Port Douglas, Queensland
Remarkably positioned between two World Heritage Sites, Port Douglas is roughly 70 kilometres north of Cairns in Northern Queensland. With a history in gold mining and sugar cane, Port Douglas now receives thousands of tourists each year looking for paradise between the rainforest and the reef. Guests of Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruisers and Azamara Club Cruises will find their escape at Port Douglas, whether it be exploring the lush Daintree Rainforest, snorkelling with the fishes of the Great Barrier Reef or simply ambling down the town’s palm tree-lined streets for a spot of shopping.
Cruise ships sail north up the coast of Port Douglas, turn west into the Dickson Inlet and dock at the Reef Marina which runs parallel to Wharf Street. The marina is the same spot where day boats leave from, so if you’ve booked yourself in for a tour to the Great Barrier Reef, you’ll waste no time reaching your boat tour office.
You’ll find all of the facilities you need within walking distance along Macrossan Street, which is the main shopping street in town. Conveniences such as banks, free Wi-Fi, a barber shop, restaurants and bars, a supermarket (Coles), a doctor and a pharmacy are all available on Macrossan Street. There are also a couple of facilities immediately in the port area.
Facilities nearby include:
A post box
Restaurants and bars.
How to Get Around
Port Douglas is very easily discovered on foot. Most of the main attractions can be explored via tours such as the Great Barrier Reef and crocodile spotting tours. Taxis are also available at the taxi rank in front of Coles supermarket, or can be reached by calling 131 008. Shuttle buses and bicycle hire are also available.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 5 minute journey to the Tourism Information Centre
It is a 6 minute journey to Macrossan Street
It is a 16 minute journey to Four Mile Beach.
It is a 2 minute journey to Macrossan Street
It is a 3 minute journey to Four Mile Beach
It is a 25 minute journey to the Daintree National Park.
Currency – Port Douglas accepts the Australian Dollar. Coins appear in silver 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent and 50 cent coins, as well as gold $1 and $2 coins. Banknotes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.
Time Zone – Port Douglas follows Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), which is 10 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), and applies all year round. The sun tends to rise at around 7am in the wintertime and 5:30am in the summertime. The sun also stays out roughly half an hour longer during the summer time, setting at around 6:30pm.
Weather – Port Douglas is blessed with a tropical climate all year round, with winter seeing an average of 25 degrees Celsius during the day, and dropping to around 16 degrees Celsius at night. September through until March sees consistently hot days and balmy evenings. December marks the start of the rainy season, with February generally being the wettest month. The rain, however, can be a welcome relief from the hot 30 degree Celsius days with the evenings seeing temperatures drop to the still warm, low twenties.
The Great Barrier Reef – The world’s largest coral reef system of almost 3, 000 reefs and 900 islands stretches down the east coast of Australia in the aptly named Coral Sea. Over 6, 600 species of flora and fauna call this reef home, including dugongs, whales, turtles and seahorses. There are many ways to visit the reef; stay dry in a glass-bottomed boat, get a birds-eye view up high in a helicopter, or snorkel and dive to your heart’s content. The latter two activities are often regarded as the best way explore this underwater playground. The outer reef can be reached from Port Douglas and holds some of the most pristine reefs. Full-day and half-day tours to the Great Barrier Reef can be arranged, departing from the Reef Marina.
The Daintree National Park – World Heritage Listed and the oldest living rainforest on earth, the Daintree Rainforest is 900, 000 hectares of tropical rainforest, meeting the sea in certain areas up north. The Daintree also contains a eucalypt forest and a mangrove forest, as well as wetlands leading to an abundance of wildlife and home to many endangered species. With one of the earth’s most complex ecosystems, the Daintree rewards visitors with remarkable views over mountain ranges, streaming waterfalls and even white sandy coastlines. If you have the time, stop by Mossman Gorge. This 60, 000-year-old gorge is divided by a creek where you can jump in for a swim or have an afternoon picnic. Mossman Gorge is a site of cultural significance to the local Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, who are also happy to take you on a guided walk.