Travel

Port Douglas Travel Guide

Pure paradise in Tropical North Queensland

11th February 2016

Port Douglas
Tropical North Queensland
Australia

Photography & Words by Sophie

Port Douglas Travel Guide

After our stay in Palm Cove, George and I travelled further north to Port Douglas for four sensational days in paradise. Both of us had already visited before, but it’s always such a treat to visit this magical part of Australia.

Here’s a mini travel guide to the gorgeous area of Port Douglas:

Where to eat:

For a small tropical town, Port Douglas has some truly excellent places to dine at. We went for a more casual dining experience when we were there (we even had felafel kebabs for dinner on our first night haha) but Port Douglas truly has everything from upscale fine dining to the best casual beach eats you can find!

Here's where we ate (and a couple places we will be visiting first next time):

The Little Larder: We went here twice; once for breakfast and once for lunch. Both times it was superb! If it was open for dinner, we would probably have gone for dinner too! The food is delicious, the people were lovely, it’s smack bang in the centre of the main road. It’s the ideal form of casual holiday dining!

The Beach Shack: A truly tropical Port Douglas dining experience! Located outside of the main town but just down the road from The Sea Temple (where we stayed), so we walked there for delicious pizzas and wine. Definitely recommend it!

Nautilus: This is a really unique dining experience and one that is very different from everywhere else we went to. We had the 7 course degustation menu and it was divine. The setting & atmosphere is also magnificent – it’s amid a beautiful lush tropical garden with palm trees overhead! So magical. It’s also a beautiful spot for pre-dinner cocktails in the bar section!

The Mexican: You can’t go on a tropical beach holiday without having some Mexican! We went here for dinner on our last night and had a great time. It’s a small restaurant but in a really great location, pretty much directly opposite The Little Larder. We had beers, cocktails and delicious starters! It’s definitely worth going to, but a small tip is to not order the fajitas – they were disappointing.

The Court House Hotel: We didn’t eat here, but had pre-dinner drinks here every night. Perfect in the sunset hours, particularly if you’re up on the top veranda – such a pretty view over towards Sugar Wharf.

On the list for next time – The Yacht Club, Harrison’s & Bucci!

What To Do:

Port Douglas is one of the best places in the world for sensational outdoor activities! Just make sure you also schedule in a little pool/beach relaxation haha!

Great Barrier Reef: I realise that this is stating the obvious but a trip to the Great Barrier Reef is a given when you’re around Port Douglas. Quicksilver & Calypso are two well-known companies to book through. Wander down to the Marina at the beginning of your stay and check out all the kiosks for the best deals and times.

Low Isles: Another must! This is where you’ll get to swim with gorgeous little turtles and wander around a stunning private island! George and I went on the early morning half day trip with Calypso and absolutely loved it! And when I was with my family, we went on the full day Wavedancer Low Isles cruise which was magic!

Daintree Rainforest: We didn’t actually have time to go to the Daintree on this trip which is a massive shame as it is utterly beautiful! It’s where the rainforest meets the ocean and it’s pure magic! You can now actually do half day reef trips and half day Daintree trips and that’s probably what I would look into booking next time!

Port Douglas Markets: Our stay unfortunately didn’t coincide with the Port Douglas Markets but I remember how amazing they were from the last time I was there (about 8 years ago!). They are on every Sunday at Anzac Park (right near Sugar Wharf) from 8am-1pm and have 150 stalls of local arts, crafts & produce.

Hire Bikes: I think I’ll always recommend this for any type of travel guide as I think it’s such a great way to see a new place. Walking is also fantastic, but cycling just means you get to see more in a limited time and is such a fun activity!

Where to stay:

There's bucket loads of fantastic options of where to stay in Port Douglas! You can stay in town (where all the shops and most restaurants are) or down along the beach. Most resort style places run along the beach and have a shuttle bus system for getting into town (about $5-7pp each way).

Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa: We stayed in Port Douglas for four night at The Sea Temple and absolutely loved it! The hotel is actually a co-share type place so we booked through The Boutique Collection and got a really great deal. The pool is beyond perfection and while we were there it never felt too busy or touristy. Our room was fantastic and was on the bottom floor so it had direct private access to the pool. I would 100% recommend staying here while in Port Douglas!

 
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