I get a lot of emails from people asking me for ideas on things to do around Port Douglas. After all, I lived there for 7 years, I know the area pretty well and I’m a travel blogger. It’s what travel bloggers do, help people with travel plans. So, rather than answer each email individually as I normally do, here are a few ideas on things to do around Port Douglas.
The Usual Things To Do Around Port Douglas
You can enjoy beautiful Four Mile Beach, relax at your hotel, swim in your pool and try the excellent dining establishments around town. On Sunday get yourselves along to Port Douglas Market, browse, shop and enjoy our beautiful tropical environment. Put at least one day aside to take a magical trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s an experience you’ll never forget and suitable for all ages.
Just up the road we have Daintree Rainforest and beautiful Cape Tribulation. You need to take a drive up there, in your own vehicle or with a tour, maybe you’ll spot one of our famous wild cassowaries.
These are the attractions that keep the tourists coming year after year, but there is far, far more to do in this region.
Here are a few ideas for the tourist who wants to get the most out of their trip to Far North Queensland.
Things to do Around Port Douglas That You May Not Know About
Take a Hike Up The Bump Track. The Bump Track is a bit of a locals’ secret. It’s a historic track up the mountain at the back of the Mowbray Valley .It’s great exercise and the view from the top on a clear day is spectacular. Real enthusiasts run or cycle up and down it or you can let a horse take the strain.
See Cane Toad Racing For Yourself. The Iron Bar in Port Douglas hosts regular Cane Toad Races. Can you come to the Far North without seeing this local tradition?
Watch George The Groper Being Fed. This is my favourite thing to do in Port Douglas, I love George, I love the venue and I love the food and wine. Don’t miss this one.
Catch an Aussie Style Cattle Muster or Rodeo. Just outside town, past Mareeba, Daintree Station and The Australian Muster Experience will give you a slice of country Australiana.
Take a Walking Tour of Port. Walking tours of Port Douglas with K Star tours have become popular, give it a go! Kevin “KStar” will be able to answer all of your questions about our area and share some valuable local knowledge.
Explore Dickinson Inlet by Boat and Check Out our Crocodiles. We love cruising up The Inlet. You can hire your own little boat from the marina or take a tour on the Lady Douglas, the view and the wildlife is spectacular.
Try a New Sport. Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Kite Surfing and Wind Surfing are big news on Four Mile Beach. There are plenty of locals around happy to get you started in their sports. For something more gentle, yoga on the beach is a lovely way to start the day.
Take a Lesson in Aboriginal Heritage. Mossman Gorge has recently been handed back to its Aboriginal owners. Dreamtime tours, guided by our local Aboriginal tribe are, I feel, very helpful in understanding Australia’s history.
Drive Further Afield, Take the Scenic Drive To Kuranda. The drive up to Kuranda is spectacular, whether you choose the range road near Mossman or the Smithfield option. Kuranda is a pretty, sleepy rain-forest town full of markets, galleries, shops and cafes. There is The Venom Museum, Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld and Koala Gardens to keep the children happy. You could also take the cable car/train combo up to Kuranda and back.
Take a Dip in an Icy Rainforest Stream. There are a few options for safe, crocodile free, stinger free swimming in the hot season. For tourists, Mossman Gorge is probably the best bet and certainly the most beautiful site. Park at the visitor’s centre and take the shuttle bus up to the rainforest boardwalk. Don’t forget your towel.
Get to Port for Carnivale. Port Douglas has its own annual Carnivale in May each year. We host various dining ( and drinking) events and round off the festivities with a good old-fashioned street parade. The kids will love it, my favourite part is the Seafood Festival help on the Marina, food, music, drinks and fun in an amazing open-air setting.
Try the Open-Air Cinema. Port Douglas has its own open air cinema during the dry season. Catch a movie under the stars.
Take a Helicopter Ride. I’ll give you a hint. The annual father’s day picnic is the cheapest time to take a brief, but spectacular, helicopter ride over Port. All year round helicopters are available for rides out to the reef.
Help Our Environment with a Beach Clean Up. We always enjoyed volunteering with Tangaroa Blue beach clean ups. It’s a fun family day or half day, you’ll meet some interesting local people and discover beaches, or even islands, off the normal tourist track while doing your bit to help our marine environment.