Backpacking Australia – Port Douglas

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North of Cairns is the beautiful Tropical North Queensland which is home to some of the most stunning features you could find in Queensland. You’ll find the beautiful beach of Cape Tribulation, the enchanting Daintree Rainforest, plenty of crocs and bugs and the lovely Port Douglas. Formerly famous as a destination for honeymooners due to the luxury location and tropical surroundings, Port Douglas has opened up a brand new offering to backpackers (yay!). There are 5 backpackers to choose from in Port Douglas, I stayed at Port Douglas Backpackers which was a short walk from the main area of Port Douglas and most importantly, the beautiful beach!

The vibe of Port Douglas reminds me of a beachy town in the states as it has beautiful palm trees, plenty of restaurants all with outdoor seating, lots of boutique shops and a stunning setting. One thing that amazed me when I first arrived was the amount of Lorikeets that were everywhere, and as beautiful as they are, MY GOD they are bloody noisy, one night even my ear plugs couldn’t drown them out.


The Viewpoint of Four Mile Beach

I headed up to the main area of Port Douglas and had a wander around to enjoy the sunset, it looked beautiful against the water and the palm trees, there were so many people in the park enjoying the sunset. I had one full day to spend here so I made the most of having a beach right on my doorstep, as I’d really craved the beach which was non existent in Cairns! I grabbed a picnic, walked up to the viewpoint of 4 mile beach, took some beautiful pictures and headed down to relax on the beach for the afternoon. I’d learnt from my tour of Cape Trib and the Daintree Rainforest that there are saltwater Crocs that live in these waters so I gave swimming in the sea a miss but I had a gorgeous time chilling on the beach and finally felt like I was in Australia after a funny start in Cairns.


Four Mile Beach (Watch out for those Crocs!)

The Port Douglas Yacht Club have an awesome initiative where sailing on a Wednesday afternoon is free. You rock up to the Yacht Club at around 4pm, and the skippers select people to join their crew for the sunset sail. I was there with a couple that I’d met in the hostel and we were lucky enough to get invited on to one of the Yachts with skipper Ken! We sat up at the front which turned out to be the splash zone, wow we had the most hilarious time, it was rather choppy and we got absolutely drenched and almost flung off a couple of times but we had the best time! We were out on the water for around 90 minutes which was fab. The concept of the free sailing means that you are encouraged to stay and have dinner and some drinks with the rest of your crew at your yachts table, we had a great night socializing and laughing with all of our crew and had gorgeous good value food at the Yacht Club, I spent around $22 in total, which is amazing value for a sunset sail, a glass of wine and dinner. It was at this dinner that a local told me that the most dangerous thing in Queensland was in fact the coconuts!


Sunset Sailing with Port Douglas Yacht Club

After my 2 nights in Port Douglas I jumped on the shuttle bus back to Cairns and we stopped off at a beautiful viewpoint and got dropped off at all of our hostels, onto Mad Monkey in Cairns for me! I probably would have liked to stayed longer in Port Douglas or maybe even worked there!


I stayed at Port Douglas Backpackers in a 6 bed mixed dorm which cost $30, they did a free BBQ on my first night, had a bar with cheap drinks, good facilities, a pool and even a gym! You get backpacker meals at some of the local restaurants too! Good hostel, but do note there are a lot of people there who live in the hostel which can affect the vibe…

Other options:

Dougies Backpacker Resort

Global Port Douglas


  • Relax on Four Mile Beach with a good book (But don’t sit under a palm tree or swim in the water out of the net!)
  • Head up to the viewpoint of Four Mile Beach – its stunning!
  • Go on a free sunset sailing trip from the Port Douglas Yacht Club – arrive at the Yacht Club before 4pm to take part.
  •  Check out the sunset at the park
  • Explore Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest with Active Tropics



There is no Greyhound to get to Port Douglas unfortunately! But there are a couple of options:

  • Book a couple of nights as a package with one of the tours and your tour will be your transport up there, and make the most of the shuttle back
  • Stay with Port Douglas Backpackers, they have a free shuttle to Cairns and back on certain days, Tues, Thurs & the weekend.
  • Use the shuttle service with Sun Palm Transport


I hope you love Port Douglas as much as I did and have fun exploring Tropical North Queensland!

Check out my other Backpacking Australia posts here. 

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