Port Douglas is about an hour up the coast, with a beautiful drive, from Cairns. Jax and I had 2 stops in Port Douglas during our Cairns mini break, and I think it’d be a nice spot to stay for a couple of days.
It’s hard not to stop everywhere on your way up to Port Douglas, every beach and view spot looks gorgeous.
But once you make it to Port Douglas, you’ll be rewarded with a great looking town with lots of places to stop for a drink or a bite to eat. We didn’t have long here, but here are our highlights.
Port Douglas Market
Held on Sundays, you don’t want to miss these markets. I love local markets, and so does Jax. We pretty much find it impossible to walk away without an armful of stuff. The market is a nice eclectic mix of food stuff, crafts and souvenir stuff, could you ask for anything more? It’s open from 8-2pm, we got in about 1 and everything was still going strong. Things we ended up walking away with:
- Black garlic power – amazing, I’ve been putting this on everything!
- New wooden boards, ‘cause you can never have too many of them, plus they were a really good price.
- PJ pants- these were so cute! I tried really hard not to buy some even though Jax did, I ended up with a pair 😂😂
- Amazing scrub magic body scrub. Genuinely think this might be magic, and it smells so good.
- Pineapple drinks: kind of like a lumpy liquidy pineapple drink which was super yum. Plus you can’t be in Queensland and not have pineapple.
I think that was it, but knowing us, there’s probably more I forgot.
Cane Toad Racing
Yes this is truly a thing!!! Seriously! It’s in the back bar of the Iron bar and it is hilarious. You buy a ticket for the race which is done in a raffle style, then after the raffle ones there is an auction for you to bid on a road to race. It’s too much!
There’s heaps of kids at this event, obviously, I’d prefer it to be adults only but they were pretty well behaved. Sadly, we had to drive back to Cairns after, otherwise I think the toad racing would be greatly enhanced by booze. 😂😂
Central Hotel Port Douglas
After a day of exploring, a big pub meal is in order. There’s quite a few options in Port Douglas, and by process of elimination we ended up at the Central Hotel. Our process of elimination included: no massive queue, a chicken parmie on the menu and wedges. 😂😂 because as we know, Jax and I were in the thick of an ‘eat all the fried pub food’ phase.
Parmie wasn’t bad, but the steak was not to our normal pub steak standards. Pretty gristly and over cooked, boo. I think we probably would have done better at the Iron Bar but they didn’t have wedges.
The pub is a great space though. It’s huge! Massive inside rooms and 2 big outdoor patios. There was some sport going on so everywhere in town was pretty busy.
Exploring the beaches
Between Port Douglas and Cairns there are heaps of beaches to explore. But, you have to be careful about the crocodile warnings. I didn’t even think of this, but Jax did.
The water is beautiful. Temperature was perfect, no heavy waves. Everything you want it to be. You could spend forever just traveling up and down the coast road swimming and eating great food.
Crocodile things people need to clarify: do you want to swim in a beach that has had no recent crocodile sightings or one that’s had recently ones? How often do they like to go back to the same beach? What is recent? Honestly, these signs need more info!
Port Douglas is a great add on to a trip to Cairns, or could probably be a base instead. Then again, so could a stack of the little towns on the way up. They’re all cute.