The town of Port Douglas may not be on your hit list if you are planning a trip to the vast country of Australia, but with its convenient access to the great barrier reef and the Daintree Rainforest (A UNESCO heritage site), It seems many Australians had flocked up north during their winter months to escape to the warm, relaxed beach town of Port Douglas in Queensland. While it is quite a small town compared to it’s neighboring city, Cairns, there are many adventures to be found in the local area.
The Great Barrier Reef
The easy access to The Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas might be the number one reason tourists come to this town. The world heritage-listed site is about an hour and a half away on a cruise boat. You can check out Quicksilver Cruises to book a snorkeling or scuba diving tour. I chose to try scuba diving for the first time while visiting the Great Barrier Reef on this tour. You can expect to see countless species of fish, coral, starfish, crustaceans, whales, and more. If it is your first time or you feel nervous about trying scuba diving, I must say that once you get used to the feeling of breathing underwater, it is a tranquil and weightless experience that you will be glad you got to try.
The Daintree Rainforest
The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest in the world at approximately 135 million years. You can experience this wonder by zip lining through it or driving and stopping at the various trails, walks, beaches and other tour sites in between. There are also guided night tours where you can have a chance to spot several animal your won’t find outside this rainforest, if you use your senses just right.
4 Mile Beach
This four mile long beach starts from the top of Port Douglas town centre. A sunrise or sunset walk along here is a perfect way to start or end your adventurous day. They offer bike rentals, water sport activities such as paddle boarding and surfing, and even have morning yoga classes alongside the shore.
Mossman Gorge is another beautiful part of the Daintree National Park. The park offers clean swimming holes in its dense rainforest. There is a walking trail that is about an 1.5 – 2 hrs long. You can either walk a little over a mile to get to the trail from the visitor center, or take their shuttle bus.
You can go on a scenic drive a few hours south from Port Douglas to Atherton Tablelands. This country side land is home to some of the most impressive waterfalls in Australia. There are many to visit, but if you only have time for one, I would recommend stopping for a swim at Millaa Millaa falls.