port douglas FAQ's
How Do I get to port douglas?
Book a plane ticket to Cairns. Ok too obvious? Port is around 45 mins to an 1 hour from Cairns, depending on your choice of transport. There's the Coral Coach which is the cheapest but the longest journey. There's independent bus transport companies. You can hire a car from any of the larger car hire companies that are all located at the airport - Thrifty, Avis, Budget etc. There's also other independent car hire companies on the outskirts of Cairns if you are looking for a deal. You can organise private transport - cars & mini vans (if you have a crew) to limo's or Hummers depending on your vibe and budget. Drop us a line if you want any recommendations.
what shouLD I pack?
Simply....Your togs, sun cream, sunnies, headphones, some nice threads for dinner, and your flip flops or jandles (if you're coming from NZ). If you fancy doing some walks throw in your sneakers. Anything you need is available in town so if you leave something behind don't fret - there's trusty Target for when the airline loses your luggage, Splish Splash swimwear for a new cheeky bikini & loads more. If you want to get around town like a Tropical Gansta we can make that happen.
when is the best time to go to port douglas?
There's never a bad time to go to Port Douglas...but by now you can probably tell we're 100% biased. The most popular months are May to November . The stinger nets are generally taken out in May & go back in 1st of Nov. The weather is great all year round. From April to July throw in a light jumper as it can get cool at night. Wet season is between November to March, so if you don't like you're hair frizzy or a sweat fest you may want to avoid these months.
car hire and getting around
You can hire a car straight from Port Douglas to see the sites. There are plenty of places - the main movers & shakers along with independent car hire companies if you're looking for a soft top jeep to take up to the Daintree. If you're happy to stay local in & around Port Douglas our favourite mode of transport is hiring a bike.
Pop down to see Port Douglas Bike Hire in Warner street (back of Coles). They can hook you up. Even if you have littlies you can hire a buggy that sits behind the bike. We call it the chariot so you can cruise like royalty. The kids love it & it's also super handy for shopping, your beach gear & carrying a 6 pack of beer.
swimming and stingers
So it seems the sea life of Port Douglas gets a little greedy between November to May. Whilst we totally understand their love affair for the tropics it's not ideal that we have Four Mile of beach we can't use. However the bronzed legends of the Surf Life Saving team put the stinger nets out & patrol every day to ensure everyone is safe.
Out on the Great Barrier Reef all tour providers supply stinger suits so you are safe to swim with the little critters as long as this is worn. It may ruin your street cred as they certainly aren't a hot look but you take the good with the bad.
If you are beach hopping to some of the smaller beaches just remember: because there's no net doesn't mean there's no stingers, so defeinitely no swimming. And you know the drill.... never smile at a crocodile! There are some awesome watering holes outside Port from Mossman to the Daintree. Check out our Best Off The Beaten Path for some recommendations. Fresh water swimming on point.
how long do we need?
A lifetime! But your holiday goals will dictate this. For a short trip to unwind & let your hair down we recommend anywhere from 4 to 7 nights. If you want to explore & be adventurous look at 7 nights to 2 weeks. If you want to try out all the fabulous restaurants & bars you'll need at least 7 nights.
If you are coming up for Carnivale (May 2018) or the Taste Festival (Sept 2018) lock yourself in for 4 days. Over peak periods such as school holidays a lot of accommodation has a minimum 7 night stay. We say the longer the better.