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Think of Port Douglas as a gateway: not only to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, but also to a special part of Northern Australia.
Both of these rare jewels of the Far North Queensland are proudly listed as the World Heritage sites of UNESCO. Amazing, isn’t it?
It is also ‘The’ ideal destination for holidays and all of the adventure that comes with it. Port Douglas may seem like a peaceful and relaxing village by the sea, which it is for sure, but it offers a wide range of activities you can do, and should do while there: fishing, diving, snorkelling, kitesurfing, hiking, mountain biking, skydiving .. you name it.
Or would you like something a little unusual, something like a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef? Well, guess what. It is also available for you here. Add the daily Epic Reef & Island Tours or the reef or river stand-up paddling sessions offered by Windswell , and you complete a colourful puzzle with everything a nature lover could ever wished for.
Something for everyone
If you love watersports, wind sports specially, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the tropical Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas is a perfect kitesurfing spot with great south-east winds.
If you’re a total beginner or just a bit rusty or never done it and want to give kitesurfing a try, make sure you get in touch with Windswell. We offer kitesurfing lessons to fit all levels from total beginners to advanced riders who just want to improve the technique or polish the jumps.
Kitesurfing lessons with Windswell are on all season, every day from May to December and on demand during the off-season. We also have a wide wide range of new kites and boards available and ready to hire.
And if you’re not really into kitesurfing, but just out and about with friends or family and would rather chill and take it easy, you should check out Windswell’s Epic Reef & Island tours. Our private speed boat can take you to the reef for a snorkeling tour, amazing stand up paddle session on the reef, or just for a fun all in all water sports day for the whole family.
The Great Barrier Reef has so much to offer and you should find the time to explore it as much as you can. It’s your holiday time!
The wind loves Port Douglas
The winds are here all year round, tending to be more consistent from May to December, with August being the coolest and the windiest period. In January and February the weather gets boiling hot, but there is often a cooling summer sea breeze from the Coral Sea. The water temperature ranges from 30°C during summer to around 21°C in winter.
Alternative destination? Port Yule!
If you’re looking to discover a few more kitesurfing spots around Port Douglas, Yule Point may be a great place to make a stop. It is just a short ride, about 10 minutes before you get to Port Douglas driving from Cairns actually. Yule Point is suitable for all levels, beginners to advanced.
If the conditions are right, the place is absolutely amazing, thanks to its flat waters. Two reasons to be careful, though: it can be a little shallow at certain spots and watch out for the rock reef at about 300 metres out to the sea.
How to get to Port Douglas
Cairns airport is the closest one to Port Douglas. It is then only a short trip, about 70 km drive, from Cairns to Port Douglas. You will have the absolute unique opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenic drive along the coast. Make sure to stop along the way at different viewpoints and beaches to snap few photos. Just the drive is already a great start of your holiday, it is really stunning.
If you’re booked with Windswell for the tour or kitesurfing lessons or just need a ride to the town, give us a call, we also do airport transfers and can pick you up at the airport.
A car will definitely come in handy during your stay however, so you can travel around and explore the rainforest in full. But around town, you can easily get around hiring a bike or using the local buses.
No wind? Awesome weather, what to do in Port Douglas?
Nature is simply breathtaking around Port Douglas. The activities waiting for you here are practically limitless. From scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing or even spear fishing, mountain biking, hiking, skydiving, stand up paddle, wakeboarding or even kitesurfing downwinders out on the reef are only some of your options.
A visit to one of the oldest rainforests in the world is a must. It is amongst the ‘must things doe do in Port Douglas’. You will learn about the 1400 species of local fish and more than 400 corals living in Far North Queensland. Make sure to take a day trip to Cape Tribulation, one of the many stunning sites in the area.
Port Douglas, the “Golden” town
Port Douglas was initially established in 1877, thanks to the discovery of gold at Hodgkinson River by James Venture Mulligan. The town flourished rapidly and at its peak there was a population of 12,000 as well as 27 hotels.
The construction of the Kuranda Railway from Cairns to Kuranda (1891) made Port Douglas even more important, but a cyclone in 1911 demolished the whole town except only two buildings. The area reached its lowest point in the 1960’s, becoming more of a fishing village, with about 100 inhabitants.
Tourism returned in the 80’s after investments in hotel construction. It was easy for Port Douglas to rise to fame again, thanks to its beauties and the numerous destinations worth the visit to the area, not only by Australians, but also by nature enthusiasts from around the world.