With tropical rainforest to one side and coral reefs to the other, it’s not surprising that Queensland is often near the top of the holiday must-visit list. Situated at the northeast end of Australia, Queensland has a warm tropical climate, crystal clear waters, and adequate hours of sunshine. Hence, it is dubbed The Sunshine State.
The biggest city in QLD is Brisbane. However, it’s not just the bustling areas that attract tourists and backpackers. There are also palm trees, sailing yachts, and endless white sandy beaches. With a smaller, more laid-back vibe than nearby Cairns, the northern town of Port Douglas is the perfect stop to make the most of this area’s stunning landscape, natural beauties, and an ideal climate.
Just a 40-minute drive from the renowned beach community of Palm Cove, Port Douglas is located between the tropical Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. This excellent location makes it the perfect base for land and sea-based adventures.
The idyllic setting and relaxed atmosphere of Port Douglas have made it a massive hit with visitors of all types, especially those looking for something extra special. Several high-end luxury resorts have risen to take advantage of this demand by offering unique activities. Tourists can have their every wishes catered for, from helicopter tours to treehouse dining experiences.
However, Port Douglas isn’t just for those who want a luxury retreat. The variety of activities on offer suggests it’s also an excellent family destination and a top spot for water sports enthusiasts. The town is calm but still full of life, so there’s something to suit every taste.
Whatever your reason for visiting, the best way to scour this tropical destination is in the comfort and convenience of a Port Douglas car hire. Picking up an affordable car rental in Port Douglas or arranging a campervan hire is the best way to explore the town and the surrounding places. That way, you can take advantage of all the sights and activities at your leisure.
Why Choose Car Hire and Rental?
Car Hire and Rental takes the hassle out of booking a car for rent in Port Douglas. We work with the biggest and best brands in the market, Avis, Budget, Dollar and Thrifty. That’s we can provide you with a variety of major makes, models, and sizes from which to compare, ensuring you get the keys to the most affordable vehicle that suits your needs. Branches are centrally located in Port Douglas, so picking up the keys is an absolute breeze!
In addition to a fantastic selection and convenience, you’ll also get good, honest pricing. You don’t have to worry about nasty hidden fees, allowing you to enjoy the most of Post Douglas with whatever travel budget you have. These perks add to an effortless and efficient Port Douglas car rental that will help you get your trip started on the right foot.
Benefits of Purchasing Car Hire and Rental Services for Your Road Trip in Port Douglas?
- We only partner with world-renowned brands
- Free booking assistance with no fees or charges
- 100% Australian-owned and operated
- Impartial and instant rate comparison
- Receive drive-away rates (excluding young driver surcharge)
Access to a car rental in Port Douglas removes the stress of looking for a viable and affordable way to travel within the city. We’ve been helping Australians gain access to the vehicles they need and are ready and waiting to help you compare and find the right fit.
What are some of the vehicles you can hire in Port Douglas?
Discover Beautiful Places Within Port Douglas
With so many thrilling activities packed into the Port Douglas area, you’d think there would be no necessity to travel elsewhere to entertain yourself. But there’s more! The surrounding area has some fantastic spots ideal for road trips and should be factored into your visit if you have the time.
If you decide to go on a more extended trip down the coast, there are lots of great spots like Townsville, Airlie Beach, or Proserpine that have gorgeous beaches and activities to keep you entertained. With car hire in Port Douglas, you’re in control and can explore its different parts at your leisure.
Just under an hour’s drive north of Port Douglas in your car rental is the serene village of Cape Tribulation. It is one place to remember to bring your camera, as you can catch both rainforest and coral reef in the same shot.
Here, you can get busy with many activities, including kayaking, horse riding, zip lining, or 4×4 driving, making the most of the calm, quiet area untouched by urban development.
The Daintree Village was the area’s first settlement in the 1870s. The quaint little village still carries the same rural charm and delivers a snapshot into the lives of those who made their lives as timber workers and gold rush pioneers.
The village is just a 40-minute drive from Port Douglas and is an ideal spot for a day trip. There are plenty of possibilities to explore the area, including river expeditions, wildlife cruises, craft markets, and galleries.
Best Places to Stay While in Port Douglas
Wherever you stay in Port Douglas, you won’t feel further away from the sea. The town is next to the well-known Four Mile Beach, and most hotels and resorts are located just minutes from the sand.
If you’ve come to Port Douglas for luxury relaxation, you’ll have your work cut out, selecting between the many upscale resorts, boutique hotels, and lodges. There are also affordable B&Bs, hotels, and backpacker options for those seeking more relaxed lodging.
Martinique on Macrossan Apartments
These apartments are ideal for those looking for something unique that doesn’t break the bank.
Martinique on Macrossan Apartments is brilliantly situated just a few minutes from Four Mile Beach and within walking distance of the centre of Port Douglas. You can rest at the outdoor hotel pool for one minute and be on your way for a delectable dinner in town the next. The modern, simple décor, superb service, and perfect location make these apartments a hit with visitors.
Paradise Links Apartments
Although some of the accommodation choices in Port Douglas are suited towards adults only, families are definitely not left out.
Paradise Links apartments and villas are a famous option for touring families. You can book between one to four bedrooms in their apartments and villas to guarantee everyone has room to relax. You’ll find tennis courts, basketball hoops, several swimming pools, and the Palmer Sea International golf course right next door to keep you all amused and entertained.
If you want to see the rest of the area, the town centre is just 6 km (3.7 miles) away, yet another reason car hires in Port Douglas is a wonderful idea. These apartments deliver just the right amount of extravagance and relaxation without leaving the kids behind.
Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of luxury and convenience, you won’t be disappointed by this premier boutique hotel.
Situated right on the edge of the celebrated Four Mile Beach, this small hotel is the only one in Port Douglas that delivers waterfront views. There are 34 one-bedroom suites in the Peninsula Hotel, highlighting private balconies that look out onto the multi-tiered pools and lounge area below. You can enjoy sensational meals created by the in-house restaurant or cook for yourself in your private kitchenette.
It is an adults-only, exclusive tropical getaway where your every need is catered for!
Freestyle Resort Port Douglas
This resort has acquired a fantastic reputation and a fan base that keeps coming back every year.
Located close to the beach and the town centre, the Freestyle Resort is perfect for strolling and exploring the area. However, you might find it hard to leave the resort once you’ve sat next to the lovely pool and spa area that the hotel is centred around.
There is a range of self-catered apartments to select from, all with welcoming 4-star hospitality and service delivered by the owners. They also feature a BBQ area, a lush tropical garden, and protected underground parking for your Port Douglas hire car.
Where to Dine at Port Douglas?
Given the extravagant, tropical atmosphere of Port Douglas, it’s not surprising that there are dining ventures to match. A far cry from the yawning fishing village of years gone by, there is now a large host of high-end, modern, and adventurous restaurants presenting various cuisines.
Port Douglas also reaps the rewards of its nearness to the Great Barrier Reef and the abundance of fresh seafood. Luckily, seafood runs hand in hand with the town’s tropical, al fresco holiday vibe and is precisely what most holidaymakers want to savour. For this reason, it takes pride in its local restaurants, with excellent cocktails and views to complement them. Their local specialities are oysters, prawns, mud crabs, and scallops.
Port Douglas is also just a short span away from the Atherton Tablelands, a rich agricultural region delivering some of the best quality meat in the area. As a result, you’ll find excellent quality produce on the menus that haven’t travelled far to get to your plate.
Nevertheless, it’s not all candlelit dinners and sunset views! Families and gatherings are just as welcome. Whether you’re after a leisurely brunch, a quick pizza, or a family feast, you will see something to suit your tastes and needs.
Since you’ve come to the rainforest, it would seem ridiculous not to take advantage of the opportunity to wine and dine right in the middle of it.
Nautilus Restaurant is right in the middle of the lush tropical trees, tucked away along a small trail leading from the centre of Port Douglas. This lavish dining restaurant has catered to some notable guests in the 60 years it has been open, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, who held their wedding reception in 1977.
You may not find the cheapest meal you’ve ever had, but this is an ideal spot for a unique treat and a superb location. The cuisine is Modern Australian, with abundant seafood and tropical-inspired dishes, and you can select from a variety of tasting, degustation, or à la carte menus.
On the Inlet
On the Inlet could be your response for a delicious, laid-back, and friendly meal. This restaurant is perched right on top of the water in an open plan, al fresco style, enabling you to admire the view over the water.
The restaurant highlights top-quality local seafood in pasta, in a bucket, or on the signature giant seafood platter. There’s no better site to sit with a bottle of wine and observe the yachts and fishing boats sail past. What’s more, they have a wonderful children’s menu, and you will be pleased to watch George the giant grouper feeding daily from the waterfront.
Hi-Tide Café & Restaurant
Hi-Tide sets you at the centre of the action, just a stone’s throw away from some of the most famous accommodations on the esplanade. As the only licenced restaurant in Port Douglas that fronts Four Mile Beach, you can sit back in the cosy outdoor seating and take in the sunset, green waters, and swinging palm trees.
This area is perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or coffee before you hit the beach. The menu suggests fast, good-sized meals showcasing local produce. A notable feature on the menu involves cooking fresh meat or seafood on a hot stone that’s delivered to your table.
Silky Oaks Treehouse
If you’ve witnessed the sunsets and dined under the trees but still want more enjoyment, then the Silky Oaks Treehouse might be your answer. It takes it to another level as you can enjoy outstanding, local produce from the stunning setting of a treehouse raised high up in the rainforest canopy.
Established close to the Mossman Gorge at the premier Silky Oaks Lodge, the treehouse restaurant is a 30-minute drive in your Port Douglas car hire. They serve modern Australian cuisine with an Asian twist, making everything in-house. You might best save this one for a memorable occasion, but you’ll be sure to reflect on your experience for a long time afterwards.
What to See and Do at Port Douglas?
Port Douglas is packed with exciting activities and opportunities to explore nearby natural wonders. With the Daintree Rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other, you could socialise with tropical birds in the morning and swim with turtles in the afternoon.
The Great Barrier Reef
Just a short way offshore from Port Douglas is the breathtaking underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef, teeming with attractive colourful corals and a vast array of marine activity. With this natural wonder so close, it’s no wonder that exploring it is one of the top lures for tourists. The tough decision is between the many ways to experience it, depending on how near and personal you want to get with the wildlife.
Snorkelling and diving have always been the best way to experience them first-hand. Although snorkelling and diving from Port Douglas are possible, the finest marine life will be seen if you travel out to the reef. Numerous tour operators will take you out and offer you the best places to dive or snorkel on a spectrum of essential luxury cruises. You can also charter a boat and do it yourself.
If you do not get wet, you can still obtain a fantastic view of the spectacular underwater activity. Hop on a glass-bottomed boat from Port Douglas to the Low Isles to see turtles, corals, and fish from the boat’s safety. These are perfect for children or those who would choose not to swim.
If you’d instead witness the area from a completely different view, there are panoramic flights and hot air balloons in Port Douglas. This will allow you to see the reef, the rainforest, or a mixture of both.
Port Douglas is great for enjoying a massive range of water sports. From kayaking to paddle boarding, jet skiing to kite surfing, you can do them in Port Douglas!
There’s no problem if you’re a complete newbie, as there are available lessons and a professional will guide you. Meanwhile, experienced adventurers will have plenty of room to stay amused and try a different activity if they prefer it.
The Daintree Rainforest
At one point many years ago, Australia’s hot and moist climate indicated that it covered almost the whole continent in a rainforest. However, as the weather has dried, much of this has vanished to be replaced by arid deserts. Fortunately, the area around the Daintree still has an excellent climate for the rainforest ecosystem.
The Daintree is now the most expansive area of endless rainforest on the Australian continent. The combination of tropical rainforest and coastline so near together is scarce, and the chance to explore both of these stunning natural jewels is one of the greatest attractions of Port Douglas.
There are several ways to explore the rainforest and the animals that live within it. If you prefer fresh air and exercise, you can walk along the boardwalks and marvel at the wildlife at your own pace. An excellent place to do this is in the Mossman Gorge, around a 20-minute drive in your car rental from Port Douglas, where there are also stunning locations for wild swimming and picnicking.
Alternatively, there are lots of popular tours and attractions where you can learn about the environment. One of the best-loved attractions in Port Douglas is the Wildlife Habitat, a zoo and conservation centre where you can encounter and learn about hundreds of various species of animals, birds, and reptiles. The Habitat is also a wildlife care centre where animals rescued from the surrounding area can be cared for and visited by tourists. Wildlife Habitat often has compelling features or events, including its longstanding Breakfast with the Birds, where you can eat your morning breakfast encircled by tropical parrots.
If you’re looking for an adventure unique to this area, consider booking an Indigenous Tour. These tours provide insight into the captivating culture of the Kuku Yalanji people, who are the traditional landowners and continue to live in the rainforest. Led by the Kuku Yalanji, you can discover and make your artwork, learn their hunting and gathering techniques, and much more.
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