My favourite place to shop in Port Douglas is at the Sunday Market (see 'Things to do' tip). But for the rest of the week there are plenty of shops to browse in along Macrossan Street, which is the long main street of Port Douglas, which runs from the beach to the inlet.
You will find pretty much everything you need along this stretch, including a large Coles supermarket for those self caterers out there. One of my favourite shops along Macrossan Street is the Peter Lik gallery - this man is a genius.
What to buy: For a more 'upmarket' (and touristy) shopping experience, head to the Marina Mirage complex, located by the harbour. Here you will find a number of speciality shops and restaurants which aim to attract the more affluent tourist. If you need a does of Versace or want to buy some 'resort' wear this is the place to head.
Marina Mirage is part of the Sheraton Mirage that Skase built in the 80's. Because of the affluent crowd that head to PD, many of the shops here were out of my price range, as the full range of designer labels and stores are on offer here.
What to pay: Quite a bit!
Well, it appears that every citizen that lives in Port Douglas seems to own their own business selling some sort of art or craft. When we arrived on a Sunday afternoon, the town seemed to be completely empty, until one of the local restaurant owners mentioned that we should head to the end of the street and check out the Sunday market. As we rounded the corner we now realized where everyone was!
While you head through here, you will see everything from coconuts painted as monkeys, oceanscape scenes, wind chimes made out of beer cans, and anything else of minimum value. Market hours for visitors are from 8am until 1.30 pm.
What to buy: There were a couple nice aboriginal art stores, as well as great little gifts to give your relatives such as soap or art from local wood.
What to pay: $1 - 300 AUD
The Sunday Markets have been around for 20 years in Port Douglas and open every Sunday from 8am-1:30pm. We were lucky to stumble into the market our first day in PD. Many shops were local crafts and jewelry and some produce. All of the goods are made by the stallholders or immediate family.
What to buy: We were particularly excited to find one stall with a local aboriginal lady artist who had lots of pictures and didgeridoos that were gorgeous and a little cheaper than we had seen anywhere else. My husband and I had been wanting to get a didgeridoo so we got one here that we love and were even able to get a picture of the artist with the didgeridoo. If you are looking for aboriginal art, this is a great place to buy!
Also, if you are looking for a fun gift, there was one stall that had all these masks made out of coconut shells... they were hilarious! I wanted one, but didn't know where I would put it or who to give it to, so I restrained from buying... but they were great!
What to pay: Various prices, but definitely less than what you would find in a shop.
Weekend markets are pretty much a staple in most Australian towns. The markets in the park near the Marina Mirage are held on Sundays, but best to check with Tourist Info for the exact Sunday as they aren't on every weekend.
There are heaps of stalls ranging from cheap t-shirts to local produce. Keep an eye out for the local coconut growers, who drill in to a coconut and give you a straw so you can drink it. Take it back to them five minutes later and they will crack it open so you can eat the flesh! Fantastic!