10 Incredible Things to do Near Port Douglas

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Published on: 21 May 2021
Man floating on Mossman River at Back Country Bliss Adventures

Ah, the relaxing and beautiful Port Douglas. A popular Queensland holiday destination, attracting thousands of visitors from not only around Australia, but around the world. Found just a quick hour north of Cairns, Port Douglas is bursting with tropical scenes, an addictive atmosphere and is full of epic things to do.

Suggested read: Paradise for Parents! 10 Affordable Activities for Kids in Port Douglas

In between laying pool side at your hotel, fill in your holiday with some of the best things to do in Port Douglas:

Things to do in and around Port Douglas

1. Port Douglas Markets

Every Sunday, the appropriately named Market Park comes alive with market stalls showcasing the best of Port Douglas. From 8am to 2pm on Sundays wander through the open-air market and pick up fresh fruit, homemade jewellery, plants, gifts and locally crafted art. And don’t forget to enjoy a bite to eat with cuisines available from across the world. The perfect place to fuel up for a day of adventure.

2. Drive the Great Barrier Reef Drive

View of beach, ocean, rainforest and mountains from Rex Lookout
Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland 

Move over Great Ocean Road, we have a serious (and in our opinion) better contender for one of the best drives in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef Drive stretches between Cairns and Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest and is known for its spectacular scenes. Gawp as the rainforest clad mountain range plummets down towards the coast to meet the picturesque beach and calm ocean.

A must along the Great Barrier Reef Drive is stopping at Rex Lookout. Situated between Cairns and Port Douglas, here you can hop out of your car and take in the breathtaking view of quintessential Tropical North Queensland.

3. Experience the Daintree a different way with Back Country Bliss Adventures

Couple standing in Mossman River Back Country Bliss Adventures

Who said snorkelling was just for the Great Barrier Reef? Don your mask and snorkel and get ready to experience the astoundingly crystal-clear waters of Mossman River. On the Back Country Bliss Adventures’ River Drift Snorkelling tour you will swim, snorkel and float your way along Mossman River, immersing yourself in the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth.

Learn more: River Drift Snorkelling tour information

4. Slurp on handmade ice-cream in the Daintree

Hands holding tropical icecream at Daintree Icecream Company
Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland 

No trip to the Daintree is complete without stopping in at the Daintree Ice Cream Company. Found across the Daintree River, just 90 minutes north of Port Douglas, here you can enjoy exquisite tropical sorbets and gelatos, handmade on site from seasonal fruits that have actually grown on the grounds.

5. Visit Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge

If pristine emerald waters and ancient tropical rainforest sounds like your idea of must do location, then we recommend including a visit to Mossman Gorge. Here you can admire the crystal clear water and gorgeous granite boulders while learning and immersing yourself in the stories of the Kuku Yalanji people of the Daintree Rainforest.

Make the most of your time in Port Douglas, Back Country Bliss Adventures’ Mossman Gorge Adventure Day tour spends more time in the rainforest than any other Tropical North Queensland tour.

Learn more: Mossman Gorge Adventure Day information

6. Be wowed by the Great Barrier Reef

Visiting the remarkable Great Barrier Reef is one of the best things to do in Port Douglas. Including some 3,000 coral reefs and 300 coral cays, this incredible eco-system is best experienced from Tropical North Queensland with many boats departing daily from Port Douglas. Whether you snorkel, dive or view from a glass bottom boat, there’s no doubt you will be wowed by the Great Barrier Reef – it’s world heritage listed for a reason!

7. Hike to Spring Creek Falls

Spring Creek Falls Port Douglas
Image: Jason Heffernan

Not one for the faint hearted, Spring Creek Falls is an approximately 2 hour each way hike within Mowbray Valley. Only a 15-minute drive south from Port Douglas, rock hop your way along the creek (there isn’t a set path) discovering beautiful tropical swimming holes along the way. At the very end of the hike be rewarded with the magical Spring Creek Falls and a relaxing swimming hole to cool off in before making the trek back.

8. Take in the wonder of the Great Barrier Reef from above

You’ve experienced the Great Barrier Reef from below but be prepared to be blown away with how it looks from above. Nautilus Aviation helicopters depart Port Douglas daily with scenic flights allowing you to grasp the scale and bewitching beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.

9. Take it easy at Four Mile Beach

View across beach, palm trees and rainforest mountains at Four Mile Beach
Image: Tourism Tropical North Queensland 

If taking it easy under the swaying palms of the most famous beach in Port Douglas sounds like your ideal day, then head to Four Mile Beach stat. Found within walking distance of the centre of Port Douglas, although Four Mile Beach may not actually be four miles long, you won’t struggle to find your own section of tropical paradise here.

10. View crocodiles at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas

Wanting to get your share of crocodile action? There are NO crocodiles found in the Mossman River, but you will be guaranteed a sighting at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. At Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas you can walk the plank over crocodile waters as well as feed and interact with wallabies and kangaroos!

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