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Things to do in

Port Douglas

From 5-star resorts, tropical rainforests, and the Great Barrier Reef, there’s something for everyone here.

Our most recommended things to do in Port Douglas

Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

1. Port Douglas: Low Isles Snorkel Tour

Join a snorkelling experience in the water around a beautiful, secluded island. Enjoy some time aboard a comfortable and spacious vessel as you travel to the Low Isles with only 23 guests. Relax with plenty of space onboard during the journey and enjoy a light refreshment as you spot the Low Isles in the distance. Spend a few hours snorkelling and exploring a picturesque coral bay. Snorkel in the calm lagoon or view the reef from the glass bottom boat. The crew will provide tours for guests to learn and appreciate the incredible Great Barrier Reef. Access to the reef is very easy, either from the back of the vessel or from the beach as the reef hugs close to the island. Explore the coral reef and its inhabitants without the crowds. Walk through the sandy paths and through the vegetation. See first hand the historical lighthouse, the lighthouse keeper's home and the Weather Station where local weather data is collected. 

Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

2. Port Douglas: Quicksilver Outer Barrier Reef Full-Day Cruise

Climb aboard a Quicksilver catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Showcasing unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life and exceptional underwater visibility, you can snorkel or view the sights from the comfort of a semi-submersible. The Quicksilver's stylish wave-piercing catamaran transports you in air-conditioned comfort. From the spacious activity platform, moored in a protected lagoon, enjoy the widest range of activities for swimmers and non-swimmers alike. A friendly and attentive crew, including professional marine biologists, are on hand to ensure you gain the most from your day. Snorkel among the coral gardens, or stay dry and explore the reef from the comfort of a semi-submersible. Enjoy an informative reef commentary and see the reef from an underwater observatory. Add on exciting optional activities for a complete adventure. Get an introductory dive of the reef, or enjoy certified diving, helmet diving and marine biologist-guided snorkel tours. You can even take a scenic helicopter flight and fly over the reef to see it from another perspective.

Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

3. Cairns: Daintree, Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour & Cruise

Embark on a day trip where the rainforest meets the reef. See natural sights including the Great Barrier Reef, experience a wildlife cruise, and participate in a smoke ceremony as you go. Start your adventure with a scenic coastal drive from Cairns to Port Douglas, the far north’s very own great ocean road with panoramic views of the sparkling Coral Sea. The first stop is Mossman Gorge, which is in the southern sector of the world-famous Daintree National Park. The gorge has been carved out by the cold mountain waters of the Mossman River, which winds through large granite boulders, bordered by lush green rainforest. It’s a magical place and you’ll be welcomed by the traditional owners, the Kuku Yalanji people, who will also cleanse you of evil spirits during a smoke ceremony. Also, enjoy a refreshing swim in the cascading waters. Cross the mighty Daintree River and head to the beach for lunch. Experience waterfront dining and enjoy the sand between your toes. After lunch, it’s time to explore the ancient rainforest environment on an interesting guided tour of the Marrdja Botanical Boardwalk. Highly trained guides will give expert rainforest interpretation, which will inform and impress. Be amazed at the huge diversity you will encounter, you will discover everything from low-lying ferns and shrubs, to the massive rainforest canopy and even mangrove ecosystems - all in one short easy walk. You can choose to taste locally made ice cream, at your own cost, and prepare for a photo opportunity at the Alexandra Range Lookout, which provides sweeping views over the Daintree River, its rainforest delta, and out to the Coral Sea. In the afternoon, experience a wildlife cruise on the river. During the cruise, you may see a crocodile, while learning about the fragile ecosystem of this impressive serpent-like river system. On the return journey to Cairns, drive through Port Douglas, a picturesque beachside village with a laid-back vibe and loads of bars and cafes.

Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

4. Port Douglas: Outer Barrier Reef Snorkel Cruise & Transfer

Experience snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Snorkel at 3 incredible reefs sites and enjoy relaxing breaks in between. Your experience begins with a pickup from your hotel from where you will be transported to the Crystalbrook Marina. Arrive at the marina and be welcomed on board from 8:20 AM. Receive an outline of the day along with a safety briefing conducted by the crew. Depart the marina and venture to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and at 10:15 AM arrive at the first reef site. Divers will be briefed while traveling to the reef. Once moored, divers are ready to go while all other guests are joined together for a snorkel briefing. See much of the reef’s colors and marine life, visible within just a couple of meters of the water’s surface. Snorkelling offers all swimmers, regardless of their skill level, the opportunity to see this diverse eco-system up close. Morning tea is served before moving to the second reef site. A delicious buffet lunch will be served and you may choose to join the interpretive reef talk and or a guided snorkel tour. Float effortlessly over rich, colorful coral gardens teeming with life from the cute and playful clownfish to the graceful beauty of the green turtle. Giant clams, stingrays, Maori wrasse, codfishes, and colorful parrotfish, are just some of the hundreds of species you may encounter. At 1:40 PM Arrive at the third and last reef site for the day to snorkel, dive, relax, or spend the time as you wish. Afternoon tea is served before commencing the journey back to Port Douglas. Arrive back at the Crystalbrook Marina at 4:15 PM for the transfer back to your accommodation if required.

Cairns: Shared Airport Transfer to/from City and Beaches

5. Cairns: Shared Airport Transfer to/from City and Beaches

Arrive at Cairns Airport and be greeted by a friendly uniformed airport concierge or driver. Be guided to your waiting transport, where your driver will check your name and destination. Enjoy a welcome onboard and receive helpful information from your driver. Sit back and relax as you enjoy your journey to your hotel. Expect a journey time of 20 minutes to Cairns CBD and 25 minutes for Palm Cove hotels. For Port Douglas, drive for 1 hour and 15 minutes along the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Drive. At the end of your stay, take a transfer from your hotel to the airport. Feel calm and relaxed in the knowledge that you will arrive on time to meet your departing flight from Cairns International Airport.

Port Douglas: River Drift Snorkelling Tour in the Daintree

6. Port Douglas: River Drift Snorkelling Tour in the Daintree

Benefit from a complimentary pickup from your Port Douglas or Mossman accommodation. Arrive at the Daintree Rainforest's Mossman River after a short drive north through historic sugar cane fields. Get fitted out with a wetsuit, boots, and a snorkel mask with the help of your river-trained guide. Step into the cool, crystal clear water and drift with the current as you explore life under the water’s surface. Watch fish dart in and around the river stones and keep your eyes out for the occasional turtle. Try to spot the elusive platypus that calls this river home. Try to spot lizards, butterflies, and rainforest birds on this river adventure. Enjoy an unforgettable time drifting under the rainforest canopy. Arrive back at your accommodation after a short drive back south.

Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

7. Silversonic Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Adventure

Climb aboard the Silversonic catamaran for a full-day cruise to Australia’s renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the edge of the Continental Shelf. Snorkel or dive in the company of an experienced dive instructor (subject to availability) and experience unsurpassed coral formations, colorful marine life, and exceptional underwater visibility. The ultramodern 95-foot (29-meter) Silversonic catamaran is custom-designed for small groups of adventure-minded people. You will spend over 5 hours at the reef, visiting 3 different Agincourt ribbon reef sites, each chosen for its visual and ecological diversity. First-time divers can enjoy up to 2 dives and take the plunge in complete confidence with an experienced dive instructor by your side. Certified divers will enjoy up to 3 dives, all guided to maximize your experience. Silversonic features everything you’ll need to experience an underwater world of colorful marine life in safety and comfort, including a state-of-the-art ride control system ensuring a super smooth journey. Enjoy hydraulic dive and snorkel platforms for easy water access, spacious deck areas, hot freshwater showers, change rooms, and even a licensed bar to share tales of your adventure. As an added bonus during the whale season, Silversonic has one of the few permits available from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority that allows guests to swim with dwarf Minke whales if encountered – a truly unforgettable experience from July through September.

Port Douglas: Sunset Sailing Cruise on Luxury Catamaran

8. Port Douglas: Sunset Sailing Cruise on Luxury Catamaran

Check-in at the Sailaway office at the marina at 4:30 PM for a 5:00 PM departure. Climb aboard a luxury catamaran for a 1.5-hour evening cruise. Depart from the marina and feel the wind in your hair as the spectacular vessel moves smoothly and comfortably across the ocean. Receive a complimentary glass of beer, wine, or champagne. Savor a delicious selection of freshly prepared hot and cold canapes. Relax and unwind whilst enjoying the fantastic views of the coral sea and Daintree coastline. Enjoy pure sailing, great music, ambiance, and first-class service. After the sunset cruise, return to the marina at 6:30 PM.

Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, & Mossman Gorge Tour

9. Daintree Rainforest, Cape Tribulation, & Mossman Gorge Tour

Get picked up at your hotel and stop at the renowned Mossman Gorge, the first sight on your Daintree Forest tour. Embark on a guided walk and then hop aboard a river cruise on the Daintree River, home to the elusive estuarine crocodile. Observe stunning native and migratory bird life, butterflies, and breathtaking scenery. Cross the Daintree River, journey to Alexandra Lookout, and enjoy sweeping views extending from the Daintree River Estuary to the Coral Sea. Stop for morning tea under the canopy of this prehistoric rainforest. Have some muffin biscuits, coffee, Daintree Tea, and water.  Continue on to Cape Tribulation, with a stop at Kulki Lookout for unparalleled views of the rainforest and beach. Stop at Noah Valley, a World Heritage private property that plays host to some of the most spectacular, pristine rainforest found anywhere in the world. Take a stroll along The Gateway to Paradise and see one of the most primitive flowering plants still in existence. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear rainforest stream while your barbecue lunch is prepared in a private retreat surrounded by rainforest. Savor a lunch of steak, fish, and sausage, served with salads and a warm damper (Australian-style bread) followed by a tropical fruit platter. Follow lunch with an interpretive guided rainforest walk through the heart of the Daintree rainforest. Discover how all living parts of the Daintree Rainforest depend on each other for survival. Conclude the tour with a visit to Daintree Ice Cream Company.

Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

10. Cape Tribulation Ocean Safari Tour

An exhilarating ride to snorkel the pristine untouched Great Barrier Reef off the Daintree Coast at Cape Tribulation. This half-day eco-tour visits two different snorkel destinations, each with an extraordinary array of marine life and coral species. The tour begins at Cape Tribulation beach where guests board the vessel bound for the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The Ocean Safari vessel takes a maximum of 25 passengers allowing guests to experience tropical paradise and the pleasure of a small group. After a fast 25-minute ride, guests are ready to snorkel two fabulous locations at Mackay and Undine Reefs. On most days, the rainforest can be seen along the mainland beach whilst snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef alongside sea turtles, which are found in abundance swimming over reefs full of colourful coral, along with myriads of tropical fish, eagle rays, giant clams, and starfish. The vessel is based on the original design of a rescue craft and is a rigid inflatable boat driven by 700hp engines. The experienced Skipper and Eco Host ensure the trip is filled with fun and appreciation of the Great Barrier Reef and the coastal rainforest of the Daintree, two world heritage areas side by side. Magical memories like these sometimes only happen once in a lifetime.

Other Sightseeing Options in Port Douglas

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What people are saying about Port Douglas

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,765 reviews

A great day. Gary, our guide, was friendly, approachable and very knowledgeable. We saw stunning places such as Mossman Gorge and Thornton Beach, as well as the Daintree. Lunch was excellent and the highlight for me was swimming in Noah’s Creek. Highly recommend!

Our driver Brian met our plane despite it being late arriving. He helped us with our luggage and we had a comfortable, pleasant drive to Palm Cove. I would highly recommend Exemplar.

This tour was just the right length of time, the tour operators were knowledgeable of the area and ocean life, and provided a friendly personal experience

Well organized, few pictures from the tour, but as promised (because the Japanese guest had to be looked after intensively)

Exemplar provided an efficient, friendly and on time pickup/transfer service. We will happily use again