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Welcome to

PORT DOUGLAS Located one hours’ drive north of Cairns, via a spectacular coastal road surrounded by forest and the Coral Sea, Port Douglas is home to some of Tropical North Queensland’s most exclusive resorts, award winning restaurants, great galleries and world class shopping. A charming combination of sophisticated town and friendly village, Port Douglas is within easy reach of the Great Barrier Reef, the World Heritage listed Daintree and Cape Tribulation National Parks and spectacular Mossman Gorge.

Outer Barrier Reef The Agincourt Ribbon Reefs and Opal Reefs, easily accessible from Port Douglas, are some of the many beautiful sites that can be found in this area. Coral thrives in the crystal clear water, creating spectacular coral gardens and a huge variety of fish and marine life.


World Heritage

WORLD CLASS World Heritage is a description you’ll hear often in the Tropical North. The residents campaigned at length to have their twin treasures – The Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforests – listed by the global authority and now they are recognised and protected for generations to come. The Great Barrier Reef, made up of over 2600 individual reefs and about 300 islands, is the world’s largest coral reef system. It extends for 2,000 kms along the east coast of Australia, covers an area larger than Great Britain, and parts of it are estimated to be around 18 million years old. The reef habitat is home to some 1500 species of fish and 400 species of corals; the architects of the reef whose limestone homes form the basis of the many and beautiful coral colonies that form the reef itself. The Great Barrier Reef is the only natural structure visible from outer space.

Recognition of its ecological value was validated when it was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981. Sister icon to the reef is the spectacular, towering rainforest. These ancient ecosystems, World Heritage listed since 1988, cover an area of 900,000 ha and contain the oldest, continuously surviving rainforests on Earth with an estimated age of more than 135 million years. Only relatively recently has the importance of the rainforest been understood, with plants still being discovered, some with rare medicinal properties.

Covering just 0.1 percent of Australia’s land surface, the World Heritage area contains 30% of Australia’s marsupial species, 60% of bat species, 30% of frogs, 23% of reptiles, 62% of butterflies,18% of birds. Among these is the largest moth in the world, the Hercules, (with its 25cm wing span) and Australia’s smallest bat, the 50mm Little Pipestrelle. As well, there are two kangaroo ‘oddities’, the Lumholtz and Bennett’s Tree Kangaroos – tree kangaroos are the only macropods able to move hind legs independently of each other. The endangered southern cassowaries are large colourful birds, related to the ostrich and the emu family, with responsibility for the dispersal and subsequent germination of many rainforest fruits.




Port Douglas



Port Douglas was founded in 1877 to give the gold miners in the western outback a good seaport within reasonable distance to import their equipment and provisions, and to export their bounty.

Businessmen came from Cooktown during the late 1870s and soon built stores and wharves in Port Douglas. Named for the Premier of Queensland John Douglas, the town flourished during the 1880s on the wealth of the inland mining fields. It was filled with pubs, many operating from tents. The Court House, still standing in its original position, was built in 1879 and is the second oldest court house in Queensland. It is infamous for the committal trial in 1887 of Ellen Thomson, who was the only woman hanged in Queensland for the murder of her husband at Mossman. Her relatives are now preparing documents for her posthumous pardon. You can sit in the old jury bench and see a video re-creation of her trial at the Court House, which is now a Museum in Wharf Street.

To obtain your special rate simply quote discount number P429303 when reserving your car. Plus... • FREE holiday voucher book valued at over $300 • FREE local maps


Marina Mirage, Port Douglas, Cairns 4871 Phone 07 4099 5500

10% DISCOUNT This voucher entitles the bearer (up to 4 adults or 2 adults, 2 children) to a 10% discount off Quicksilver’s Outer Barrier Reef or Low Isles cruise. For Bookings Ph 07 4099 5500

• Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn points





A few miles from Port Douglas, the Bump Track was blazed, plunging steeply down behind Mt Molloy to Mowbray and soon pack-horse teams were straining to haul heavy mining equipment up to the Hodgkinson goldfields and the tin mines further away near Herberton. This busy track connected the people of Port Douglas to the inland and Cairns and it was not until 1933 that the present Capt. Cook Highway was built, sweeping north along the Great Barrier Reef coast from Cairns.

PORT DOUGLAS 4099 4331 3/11 Warner Street

Offer expires 31st August 2011. All cars subject to availability. Ask Avis for full details. W.T.H. Pty. Limited - ACN 000 165 855 - Avis Licensee. CT7364

The school house in Owen Street, now private tourist accommodation, also began in 1879 with 55 children enrolled on the first day. It closed in 1962 because of lack of pupils, and a new school opened in Reef Park in 1989 when the town began its resurgence. The beautiful little white timber church by the market park, St Mary’s By the Sea, began in 1880 in Grant Street, but was destroyed in the 1911 cyclone, and much of the town suffered a similar fate. Unlike many other buildings, the church was rebuilt and served the community well for decades. In the 1980s the Catholic church wanted to sell the land and some dedicated local ladies were granted ownership to preserve the church and had it removed to its present site. When the 1911 cyclone hit, it devastated most of the timber buildings of Port Douglas. By then the population had dwindled because it was decided in the 1890s that the new railway from the inland should terminate in Cairns. Businesses moved away and the importance of the Bump Track declined. The town’s future was uncertain. For decades, Port Douglas was a ‘sleepy fishing village’. Then in 1984 an international airport opened in Cairns and two years later the renowned Christopher Skase constructed the Sheraton Mirage, a glitzy five-star resort. Helicopters hovered over the village, entourages arrived in black limos and the town experienced a buzz that had not been felt for 100 years. Film stars, florists and restaurateurs invaded the little town, bringing entrepreneurs and wealth. This was stalled by the 1989 pilots’ strike, when suddenly no-one came. Eventually Port Douglas recovered, and has been proud host to many visitors ever since.


10 to family fun



Hiring a bike, building sand castles, watching scampering hermit crabs and splashing around on Four Mile Beach will keep the kids entertained all day.



It’s a hoot! Every Sunday the cheerful Bally Hooley Steam Train makes a round trip of Port Douglas from Meridien Marina. Meet ‘George’, the 250kg Giant Groper, during feeding time at sunset at On The Inlet Restaurant. Great for Mum and Dad to enjoy a sunset drink, too.


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All will be spellbound with a night spotlight tour of the Daintree rainforest – the wildlife will amaze you.



Spot a saltwater crocodile in the wild on a Daintree River Cruise, or visit Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures to see them up close and personal.

Tuck into fish ‘n’ chips from Finz and take the family to ANZAC Park by the water where kids can play on the swings.


Find Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef; glass bottom boats, underwater observatories and life jackets make visiting the reef possible with kids of all ages. Sailing to Low Isles is ideal for families.

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Melbourne Cup it ain’t, but the kids will love the Cane Toad Race conducted at the Iron Bar in Macrossan Street. Guided walks in pristine rainforest let families experience local traditional Aboriginal folklore and customs.

Pat a koala, feed a kangaroo and learn about the rainforest at the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary.







snorkel another world

call 07 4099 5031 book your seats now!


Botanical Park Sporting Complex





10 to food and wine



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Experience a mystical evening of candlelit dining in the rainforest with Aboriginal storytelling and music at Flames of the Forest.

Enjoy a beer and a bucket of prawns watching the tropical sunset at On The Inlet waterfront restaurant.

Indulge in a sunset cruise with canapés and champagne aboard a luxury catamaran.

Immerse yourself in a wildlife experience as our colourful birdlife welcome you at Breakfast with Birds at the Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Tour a local fruit winery, tasting award winning tropical fruit wines.

DIY seafood BBQ; purchase fresh seafood from the local suppliers and enjoy your very own seafood extravaganza by the water’s edge.

Taste an array of exotic tropical fruits such as Chocolate Pudding Fruit and the Mangosteen, the ‘Queen of Tropical Fruit’ at The Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm.

Select locally grown produce from the region’s growers at the Port Douglas Sunday Markets. The crushed sugar cane juice is a favourite!

There are 65 eateries in Port Douglas! Choose from casual café ambience on Wharf Street or have the ultimate dining experience of Nautilus Restaurant.

Grab a pie from Mockas’ Pies, a local institution, before heading out on your afternoon adventure.


rainforest. Anchoring the area that was once the base of a major timber industry is charming Daintree Village, restored by the residents to preserve it’s yesteryear character and a delightful place to sample the local delicacy found in the Daintree River; no, not crocodile – barramundi.

simply Irresistible If you ask a local, they’ll tell you this is the most beautiful region in Australia, so it deserves Australia’s most beautiful name. The name has evolved to describe the place where glittering green merges into blue; this is the only place on Earth where two World Heritage-listed jewels exist side by side; The Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest of Daintree and Cape Tribulation.


Go from business suit to barefoot and frantic to free. Refresh, restore and revitalise in the aquamarine reef waters of the Coral Sea, the crystal creeks of Mossman Gorge, the golden sands of Four Mile Beach and the tranquility of visiting the Daintree. While nature is the starring attraction, the region’s infrastructure has evolved to present a world class tourism product that has taken the fancy of world presidents, international celebrities and royalty who all appreciate the chance to enjoy a laid back tropical oasis with sophisticated worldly comforts. Journey through an ever-changing tropical landscape, a patchwork of white sandy palm fringed beaches, waving cane fields and jungle clad misty mountains. See lush farmlands bordered by World Heritage listed

Cape Tribulation has long surpassed the name given it by Capt James Cook and is now the centre of accommodation and leisure activities for one of the most unspoilt regions in the Tropical North. Bordered by the Daintree and Bloomfield rivers, it’s a place of magnificent waterways teeming with wildlife, rugged mountains, deserted beaches and historic sites. Your holiday would not be complete without pampering your body and cleansing the soul with a little indulgence. The region boasts some of the best spa facilities in the world with a range of treatments that are designed to relax, de-stress, energise and rejuvenate your body for the ultimate relaxation. Unwind with a massage or luscious facial set in a natural theme park of cooling rainforest with crystal streams to soothe your soul.

10 to tropical adventure SECRETS

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Four Mile Beach is a magnet for kite surfers from around the world.

Journey down the historic ‘Bump Track’ in the rainforest on a mountain bike. Get close to nature by swimming with magnificent Dwarf Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef.

Chase the elusive Black Marlin on local, experienced game fishing boats departing Port Douglas Marina.

Drift snorkel by the current, either over The Great Barrier Reef or down one of the many rainforest streams.


Certified or beginner, SCUBA diving the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef is the ultimate marine experience.


Explore ‘The Dark Side of The Daintree’ and search for nocturnal wildlife and crocodiles in the rainforest.

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Getting there is half the fun at 40 knots! Enjoy the reef in half a day by a high speed boat.

Hang on and enjoy an Ultra Light flight over Port Douglas.

Jungle surf by flying fox through the pristine rainforest canopy in the Daintree.

SAIL & SNORKEL THE OUTER REEF IN LUXURY Experience the Great Barrier Reef and guided snorkelling tour. Synergy aboard Synergy’s full day Luxury is a ‘must do’ experience when you Sail & Snorkel Cruise. Catering for a visit Tropical North Queensland. maximum of 12 pampered guests, Synergy offers exclusive sites, superb cuisine and friendly, five star service. Inclusive of morning and afternoon tea, gourmet barbeque lunch, in-water snorkelling tuition

Departing daily from Port Douglas

Reservations 4084 2800 • WELCOME TO PORT DOUGLAS



In the “old world” Daintree Rainforest, north of the Daintree River, unique physical features and microclimate have allowed the rainforest to persevere in continuous growth for 135 million years forming the world’s oldest rainforest. Much of the lowland rainforest between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation, is privately owned. The freehold landowners are not supported with government funding and rely solely on the contributions of tourism to meet Australia’s global obligations to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Convention. Any country signing the World Heritage Convention undertakes to provide policies to preserve, conserve and present the assets, and Tropical North Queensland’s tourism operators are world leaders in eco-tourism that provides a low impact yet highly rewarding visitor experience.

Tours & Activities For those choosing a watery adventure, Great Barrier Reef tours operate daily with a range of options available including state of the art fast catamarans, sailing yachts, luxury motor yachts, extended live a board trips, reef sprinters and even a traditional Chinese junk! Why not combine a Great Barrier Reef experience with a deserted island stop over via sailing yacht or luxury helicopter? Take home the ultimate fishing story from on board a light or heavy tackle fishing charter, or take the family for a relaxing afternoon of estuarine fishing along the waterways of Dickson Inlet. If you are looking to remain dry, an assortment of land based adventures are also available from your hotel door. Small or large group tours to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation are a must, with a wildlife cruise on the Daintree River keeping a close eye out for the elusive crocodile the perfect companion tour.

Discovery abounds north of the Daintree River, with options including sea kayaking, jungle surfing, barramundi and river fishing, a world class discovery centre and the most delicious locally made ice cream ever produced!

Wake up to a scrumptious breakfast with the birds followed by an historical ride into town on a sugar cane hauling train before taking that retail therapy opportunity at Meridien Marina and along Macrossan street.

Discover the essence of Port Douglas with a morning stroll along the famous golden sands of Four Mile Beach before enjoying the perfect coffee and heading off to the Sunday craft and produce markets for a coconut cocktail.

And if all this activity is exhausting, you can opt for a quieter day enjoying a round of golf, luxuriant spa treatment and massage, complete with an overindulgent romantic dinner.

Enjoy the history of the area taking a walk through the picturesque St Mary’s by the Sea chapel and the old court house, followed by a well deserved drink in one of Port Douglas’ historical pubs.

With access to Cairns tours and Tableland tours only a short drive along some of the most picturesque drives in North Queensland, Port Douglas is the ultimate centre to base your holiday to experience everything this region has to offer.

Every evening offers a new sunset view: champagne in the park or high above Port Douglas from the lookout overlooking the Coral Sea and Four Mile Beach, to relaxing with a cocktail on the deck of Marina Mirage.


Port Douglas

EVENTS Go Troppo Arts Festival

The Port Douglas Marlin Challenge



22 October – 31 October

Go Troppo Arts Festival is a community event. It seeks to include all artists and artforms of the, theatre, writing, film, visual art, dance, sculpture and a celebration about life and art in the Australian tropics. For more information, visit

11 November – 16 November

‘Formula One Fishing’ comes to Port Douglas. The fleet of competitors for the Marlin Challenge will berth at Meridien Marina in Port Douglas and the format of the challenge is two days fishing, a rest day and then back to the blue to go all out for the inaugural title. For more information, visit

Photo by Martine Cotton

Port Douglas Village Carnivale Date:

20 May – 30 May

The annual event held in May, has grown from a street fiesta to more than 20 events over a 10 day spectacular celebrating life in the tropics; art, sport, culture, food and wine. Carnivale involves the entire community and features events such as the Masquerade Ball, the Longest Lunch and the ever popular Macrossan Street Parade. As well, favourites like the Seafood Extravaganza, Four Mile Beach Family Fun Day and Food, Wine & A Taste of Port, are guaranteed to please locals and visitors alike.


Ten days of fun, sports, competitions, tournaments, arts, culture, circus, displays and performances are on the agenda. Enter a golf challenge or fishing tournament or sail in the Clipper Cup Regatta. If it’s the arts you enjoy, visit the Art Exhibition and Masquerade Ball or check out one of the many exceptional galleries in the village. On the first Friday night the main street of Port Douglas becomes a boulevard of non-stop entertainment, with the evening highlight being the fireworks spectacular and a parade of decorated tropical floats. For more information, visit

Photo by Martine Cotton

Solar Eclipse Marathon Date:

November 2012

The run will begin in Port Douglas running the peninsula and into the Rainforest Mowbray Valley area including up and down the famous Bump Track (the original pass into Port Douglas) before arriving back to the beautiful setting at Rex Smeal Park alongside the mouth of the Dickson Inlet overlooking the Coral Sea. This amazing opportunity will be a once in a lifetime experience for the marathon runners. For more information, visit

Photo by Martine Cotton

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Thank you for visiting

PORT DOUGLAS This guest services room publication is compiled and produced by John Batman Group – The Hospitality Supermarket, publishers of specialist room directories and magazines. John Batman Group – The Hospitality Supermarket, and Just Brilliant Guides are trademarks of Binders Compendiums Menu Covers Pty Ltd. © Copyright all rights reserved. John Batman Group – The Hospitality Supermarket. PO Box 726, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia 3134. Tel: (03) 9879 8588 Fax: (03) 9879 8688 Email: Web: Trademark JBG - K.

Managing Director Jarrod La Canna National Sales Manager Stephen Grech Graphic Design & Production Graphic Designer: Patrick Adams & Karen Teoh Design Assistance: Kelsey Webster Advertising Sales Regional Sales Manager: Janine Jones

Compiled with the assistance of Douglas Shire Historical Society;, Tourism Port Douglas;, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree; Images courtesy of Tourism Australia and Martine Cotton.

Accounts & Administration Lyn La Canna Distribution Michael McDonald Deborah Harris Jenny Lamb Marketing Coordinator Judith Wolfkamp

The information contained in this publication is provided as a guide only. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, John Batman Group disclaims any liability or responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein. Advertising material appearing in this publication is supplied by the operator or service provider and John Batman Group is not responsible for the accuracy of advertising content.

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