Port Douglas is renowned as being one of the most magical places in all of Australia, with its almost perfect weather, white sandy beaches and stunning natural attractions. Unlike many other places, Port Douglas is at its best during the winter months, which coincide with its peak tourism period. This makes Port Douglas the perfect place for a mid-winter getaway so you can escape the realities of a chilly Aussie winter. Do you need more convincing? The following are four reasons you should check out this tropical haven sitting right on the back doorstep.
With its tropical climate featuring balmy temperatures and low rainfall, there is no such thing as a real “winter” in Port Douglas. Port Douglas has three main seasons: April through September is the hot season, October through February is the dry season and March is the only month of the wet season. October through February (also known as winter) is a blissful period with temperatures ranging from the late-teens to the mid-twenties. The water temperatures during this time sit around a pleasant 23 degrees.
Located an hour’s drive from Cairns, Port Douglas makes for an easy island-style holiday. Flights operate to Cairns from all of Australia’s major cities. From there, you can choose connecting transport options of air, car or rail. Why would you spend nine hours flying to Thailand when one of the most spectacular tropical getaways on the planet lies a few hours from any Australian metropolis? As well as having a spectacular time, you are also doing your bit to support a very special part of Australia. If you are searching for Port Douglas accommodation, you will see that the options are endless. There is an array of hotels, motels and tropical island–style resorts you can stay at.
Port Douglas is near two World Heritage Sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. It is also home to Four Mile Beach, which is widely considered as being one of Australia’s top five beaches. Because of this, the Coral Sea of Port Douglas is known as THE place in Australia for swimming, snorkelling and diving, particularly in winter when there is a nice balance between the air and water temperatures. A winter visit also means avoiding the dreaded box jellyfish, which appear only during the summer months. The rainforest is another beautiful place to escape from urban living, and you can lose yourself in its beauty for hours. Another plus is that the winter tourism season in Port Douglas also coincides with whale-watching season. Visitors can expect to see minke whales cruising around the reef as they migrate up the coast of Australia in search of warmer waters.
Anything but a sleepy small town, Port Douglas is a happening precinct for adventure races, particularly over the winter months. For adrenaline junkies, topping the list of events is the RRR (Rural, Rainforest & Reef) Mountain Bike Challenge. People have flocked from all over Australia to participate in this race for 23 years. A cross-country/endurance race, participants can choose either the 35-km or 70-km courses. Another great winter event is the Coral Coast Triathlon. Participants can choose between three different races; a 300-m swim/10-km cycle/2.5-km run, a 750-m swim/20-km cycle/5-km run, or for more hard-core participants, an Olympic distance–course consisting of a 1.5-km swim/40-km cycle/10-km run. The third notable winter-sporting event is the Great Barrier Reef Ocean Challenge, which is Australia’s biggest outrigger canoeing race at 40km. Could you possibly imagine a more beautiful setting for it?
About the Author: Kelsie Smithers is a guest blogger and Port Douglas resident. Originally from Sydney, Kelsie fell in love with Port Douglas when she was backpacking around Australia in 2002.