Travelers from around the globe make Port Douglas their base for experiencing the myriad outdoor adventures of North Queensland and the Northern Beaches. With three days in the relaxed town, you’ll have plenty of time to explore, on land and in the sea. Here’s how.
Day 1: Great Barrier Reef
Most visitors to Port Douglas are there to see the Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several ways to explore the thousands of individual reefs dotted with hundreds of islands and coral cays, and you should plan to spend the entire day in the area. Most excursions involve a glass-bottom boat, with time for snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the sun on a white sand beach. If you’re a certified scuba diver, opt for a trip that includes instructors and equipment rental. To get a feel for the immensity of the reef, take a scenic morning helicopter flight above it, followed by an afternoon of snorkeling in the Low Isles.
Day 2: Daintree Rainforest
North Queensland is home to the UNESCO-listed Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest on the planet. Get an early start, and cruise along the Daintree River spotting crocodiles and butterflies. Then, take a guided nature walk through the jungle, capture the views from Alexandra Range Lookout, or see where the rain forest meets the sea at Cape Tribulation. Many trips to the Daintree Rainforest include time in Mossman Gorge within Daintree National Park. This verdant river gorge sets the scene for hiking, wildlife watching, or swimming along the Mossman River. End your day with a candlelit dinner in the rain forest, served to the sights and sounds of a live Aboriginal performance.
Day 3: Kuranda
Riding along the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of the most memorable experiences on offer in North Queensland, so climb aboard. After an hour and 45 minutes of winding through the rain forest by train, you’ll arrive at the hippie haven of Kuranda, where you can browse the local markets, take in the mountain and sea views from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, or learn more about the local indigenous culture at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. After your return to Port Douglas, chill out on Four Mile Beach, or treat yourself to a sunset sail along the Australian coast.