Looking for what to do in Port Douglas? A popular destination for backpackers and honeymooners, if you’re after a carefree beach holiday, Port Douglas at the tip of Queensland, Australia has got it all. Taking less than an hours drive to get from Cairns to Port Douglas, it is a perfect base to explore Australia’s natural landscape. After checking into your Port Douglas accommodation, waste no time and head out to the Great Barrier Reef for snorkeling scuba diving and boat cruises. The Kuranda Rail is a must do experience, taking you past rainforest and waterfalls.
A visit to the world heritage Daintree rainforest Cape Tribulation and Low Isles are essential to understanding the beauty of Port Douglas and the region. If you haven’t organised car rental in Port Douglas there are plenty of tours in and around the area. Simply browse our catalogue for all things to do in Port Douglas. If a Port Douglas luxury experience is more your style, be prepared for pampering with deluxe spas, villages and resort style accommodation. In addition, if you're looking for more information on what to do in Queensland as a whole instead of just what to do in Port Douglas, or even an efficient Port Douglas Itinerary for stays of varying lengths, be sure to check out our detailed information pages!
Port Douglas Weather and Climate Information for Visitors
Far North Queensland's Port Douglas embodies everything a tropical holiday should - located even further North than Cairns, it has pristine blue beaches, great weather, is located only a stone's throw away from the amazing Great Barrier Reef, and embodies everything you could want in a tropical getaway, with a huge emphasis on everything aquatic. Scuba diving, snorkelling and, especially, kitesurfing (due to the seasonal trade winds that blow through from the South) are all major staples of the region. Travel to the Reef itself is obviously also a major drawcard, and although the occasional cyclone or thunderstorm may inhibit the ability to travel there, the majority of the year is hot and clear enough to enjoy the Natural Wonder of the World in all its' glory.
Temperatures and Rainfall
Port Douglas, due to its Northerly location, has a stereotypical "tropical" climate, with semi-cool, dry Winters and hot, wet Summers. The yearly average maximum temperature is around 29°C (84.2°F), while the yearly mean minimum is approximately 21°C (69.8°F).
As is typical of most tropical climates, the wettest months occur in the Summer, specifically the months of January through March.
Among all the seasons except Winter in Port Douglas, the one characteristic they share with one another is humidity. High rainfall along with close proximity to mountains and rainforests leads to the hotter months being exceptionally steamy; be prepared to use air conditioning at nights in order to get a decent sleep unless you have a very high heat tolerance. A general summary of Port Douglas' seasons' characteristics can be summed up as follows:
Alongside the humidity, expect numerous tropical rainfalls in the afternoons that are often accompanied by dramatic electrical thunderstorms that create a downpour that refreshes the region on a regular basis. The rainfall is really the only main distinguishing factor between Summer, Autumn and Spring in fact. You may also encounter the occasional tropical cyclone, so it pays to check any weather reports in advance if you are planning to travel to Port Douglas on short notice. As mentioned, the Summers are exceptionally hot, with the average temperature hovering around the 31°C (87.8°F) mark - and they can actually FEEL a fair deal hotter as the humidity only adds to the impact of the heat. Be sure to keep yourself regularly hydrated by drinking lots of water and aways wear sufficient amounts of sunscreen, with multiple applications especially necessary if you intend to be in the water as it will soon wash or sweat off.
The relative "difference" between Summer and Autumn is extremely slight and barely noticeable with the only major difference being the lower amount of rainfall that wets the area. However, this lower rainfall can also be conducive to slightly lower humidity, making it a better time than Summer if you plan to go for tours that involve a lot of walking, or are more inland rather than coastal. Temperatures still reach a maximum of around 30 degrees celsius on average, so saying that Port Douglas' Autumns are "cooler" than its Summers is entirely relative.
Winter is often the season of choice with people choosing Port Douglas as a destination as it involves by far the best overall balance of temperature and lack of rainfall. Nights are cooler than the other seasons, which can make sleeping far easier, and even though it is technically the "coldest" season of the year, it is still far warmer than most city's Summers! Lower humidity also means less sweat, although you will in turn me more likely to encounter more fellow tourists as this is by far the biggest equivalent to a "peak season" that Port Douglas has.
Spring is practically a mirror image of Autumn; there is little to distinguish the two seasons from one another other than looking at the date on the calendar. This is compounded by the fact that all the tropical trees being evergreen means that there is no differentiation in terms of the surrounding natural scenery that Port Douglas' Autumns have in comparison to spring. Either way, Spring is just as viable a choice as Autumn as a timeframe for visiting the region - both will give you lots of sunshine, very warm to hot days, and the chance to make the most of all the surrounding watersports and marine activities.