a warm getaway in the middle of winter
I recently spent five wonderful days in Port Douglas, a town on the Coral Sea in the tropical far north of Queensland, Australia. It was definitely one of the best, most relaxing holidays I’ve been on and so close to home! So if you’re looking to relax on a five day getaway, keep reading to see what we did!
Day 1: Explore the Port Douglas Town and head to the Sunday Markets
I got to Port Douglas mid-day after getting a 90 minute shuttle from Cairns. It was a pretty smooth journey and we were super excited when we realised everything in Port Douglas was pretty much within walking distance from our stay. If you’re looking for a budget friendly place to stay, the Port Douglas Motel was a lovely and pleasant surprise. We walked over to the main area in town and headed to the wharf where the Port Douglas market was. It closes around 2-3 and we caught it just before everything closed. It’s nice to walk around so be sure to catch it if you’re in town on a Sunday.
Otherwise, the rest of town just seemed like paradise. There were beautiful palm trees everywhere and delicious looking food on every corner. We popped into The Little Larder which was hands down the best cafe in Port Douglas. The food was delicious and a seat outside to enjoy a bit of Winter sunshine was beautiful.
Day 2: Half day Daintree Discovery Tour
Doing the Daintree tour was definitely the best decision we made. This was the best part of our trip and the tour was one of the best I’ve been on. We went on the afternoon tour and our guide was insightful and gave us a run down on the history of Port Douglas and Mossman. There was a river cruise included where we spotted some crocodiles before we headed to Mossman Gorge National Park. We had some amazing scones and tea before exploring the rainforest and dipping our toes in the Rainforest Canopy.
Day 3: Relaxed at Four Mile Beach
Four Mile Beach is nothing but blissful in the morning and at sunset. We took every opportunity to walk along the beach and head in for a quick dip. The water is a lovely light blue and there’s lots of restaurants and cafes nearby if you’re feeling hungry. This is a must for Port Douglas and we spent a whole morning here.
Day 4: Snorkelled in the Great Barrier Reef
The most popular tourist activity is probably going for a snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. It definitely does not disappoint as I saw some of the most beautiful underwater coral and fish. I went with Wavelength Reef Cruises and am very happy with the experience. I definitely would recommend taking some travel sickness tablets as the current can get rocky but once you’re in the water, everything is bliss. You definitely don’t need to be a confident swimmer to snorkel and it was amazing to spot a shark, a turtle and of course Nemo!
Day 5: Kuranda Village in Cairns
Heading to Cairns was definitely on our agenda. We went on a shuttle bus that took us to Cairns airport before we headed on a local bus to Kuranda Village. One of the main attractions is the market within the rainforest which is quite a lovely little place to do a bit of shopping, exploring and just looking about.
If you’re a fan of birds, butterflies or Australian animals, there are an array of sanctuaries and wildlife centres to check out. However, we opted for a nice 60 minute river walk which was very peaceful and calming before checking out some of the beautiful art pieces at Kuranda.
Day 6: Kuranda Historical Rail and Village before heading to the airport home
On the way home, we made another pit stop at Kuranda where we got the Kuranda Historical Rail with Brett’s Kuranda Tour. The guide was very knowledgeable and funny and we spent our last day relaxing at the markets. While we were happy to spend two days at Kuranda, if you’re not hiking, one day should be plenty to explore the markets, and to do a quick river walk. We got dropped off at Cairns Airport and spent quite a few hours within the domestic airport catching up with our laptops after an amazing getaway.
Best Food in Port Douglas?
We tried a good number of restaurants in our stay there and here are some of the recommendations. Chilly’s Pizza was hands down some of the best Pizza I’ve ever had. The Pizza Prawn Chilly was the BEST thing I’ve ever had. It’s a must try if you’re there. Otherwise the Little Larder was great for their sandwiches and burgers. Seabean Tapas Bar was good for some paella and seafood. We thought all the food at Port Douglas was quite good so you’re in luck if you’re a foodie.
So would I recommend Port Douglas to someone looking for a relaxing yet very enjoyable holiday? 100%.