cruise travels up the Dickson Inlet in search of wild crocodiles other wildlife in their natural habitat. Enjoy an informative and entertaining commentary by the skipper, accompanied by a cool drink and snacks onboard.
Breakfast With The Birds is has been a popular attraction in Port Douglas for over two decades for those intrepid travelers looking for a breakfast experience with a difference.
In early 2022, the team is excited to be bringing you an ALL NEW Breakfast With The Birds Experience. Bookings are required for this new interactive dining opportunity, as seating is limited. The Curlew Café team will be dishing up delicious Breakfast feast platters for each reservation.
Diners will be seated banquet style in our newly built Koala Habitat, located undercover within the Café. Seasonal delights from the kitchen will be served, including eggs of the day, seasonal tropical antipasto, goodies from the grill, bakery treats, teas and coffee. Dine with our wildlife whilst getting a chance to feed our koalas and birds, and chat with our keepers about their passion for wildlife and conservation.
Breakfast With The Birds also includes entry to our wildlife park, which includes all wildlife presentations, access to our five habitats; Savannah, Woodlands, Wetlands, Rainforest and Nocturnal, and a five day re-entry pass for park admission.
Breakfast With The Birds is from 8am until 9am. Cost is additional to admission.
Wildlife Habitat is a unique environmental wildlife park in Port Douglas where visitors can wander through four different and unique environments that depict over 180 species of the surrounding rainforest, wetlands, woodlands and grasslands.
Constructed in 1988 the Rainforest Habitat is situated on eight acres of land that has been recreated to provide a window into our natural environment. With two of the four environments covered by specially designed shade cloth and two open air exhibits, guests fade into the backdrop as observers of the wildlife performance.
Boardwalks intertwine through the canopy and rainforest floor of these environments, providing an exhilarating and educating journey for all.
Regular and informative guided tours are an essential part of the park’s focus on biological conservation; experiential displays and immersion exhibits provide an experience found nowhere else.
Today the park is a leading environmental wildlife park and boasting over 1600 animals, contains the largest collection of immersion exhibits.
All these factors have allowed the Rainforest Habitat to gain Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation and become a winner of many major Tourism Awards in both Tropical North Queensland and Queensland.
The Rainforest leads guests through a lush, relaxing environment where native species such as the endemic Boyd's Forest Dragon, Eclectus Parrots and Green Tree Frogs can be viewed in a natural setting. Meandering walkways allow the visitor to experience different levels of the rainforest and the varied microenvironments found within.
At ground level displays of fish and amphibians are illuminated providing a glimpse of these cryptic creatures whilst high in the canopy pigeons and parrots perch amongst the foliage and fruits.
In the Wetlands an variety of birds can be viewed foraging for fish and crustaceans in waterways that wind beneath boardwalks and beside pathways.
The Wetlands exhibit is considered unique, in that it allows a glimpse of a significant ecosystem to unfold.
This area depicts the amazing diversity of our natural wetlands that are important fringing areas and provide a link to many ecosystems.
The magnificent Southern Cassowary can also be found alongside a host of fruit bats and a whole host of bird species.
The Koala Habitat
The Koala Habitat is an open-air exhibit that provides visitors with an eye level view of this spectacular furry creature. Wondering through this enclosure, guests can watch as they feed, climb and of course, sleep!
For a close encounter, guests can visit the enclosure to touch, feed and photograph these captivating creatures.
Breakfast with the Birds
For the ultimate treat, the original Breakfast with the Birds is a visitor must do. Guests are seated within the Wetlands environment whilst enjoying the sounds and colours of wildlife as they wander freely amongst the guests.
Low Isles / Island offers everything you can dream of in a tropical island paradise. From the moment your luxury catamaran moors in the calm waters of the island's picturesque lagoon, a host of reef activities awaits you.
Situated 15km north-east of Port Douglas Low Isles is a 4 acre coral cay surrounded by 150 different species of hard corals dominated by 15 species of soft corals. Living amongst the corals is a large variety of fish, molluscs, sea cucumbers and other animals.
Colourful blue, green and purple parrotfish are a common sight as well as angelfish, damselfish, anenomefish (Nemo!), trevally, rabbitfish, sweetlip, moon wrasse and fusilleers, just to name a few!
At least seven species of seagrasses grow on the intertidal sandflats of Low Isles, providing a home and food for such animals as sea cucumbers, the attractive spidershell, as well as rays, green turtles and dugongs.
Port Douglas Lookout is located on flagstaff Hill & offers a panoramic views to the Great Barrie Reef, back to Cairns & over Four Mile Beach.
You can access the lookout by car or on foot from Macrossan & Wharf St or by walking track via Four Mile Beach.
Don't forget your camera! The views are spectacular
Sheraton Mirage Country Club Golf Course
Mirage Country Club Port Douglas has everything your body desires - give yourself the ultimate sporting experience or simply give yourself a relaxing break.
[Port Douglas Golf Courses] Situated in Port Douglas just under one hour's drive north of Cairns, Mirage Country Club is right by the many award winning attractions of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas.
Practice your swing on the aquatic driving range, or volley away on one of 9 floodlit tennis courts (including 2 surfaced in Rebound Ace). Tone up in the gymnasium, unwind in the sauna or cool down in the 25 metre lap pool.
Mirage Country Club Port Douglas is also a golfer's paradise. Rated as one of the world's best resort courses, the 18 hole international standard championship golf course was designed by renowned golf architect Peter Thomson, and contains the usual combination of 6 par 3, 6 par 4 and 6 par 5 holes all within two quite different 9's with the bordering Coral Sea and the panoramic mountain backdrop providing the only distractions to a memorable round.
The golf course also has practice putting green and bunkers, and professional golf instructors, and any equipment that you need is available for sale or hire from the Pro Shop.
The Links Golf Course Port Douglas
Crafted by the internationally acclaimed Thomson, Wolveridge & Perrett, Architects, this championship "links" course provides a special challenge for golfers of all levels. A central rainforest wetland, rich undulating fairways and spectacular mountain views combine to offer a golfing experience like no other.
The Links, Port Douglas has continued the renaissance of authentic "links" courses in Australia. Golf Course Architects, Thomson, Wolveridge & Perrett ("TWP") were specifically chosen for their understanding and appreciation of traditional links architecture.
In Australia TWP have been responsible for some of the country's best resort courses including Hope Island (No.4) and Twin Waters (No. 9).
In the evocative style of a "Grand Old Queenslander", The Links Clubhouse serves as a focal point for The Links Community with pro shop, restaurant and bar facilities.
The Links is managed by Club Corporation of America, the World's largest golf course owner and operator. Founded in 1957 in Dallas, Texas, ClubCorp have grown to operate more than 230 premier golf courses in some 14 countries worldwide.