One of the most enchanting regions in the South Pacific, a visit to Port Douglas will fill you with a sense of awe. Just off the coast is the world’s biggest reef system – the Great Barrier Reef – while, on land, the planet’s most ancient rainforest occupies pride-of-place: the 140 million-year-old Daintree.
With pristine beaches and an abundance of activities on offer, you need to dedicate at least a few days soaking up all that this incredible coastal region has to offer.
A few days of road-tripping around Port Douglas is fantastic. Start with a drive to Mossman Gorge, said to be the second-purest water source in the world.
Once you arrive at the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre, a shuttle bus will take you two kilometres up the hill to the entrance of the National Park. Here, a boardwalk leads to the Mossman River and a truly idyllic natural swimming pool.
The Daintree Rainforest is 140 million years old, and the best way to experience it is via a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk. As you meander among strangler figs, epiphytes and twisted vines, your First Nations guide will take you into a private section of the forest and share with you Indigenous customs, traditional food and medicinal properties of the plants.
Just east of Mossman is Cooya Beach, where you can take an unforgettable and fun Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour with Kubirri Warra guides Linc and Brandon Walker. You’ll experience journey across beaches and through mangroves, and engage in traditional fishing activities like mud-crabbing and spear-fishing. The best part is that you get to eat what you catch afterwards!
The prettiest of the beaches in the Daintree Rainforest is Cape Tribulation, located approximately two hours’ drive north of Port Douglas. For a bird’s eye view of the rainforest, Jungle Surfing and Jungle Adventures Night Walks are located on a private reserve in Cape Tribulation. The 45-acre property borders the Daintree Cape Tribulation National Park and contains spectacular rainforest, as well as views of the ocean and Great Barrier Reef. Fly through the jungle canopy on an exhilarating fully-guided zip lining tour between six tree canopy platforms. You might even spot some critically-endangered tree kangaroos along the way.