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Why is Port Douglas so popular? How many days do you need in Port Douglas? What is the best month to visit?

4 Mins read

If you’re currently planning a trip to Australia, then there’s a good chance that you’ve seen the name “Port Douglas” pop up plenty. What’s that all about? Why is Port Douglas so popular? And if you do decide you want to check it out (which you definitely should), how many days do you need in Port Douglas and when is the best time to visit? 

Here’s everything you need to know about one of Australia’s most renowned and sought-after tourist destinations…


Why is Port Douglas so popular?

So, why is Port Douglas so popular? For one thing, there’s simply so much to see and do. Port Douglas is one of those unique destinations where people from all over the world can tick off several items from their bucket list in one journey! 

These are just a handful of the amazing things that you can see and do when you visit Port Douglas: 

  • Stroll along the world-famous Four Mile Beach
  • Visit the Great Barrier Reef
  • Checkout the Flagstaff Hill Lookout
  • Float about the Crystabrook Super Yacht Marina
  • Explore the World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park
  • Find yourself in awe of the Mossman Gorge
  • Potter about some of the finest Golf courses
  • Indulge in a feast for the senses at the many delicious restaurants, café’s, and bars! 
Port Douglas four mile beach and ocean on sunny day, Queensland, Australia

Port Douglas Four Mile Beach and ocean on a sunny day in Queensland, Australia

How many days do you need in Port Douglas?

How many days do you need in Port Douglas? That’s a tricky question to answer because it really depends on how much you’d like to get done. 

As a rule of thumb, most people would recommend that you spend no fewer than three days in Port Douglas. This should give you enough time to see the “unmissable sights” – but even then, you could easily spend several weeks in Port Douglas and still have plenty of activities to keep you entertained. 

If you’re struggling to decide on how many days to spend in Port Douglas, the easiest way is to break it down by making a list of all the things you really want to see and experience. Once you know exactly what you would like to see and do (and what you’re not so fussed about), you’ll have a much easier time figuring out how long you’ll need. 

Just make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to actually enjoy yourself! The last thing you want is to book two or three days only to find yourself having to rush from one excursion to the next without allowing yourself anytime to soak it all in.  

The Australian way has always been laid back and you should try to emulate that when you arrive. As the saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do” – so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy Port Douglas at your leisure! 

the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas

The Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas

What is the best month to visit Port Douglas?

Now onto the important question: when is the best month to visit Port Douglas? Again, this all really depends on your preferences – not to mention the fact that you are likely going to be restricted with taking time off work and coordinating with whoever else you may be travelling with. 

That said, under the assumption that you can visit Port Douglas at any time of the year, we’ll give you a year-round glance at what you can expect when you arrive:


  • January – March: January through March isn’t the most ideal time to visit Port Douglas as the height of the Australian summer can be uncomfortable for some tourists who are used to cooler climates. The temperatures average 30 °C during the day, with stuffy evenings and plenty of rainfall. That being said, these conditions do make visiting the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest perfect – not to mention how exceptionally clear the water conditions are in the Great Barrier Reef. Just be warned: Summer is Stinger season in Port Douglas which means there will be plenty of dangerous Box and Irukandji jellyfish lurking about. While there are “safe zones” for swimming with protective stinger nets and full-body wetsuits for hire, if you doubt you’d be able to relax and enjoy yourself, you may want to consider visiting later in the year. 
  • April – June: April through June is a lovely time of year to visit Port Douglas as the temperature begins to drop to around 25°C. That, and those freaky, gangly jellyfish tend to bugger off after May so you’ll be much more comfortable paddling around on the many beautiful Port Douglas beaches during this period. Oh, and let’s not forget about the world-famous Port Douglas Carnivale and the Annual Quicksilver Port Douglas Race Week!
  • July – September: July through September is largely considered as the perfect time to visit Port Douglas. There is less rainfall, the temperature is cooler (though still pleasant enough for some sunbathing), and you can enjoy swimming and snorkelling with far fewer risks. Just remember that as this period is considered the ideal time to visit – which means that it will be considerably busier and rather crowded. 
  • October – December: October through December is also a wonderful time to visit Port Douglas. Although this marks the end of the dry period, the temperatures begin to rise once more so you’ll have plenty of sunny days in between the occasional shower. If you’re travelling with family, spending Christmas in Port Douglas will almost certainly be one to remember! 
Road trip with motion blur along Ellis Beach near Palm Cove

Road trip with motion blur along Ellis Beach near Palm Cove on the way to Port Douglas


And there we have it! Port Douglas is so popular because it is home to not ONE but TWO listed World Heritage sites – not to mention a host of many other amazing things to see and do. 

If you’re looking for the perfect time to visit, you should aim for any time between July and September. 

Just be sure to book a luxury airport transfer service with a reputable company like Port Private Transfers – that way, you can get out of the airport and stuck into the action as quickly and comfortably as possible. 

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and that you have an amazing trip! Fly safe and be well.

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