Top Things to Do in Port Douglas

There are plenty of things to do in Port Douglas that will keep you entertained for days if not weeks.

While most people head to Port Douglas either to relax and get pampered at one of the fine resorts in town or to go snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef, there are plenty more things to do in Port Douglas than just that.

What to do in Port Douglas? Take a look at our list of Port Douglas activities that will keep you entertained for days if not weeks.

 

Port Douglas Diving / Port Douglas Snorkeling

 

Port Douglas diving or snorkeling is the primary reason for most visitors to Port Douglas so let’s dive right into it. While it’s not a comprehensive guide to the Great Barrier Reef, it’s an introduction to getting to the reef from Port Douglas, so if you want more information check out our Great Barrier Reef page.

Cairns and Port Douglas are the two main access points to the Great Barrier Reef in tropical northern Queensland. While there are more tour operators departing from Cairns, Port Douglas is actually closer to the outer reef than Cairns is so it makes sense to depart from here. However, the unrelenting surge of visitors to the reef has had a negative impact on its condition over the years. You’ll still see colourful corals and marine life, but it is patchy in parts.

Access to the majority of spots that operators visit is around an hour from Port Douglas. Day tours depart from Marina Mirage and usually make two to three stops on the outer and ribbon reefs, including St Crispins, Agincourt, Chinaman and Tongue Reefs.

Tour prices include reef tax, snorkelling, transfers from your accommodation, lunch and refreshments. To include an introductory dive – a controlled scuba dive with no certification of experience necessary – add around $50; certified divers can expect to pay around $60 to $70 for two dives with all gear included.

 

Below are some of the reputable tour operators to the Great Barrier Reef.

Quicksilver – Major operator with fast cruises to Agincourt Reef aboard Wavepiercer and family-oriented sailing trips to the Low Isles on the Wavedancer. Also operates a dive school. See Quicksilver for more details.

Aristocat – Fast cat to three snorkelling sites, maximum 45 passengers. See Aristocat for more details.

Poseidon – Luxury catamaran with trips to Agincourt Reef. See Poseidon for more details.

Synergy – With a capacity of 12 passengers, the Synergy sails to the outer reefs; includes a gourmet lunch. See Synergy for more information.

Wavelength – Outer reef snorkelling at three sites. Cruise takes 90 minutes, maximum 30 passengers. See Wavelength for more details.

Calypso – Large catamaran visiting three outer reefs. See Calypso for more details.

Tallarook – Sails to Tongue Reef in just under two hours. Maximum 25 passengers. Also offers scuba trips. See Tallarook for more details.

Undersea Explorer – For serious divers, this outfit specialises in liveaboard shark dives to the Osprey Reef and whale expeditions to the ribbon reefs and Cod Hole. Also runs research conservation projects. See Undersea Explorer for more details.

 

Port Douglas Beach

 

Unlike Cairns, Port Douglas has its very own beach. The Port Douglas beach known as Four Mile Beach is a delightful, broad band of squeaky white sand backed by palms, which reaches as far as your squinting eyes can see. Most people put in a few hours or days strolling or sunning on delightful Four Mile Beach.

At the northern end is a surf life-saving club, in front of which is a swimming enclosure patrolled and protected with a stinger net during summer. Water-based activities are offered from a hut on the beachfront. If you’re hungry (and lazy) look out for the Munch Buggy that combs the beach and dispenses food, drinks and ice cream.

For a fine view over Four Mile Beach, follow Wharf St and the steep Island Point Rd to Flagstaff Hill Lookout.

 

Port Douglas Fishing Charters

Port Douglas fishing charters is a popular attraction with reef-, river- and land-based fishing charters operating regularly from Marina Mirage.

Prices range from $90 for a half-day group tour on the Daintree up to anywhere between $1850 and $7000 per day to charter a large boat for up to 11 people. Fishing gear and bait is included. Some of the reputable Port Douglas fishing charters are Dragon LadyFishing NorsemanFishing Port Douglas and Tropical Fishing and Eco Tours.

Click on the names above for more information about fishing charter prices, timings and other details.

 

Port Douglas Golf Courses

 

Port Douglas boasts two of northern Queensland’s finest public-access golf courses. They’re not cheap, but if you’re a keen golfer it’s an opportunity too good to miss. If the green fees are too steep, try the nearby Mossman Golf Club.

See Mirage Country Club and Sea Temple Golf Club for more details.

 

Port Douglas Markets

 

The Port Douglas Markets make for a leisurely Sunday morning browse along the grassy foreshore of Anzac Park. Located at the end of Macrossan St, the Port Douglas markets are open from 8:30am to 1:30pm every Sunday. Bring a bag and an appetite for arts, crafts and local food products such as tropical fruits, ice creams and coconut milk.

 

Wildlife Tourist Park

 

There’s no shortage of wildlife tourist parks in north Queensland, but Rainforest Habitat is up there with the best. The sanctuary endeavours to keep and showcase native animals in enclosures that closely mimic their natural environment – wetlands, grasslands and rainforest – but also allow you to get up close and personal. As well as koalas, kangaroos, crocs and tree kangaroos, Rainforest Habitat is home to parrots, wading birds, kookaburras, flying foxes and the prehistoric-looking cassowary. Take your time as the ticket is valid for three days. Come early for Breakfast with the Birds or Lunch with the Lorikeets. The sanctuary also operates a wildlife care centre for sick or injured animals.

See Rainforest Habitat for more details.

 

Ballyhooley Steam Railway

 

Kids will get a kick out of the Ballyhooley Steam Railway, a miniature steam train that runs from the little station at Marina Mirage to St Crispins station at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm, stopping at Dougies, Mirage Country Club and Rydges. A round trip takes about an hour.

See Ballyhooley Steam Railway for more details.

 

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