Port Douglas, Queensland © Tourism Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland
Guide to Port Douglas
Aboriginal name: Manjal Jalunbuy
- Getting to Port Douglas
- When to visit
With its luxe resorts and dining scene, Port Douglas is the ideal base for exploring pristine rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef.
The laidback tropical town of Port Douglas is the gateway to two UNESCO World Heritage-listed natural wonders, the Great Barrier Reef and the expanses of the Daintree Rainforest. It’s also a popular resort destination in its own right, with the tree-fringed sands of Four Mile Beach stretching down the bay and a leafy, compact town centre lined with hip cafés and bars. Superyachts from around the world berth at Port Douglas’s sheltered marina, where tour boats depart for sightseeing cruises to nearby coral cays and expeditions to spectacular diving spots on the outer reefs.
Aboriginal culture is rich in Port Douglas/Manjal Jalunbuy. The Traditional Owners of the land are the Kukuk Yalangi people, who have been living in harmony with the rainforests of north Queensland for some 50,000 years. Aboriginal experiences are plentiful in Manjal Jalunbuy all year round and offer a unique perspective into the First Nation people’s fascinating, sustainable way of life.
- Traditional name: Manjal Jalunbuy
- Indigenous Peoples: Kukuk Yalangi people
- Traditional lands: Yirrganydji
- Traditional languages: Guugu Yalandji (Kuku-Yalanji)
- How to say g’day in Guugu Yalandji: Yurra Yalada
Port Douglas is an easy one-hour drive along the coastal highway from Cairns, the major transport hub in Tropical North Queensland.
- Cairns Airport (CNS) is 65km (40mi) from Port Douglas and services international and domestic arrivals
- Hire cars and shuttle services to Port Douglas are available at Cairns Airport and in central Cairns
- You can hire cars, scooters and even small boats in Port Douglas
You can visit most local restaurants and shops by foot, and most tour operators will pick you up from your accommodation. If you’re interested in a self-drive day trip, hiring a car is best.
Port Douglas enjoys two distinct tropical seasons. The dry season begins in late autumn, around May, with relatively warm temperatures and lower humidity extending through the winter months and into mid-spring, around October. The summer season of steamy heat and occasional rainstorms begins in November and continues through to mid autumn, in April.
- High season: Winter (June to August) and summer (December to February)
- Low season: Autumn (March to May)
- Don’t miss: Taking a Great Barrier Reef cruise from Port Douglas Marina; you’ll experience the best underwater visibility between May and October