Port Douglas is full of exciting activities and opportunities to explore the natural wonders nearby. With the Daintree Rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other, you could be mingling with tropical birds in the morning and diving with turtles in the afternoon.
The Great Barrier ReefRelax and snorkel in crystal clear waters on a tour from Port DouglasSource: thetourspecialists.com.au
Just a short way offshore from Port Douglas is the spectacular underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, bursting with stunning colourful corals and a vast array of marine activity. With this natural wonder so close, it’s no surprise that exploring it is one of the top attractions for visitors to the area. The tough decision is deciding between the huge numbers of ways to view it, depending on how close and personal you want to get with the wildlife.
Snorkelling and diving are a very popular choice, and certainly the best way to experience it first-hand. It’s possible to snorkel and dive from Port Douglas itself, but the best marine life will be seen if you travel out to the reef. Many tour operators will take you out and show you the best places to dive or snorkel, on a range of basic to luxury cruises. You can also hire a boat and do it yourself.
If you’d rather not get wet, you can still get a fantastic view of the dazzling underwater activity. Jump on a glass-bottomed boat from Port Douglas to the Low Isles to spot turtles, corals, and fish from the safety of the boat. These are ideal for children or those who would prefer not to swim.
If you’d rather see the area from a completely different perspective, your needs can also be catered for. Scenic flights and hot air balloons are no problem to arrange in Port Douglas, whether you want to see the Reef, the rainforest, or a combination of both.
Water SportsAdrenaline junkies will be well entertained with the wide range of adventures and activities on offerSource: kiteworldmag.com
Port Douglas is also a fantastic base to enjoy a huge range of water sports. From kayaking to paddle boarding, to jet skiing to kite surfing, if you can think of it, it’ll probably be on offer! There’s no problem if you’re a complete beginner, as there are plenty of opportunities to take lessons or let yourself be guided by a professional. Even more experienced adventurers will have plenty of space to stay amused and try out a different activity if you fancy it.
The Daintree RainforestDon’t miss the chance to experience Mother Nature in all her glory in the Daintree Rainforest
At one point many years ago, the hot and humid climate in Australia meant that almost the whole continent was covered in rainforest. However, as the climate has become drier, much of this has disappeared to be replaced by arid desert. Fortunately, the area around the Daintree still has the perfect climate for the rainforest ecosystem, and the Daintree is now the biggest area of continuous rainforest on the Australian continent. The combination of tropical rainforest and coastline so close together is very rare, and the opportunity to explore both of these stunning natural jewels is one of the biggest attractions of Port Douglas.
There are many ways to explore the rainforest and the animals that live within it. If you fancy some fresh air and exercise, you can go for a stroll along the boardwalks and admire the wildlife at your own pace. A great place to do this is in the Mossman Gorge, around 20 minutes’ drive in your car rental from Port Douglas, where there are also beautiful spots for wild swimming and picnicking.
Alternatively, there are plenty of popular tours and attractions where you can learn about the environment at the same time. One of the best loved attractions in Port Douglas is the Wildlife Habitat, a zoo and conservation centre where you can meet and learn about hundreds of different species of animals, birds, and reptiles. The Habitat is also a wildlife care centre, where animals that have been rescued from the surrounding area can be cared for and visited by tourists. Wildlife Habitat often has exciting features or events on, including its longstanding Breakfast with the Birds, where, as the name suggests, you can eat your morning breakfast surrounded by tropical parrots.
If you’re looking for an experience that’s truly unique to this area, consider booking an Indigenous Tour. These tours give you an insight into the fascinating culture of the Kuku Yalanji people, who are the traditional owners of the land and who continue to live their lives in the rainforest. Led by the Kuku Yalanji, you can learn and make your own artwork, discover their hunting and gathering techniques, and much more.