Tandem Hang Gliding
This is something that I have wanted to do for years and this visit I finally did it.
You do the flight at the Rex Lookout which is on the Highway between Cairns and Port Douglas. Approx 15 minutes from Port.
I went with a guy named Greg. He made me feel very safe and has been flying for 20 odd years.
If you plan to do this you should be aware that it can take a few hours. The wind conditions have to be right.
Take a bottle of water and fruit, just in case you have to hang around for awhile waiting for the flight.
It's a fantastic thing to do.
- Hang Gliding
St Mary's By The Sea Church
The Church was originally built in 1880 and destroyed by a cyclone in 1911. Over the years it became the last remaining Church in Port Douglas.
The Catholic Church gave the building to several resident who organised its restorarion and moved it to its present location November, 1988.
The Church is beautifully restored by the local Restoration Society and is open to visitors daily.
Open for Community Worship 11am Sundays'.
- Religious Travel
- Family Travel
Quicksilver Outer Reef Cruise - Great Barrier Reef
Quicksilver has several options, but this tip is for Agincourt on the Outer Reef cruise. The price for the minimum cruise is $189/adult and $94/children 4-14, free under 4
Morning and afternoon teas
Reef presentation by marine biologist.
Hot and cold tropical buffet lunch.
All snorkelling equipment
Return Wavepiercer cruise from Port Douglas
Qualified snorkelling safety officers
Underwater observatory fish & coral viewing
Coral viewing by semi-submersibles
Fish feeding by crew
I have been twice and did the minimum both times and had plenty to do. The trip out takes an hour an a half to arrive by 11. You are on the pontoon til about 2:30. Lunch is served from 12-1:30. When I took my parents, we went straight to a semi-submersible for an easy ride around to view some fish, coral and even a sea turtle. On my previous trip we saw a reef shark. Then we went for a bit of snorkelling, then out for a little lunch (the lunch is a nice buffet of cold salads, bread, meats, cheese, chicken, and some rice and two hot dishes to put over rice... it is plenty to fill up on and you can eat as much as you like. Drinks are extra or you can get a small cup and water out of the water fountain).
After lunch, my dad and I went for more snorkelling while Mom watched and also took another semi-sub ride. There is something for everyone to enjoy on this trip, even if they don't want to get in the water.
Guided Snorkel Tour with Marine Biologist - $58
Introd Diving [w/All Equipment] 1 Dive - $134
Certified Diving [w/All Equipment] 1 Dive - $92, 2 Dives - $134
Ocean Walker - $134
Helicopter Scenic Flights - 10 minutes $125
My husband did the intro dive and although it was a bit to get used to for his first time scuba diving, he really enjoyed it and said the instructor was excellent and really made them feel safe. The photographer got some great photos of him.
I recommend this if some in your party want to stay dry, but if everyone plans to snorkel or dive, try Haba Dive - see my other tip.
- Family Travel
Trips to Cape Tribulation/Mossman Gorge/Daintree
There are a number tours you can do for these areas.
Along the main street of Port Douglas there are outlets that will book tours for you. There is also the Information Centre.
Before you decide to do a tour, think of the cost and then check out the car hire places. It might be less expensive to hire a car and do it yourself at your leisure.
I will be adding more info to my Mossman page and also Cape Trib page.
If you hire a car you can go as far as Capre Trib, then after this you need a 4x4.
Please don't go any further as it is dangerous and not worth the insurance bill.
- Adventure Travel
Palm Cove - Tropical Beach & Resorts
We visited Palm Cove which is a beachside resort and residential area located approximately 40 minutes drive south of Port Douglas. Promoted in advertisements as a high end holiday destination it offers a beautiful tropical beach, nice coastal scenery and a variety of accommodation with many beautiful resorts.
Less developed than Port Douglas but very similar in what it offers for for a relaxing holiday.
- Spa and Resort
Each Sunday morning there is a Market held in the Anzac park on the Inlet. This is at the North end of Port's main street. You can't miss it, follow the crowd:)
At the markets you can buy everything from fruit and veg to fashion. There are numerous things you can buy to take home for gifts.
One thing I do enjoy is having a neck and shoulder massage. The Chines massage is in the centre walk way of the market. It's about $10 for 15 minutes....great to relax you so you can continue searching for that special gift.
Snorkling the Great Barrier Reef
I used a snorkel before in a swimming pool and my biggest problem was always getting water in my mouth, well at the Great Barrier Reef there was one difference. The water was salty and it tasted awful.
But equipped with a scuba mask, a snorkel and fins, you can take on the world, ok at least the Great Barrier Reef. We were at the outer Reef and we could use a floating pontoon as a base to go back to. The snorkel areas where marked by ropes.
The underwater world is so diverse and beautiful that you forget time and distance. A slowly moving current is taking you away from the pontoon and before you know it, you are one hour further and at the edge of the snorkel area.
It's difficult to describe the colours and the fish you see there, but it was one of the highlights of my Australia trip.
Sail on a Wednesday Night
Don't tell everyone:) but you can go for a cheap sail on a Wednesday night in Port.
Head to the yacht Club which is a few hundred metres south of the Marina in port.
If you get there about 4/4.30pm then find the ask who is taking a list of people to sail.
He usually sits at the bar. You can put your name down and then buy the skipper something to drink, plus a few for yourself to take.
The Yacht club do this as a fund raiser. They ask that you buy some raffle tickets when you get back, have a few drinks and maybe a cheap meal. They have great cheap meals.
You will be meeting the locals as well as having a great time.
- Sailing and Boating
Haba Dive the Great Barrier Reef!
I recommend Haba Dive highly if all those in your party intend to snorkel or scuba... if there are some who don't want to get in the water, I recommend Quicksilver - see my other tip. The Haba Dive boat is smaller and family-owned and you definitely felt like you were getting more personal attention. The fee for an adult is $155 (child 4-12 $95) which includes wet suits, all snorkel equipment, local transfers, morning and afternoon tea, fresh tropical buffet lunch, education reef brief, and a guided snorkelling tour.
Glass bottom boat - $10/adult, $5/child
Pickup/dropoff to Cairns - $15
Intro dive - $50
2nd intro dive - $40
Two Certified dives if you bring your own gear - $40
Two Certified dives including all gear/computer & guide - $60
Third Certified dive - $15
The schedule for the day was - 8:30am departure, a little over an hour trip to first location, snorkel/dive time, lunch on the boat while travelling to the 2nd location, snorkel/dive time at 2nd location, a little over an hour trip back and arrive around 4pm.
The afternoon tea included some very yummy desserts like a chocolate swirl cheesecake! Also, this smaller boat made the possibility of seasickness a bit greater and our trip back home was quite a wild ride... I did get sick... but I didn't take the precaution of the seasickness tab as you begin the journey. So, if there is any chance you may feel sick, just take the pill and don't sit in the inside next to the food (that is the worst spot for feeling sick)!
So overall, Haba Dive was an excellent trip and I highly recommend it if all your party will be snorkelling or scuba diving, but if some don't want to get wet, try Quicksilver with better options for staying dry.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Family Travel
This is a fun thing to do. You are pulled along by a speed boat ( at a reasonalbe speed) while are attached to a parachute, you are safely secured in a harness.You leave from the Marina in Port and around off the 4 Mile Beach. You have a birds eye view of the wonderful beach/hills and port.
You can have the choice of being dunked in the water.
- Adventure Travel
This is an easy activity for all the family. There are a couple of places that you can hire a bike for a week or a day. they have bikes with kiddy seats also.
You must wear a helmet in Australia when riding a bike.
Port is very flat so you can ride anywhere. You can also ride along the beach.
A bike is approx $70 per week
The Daintree Rainforest is a tropical rainforest on the coast, north of Cairns in tropical Far North Queensland which was added to the World Heritage List in 1988.
It contains 30% of the frog, marsupial and reptile species in Australia, 65% of Australia's bat and butterfly species plus 20% of all the bird species in this country.
One of the best ways to experience the magnificent Daintree Forest is through a guided tour that is offered through many tour operators from Cairns, Port Douglas or Daintree.
- National/State Park
- Jungle and Rain Forest
The Great Barrier Reef
If you're in Port Douglas the chances are you are there for the Great Barrier Reef. The company we went with are part of the Quicksilver group and are called Silversonic (see my photos for a picture of the boat).
We were picked up from our hotel in the morning and taken to Marina Mirage where we were checked in onto our boat. From there you are briefed about the day and safety etc. All equipment is provided but bring your own towel, swimsuit, sunscreen etc. We chose to do snorkelling and because of the jellyfish risk we borrowed wetsuits for a small fee. We spent 5 hours at the reef and were taken to 3 different sites. A buffet lunch and afternoon tea are also provided on board.
There are guides on hand to help you as well as give you an optional guided tour of the reef. Don't worry if you're not a strong swimmer (i'm not) there are life jackets and flotation devices (noodles) that you can borrow. I found it pretty terrifying letting go of the boat at first but once i dipped my head down and caught my first glimpse of the reef it was amazing!
Take some money with you because there is an underwater photographer on board and you can purchase a photo of yourself in the reef. You may also want to bring an underwater camera as they are much cheaper on land than on the boat.
See website for more details.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Eco Great barrier reef tour-WAVELENGTH
I always go out to the reef with these guys, all they do is snorkelling, They take a maximum of 30 passengers and unlike Quicksilver they go to the best 3 sites on the day- not the same place EVERYDAY
As a result their sites have no diver related damage and are nice and shallow.
Its small, personal and friendly. These guys are great with beginner and experienced snorkellers, plenty of attention and assistance.
They have advanced eco accreditation and were one of the first companies in Port Douglas to become eco accredited.
- Diving and Snorkeling
View the Mossmon Gorge
One of the most beautiful sights on land around Port Douglas would have to be Mossman Gorge located just a little north of the city. Mossman Gorge is a popular place for locals and tourists to take a dip in the water and enjoy some slow moving rapids. There are also a few walking tracks near the gorge, which include a nice little suspension bridge that hangs over the river.
Mossman is located in the middle of Daintree National Park, this is also consider the traditional home of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. Although we did not get the chance, we also found out that there are specific track talks and tours put on by Aboriginal culture guides.
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