Port Douglas cruises destination information
|Port Douglas itinerary and upcoming sailing dates|
|Jan 11, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $2504|
|Mar 23, 2020||Queensland, 14 nights||from $2151|
|Feb 8, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $2197|
|Apr 4, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $2461|
|Jan 14, 2020||Great Barrier Reef , 11 nights||from $3177|
|Jul 20, 2020||Great Barrier Reef, 10 nights||from $2838|
|Apr 25, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $1914|
|Feb 16, 2020||Queensland, 7 nights||from $2262|
|Oct 3, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $1605|
|Aug 1, 2020||Barrier Reef Discovery, 7 nights||from $2008|
|Apr 5, 2020||Queensland, 10 nights||from $3004|
|Nov 18, 2020||Queensland, 10 nights||from $3034|
|Nov 29, 2020||Queensland, 14 nights||from $3942|
|Oct 17, 2020||Rome to Sydney, 46 Nights||from $18126|
|Dec 7, 2020||Queensland, 7 nights||from $2281|
|Mar 21, 2021||Queensland, 10 nights||from $2785|
|Mar 19, 2021||Queensland, 10 nights||from $2785|
|Apr 4, 2021||Great Barrier Reef , 11 nights||from $4534|
|Jul 20, 2021||Great Barrier Reef, 10 nights||from $2694|
|Mar 29, 2022||Great Barrier Reef, 10 nights||from $2694|
The Stunning Main Port of Port Douglas
Port Douglas is one of Far North Queeensland's tourism capitals, aptly reknown for its easy access to the Great Barrier Reef, sandy golden beaches and its beatiful scenic rainforest. You can get magnificent postcard views of the coastline and sparkling sea.
It was once just an old goldfields port and fishing village and at one stage dreamed of becoming the queen city of the north after 8000 people horded there during the Hodgkinson gold rush. Unfortunately when Cairns was awarded the vital railways from the diggings, Port Douglas began to decline, hastened by damage from a 1911 cyclone.
Today Port Douglas is becoming a popular town again with the explosion of tourism creating it into a holiday extravaganza. Although Port Douglas has become a popular tourist attraction the town has still managed to keep its laid-back lifestyle. Resorts in the area are amongst the best in tropical Australia.
Tender Port - Wheelchair access limited and some mobility may be required to board tenders.
Cruise Port: What to do in Port Douglas
North of Cairns and high up on the Queensland coast is Port Douglas, a holiday town becoming increasingly popular as a cruise port. It is not only a gateway to some natural wonders like a certain famous reef and lush patch of rainforest, but a destination in itself with fabulous beaches to lounge on, a range of outdoor adventures, and some small-town urban delights.
Port Douglas attracts a well-heeled holiday crowd, and has a lively buzz with plenty of bars and restaurants which make sticking around town a legitimate option for the cruise visitor.
Port Douglas is a tender port as the town does not have the infrastructure for a big cruise dock unlike neighbouring city Cairns. Never fear, this just means that you will be ferried ashore in smaller boats to disembark at a small pier in the Reef Marina.
Port Douglas, like all Australian ports, uses Australian dollars. As many passengers arriving here are Australians on a domestic cruise or overseas visitors who have already spent time in one of the country's major centres, sourcing cash should not be much of an issue - many will already have some stashed away. However, there are at least four banks in town where you can exchange money, plenty of ATMs and credit cards are widely accepted.
Local life and language
Port Douglas is your typical Queensland town: laid-back and casual, although it can attract a well-heeled crowd. English is the primary language spoken, and all signage will be in English. The traditional landowners and first occupants of the region around Port Douglas are the Yirrganydji people.
What to do in Port Douglas
Hit the beach
The beautiful Four Mile Beach is the most obvious choice for anyone wanting to soak up some sun and sand in Port Douglas. It begins right at the eastern end of the main street and curves to the south, offering four miles of lovely sand to walk on, sunbathe on and swim in the Coral Sea. On the other side of town is Dickson Inlet where there is a small and sheltered beach.
If you are planning to get in the water, you will need to be aware of stinger (jellyfish) season. At certain times of the year, primarily between November and May, it can be prudent to stick to the sand and swimming pools rather than enter the sea - or use the areas protected by stinger nets where they are provided. Don't touch any that wash up on the beach.
See the reef or the rainforest
These are the two major natural attractions of northern Queensland: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Port Douglas offers a gateway to both, perhaps even more so than Cairns as it is much closer to Daintree National Park itself. There are no end of different ways to see either of these amazing places, with cruises, tours and self-guided visits. Make a plan of attack in advance if you want to visit one or the other - this might involve signing on for a tour with the cruise line or independently.
Eat, drink and be merry
Some visitors might like to just soak up the holiday atmosphere in Port Douglas and enjoy a drink and a meal in one or some of the town's many bars and restaurants. As a tourist resort, it has the full range, from fine dining to friendly pubs. There's nothing quite like a glass of wine on a patio as you watch the world go by! The Port Douglas Yacht Club is a fun and nautical option.
Markets and museum
There are a few things to see and do in the town itself, should you wish to spend a leisurely day exploring. If you're in Port Douglas on a Sunday, head to the markets in Anzac Park which take place from 8am-1pm offering arts and craft, souvenirs, meals and produce.
The Court House Museum is another good spot to visit if you're sticking around Port Douglas for the day, housed in the original timber court house which is one of the oldest surviving in Queensland. Exhibits about the history of law enforcement and other general history of the area are fascinating.
Places to stay
The Port Douglas Cottage
If you’re staying in Port Douglas after finishing one of our cruises from Brisbane, why not treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the Port Douglas Cottage and Lodge. These two vacation homes have all the amenities you’ll need for a truly comfortable stay in Port Douglas. Both the cottage and the lodge are fully equipped, with heated pools, BBQs and a sun deck to enjoy the most of the beautiful weather. The Cottage is ideal for two with a romantic loft bedroom, while the Lodge is great for slightly larger groups with two spacious bedrooms available. Owners Graeme and Wayne have taken care to create the perfect vacation home experience in Port Douglas, with your every need catered for.
Where: Box 130 cnr Macrossan and Wharf Streets, Port Douglas QLD 4877
Things to do
Bally Hooley Rail Tours
Hop aboard one of the historic Bally Hooley train’s and embark on a nostalgic tour of tropical Port Douglas. With both diesel and steam engine locomotives, these refurbished trains are an excellent way to see the sights of Port Douglas. Once you’ve explored by rail, cruise the iconic waterway of Dickson Inlet on a guided tour aboard the catamaran, Choo Choo Explorer. Cruise the calm waters and get a chance to see rare wildlife, while visiting off the grid locations only accessible via boat. Pick a tour package which combines both train and catamaran, stopping for refreshments at local restaurants like Choo Choos at St Crispin’s. Port Douglas is full of exciting experiences. If your cruise from Brisbane ports in this exotic town, be sure to check out Bally Hooley Rail Tours to see the farthest reaches of Port Douglas.
Where: Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina 46 Wharf Street, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
Opening Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, Tour desk open from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm
Worried you won’t be lucky enough to stumble across iconic Australian animals in the wild? Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas gives you the chance to wander through authentic natural habitats and see Aussie wildlife up close. This is Australia’s top environmental wildlife experience, boasting 4 distinct ecosystems (Woodlands, Wetlands, Rainforest and Savannah) over 8 acres of land.
With all that space, visitors and animals alike have the freedom to explore and interact naturally. Jump aboard one of Wildlife Habitat’s free guided tours, seize a photo opportunity at the Presentation Hut or grab Breakfast with the Birds / Lunch with the Lorikeets. For something really out of the ordinary, you can even visit after dark for the WildNIGHT Nocturnal Tour. This 2-hour guided tour will introduce you to a whole other side of Wildlife Habitat, as its nocturnal inhabitants come out to play.
Where: Port Douglas Rd, Port Douglas QLD 4877, Australia
Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day)
Organised vs self-guided
It's always a dilemma for cruise passengers to decide whether to sign on with the cruise line for their shoreside excursions. A line-organised tour gives peace of mind that the ship won't leave without you, while independent operators often offer better prices and a wider range of options - and are well-versed in getting passengers back in time. Many Aussie passengers feel more comfortable in a domestic port to make their own plans as there are no communication barriers.
Most cruise lines offer various ways to discover Daintree. These include boat cruises or even snorkelling in the inland waterways, the rainforest cableway and scenic railway, and â€œJungle Surfingâ€ which is essentially the same thing as ziplining. Take a look at what your cruise line offers or find independent operators in Port Douglas.
Head back out into the Coral Sea to dive on, snorkel over or otherwise visit the Great Barrier Reef. If you aren't keen on getting into the water, there are some more low-key offshore options available on various lines, including sailing trips and island getaways by motorboat.
Culture and wildlife
Various tours falling under these categories are a fantastic way to get to know the Port Douglas and northern Queensland region. Feast your eyes on some unique fauna during a Crocodile Cruise which also includes fabulous rainforest scenery, or visit the Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat facility and have lunch with lorikeets. A â€œDreamtimeâ€ walk with an aboriginal guide is another great option, and the P&O tour includes an historical tour of Port Douglas.
Visiting Port Douglas on a cruise is a lovely northern Queensland interlude, and you'll find yourself drawn into the relaxed vibe of this lovely holiday town. Consider a domestic cruise for your next adventure - you won't regret it!Cruises visiting Port Douglas
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