by Experience Oz

Port Douglas weather and climate

It truly is hard to beat Port Douglas weather! With year-round sunshine, typically warm waters and refreshing sea breezes, it really does have the ideal climate. However, due to many misconceptions, Port Douglas deters many tourists for six months of the year. Despite beliefs that this little slice of paradise is plagued by wet weather for half the year, this couldn’t be more untrue!

Located north of Cairns, Port Douglas has pristine blue beaches, great weather and is located only a stone’s throw away from the amazing Great Barrier Reef. It embodies everything you could want in a tropical getaway. Weather naturally plays a huge role here, with scuba diving, snorkelling and kitesurfing (due to the seasonal trade winds that blow through from the South) all major staples of the region due to the warmth of both the air and water.

Port Douglas has two distinct seasons: the green and the dry season. The green season is commonly from November to May, leaving the dry season to fall between June and October. Whilst the green season does see rainfall, it is not as debilitating as many seem to believe and is actually still a fantastic time to embrace the beauty of this great part of Queensland. In fact, it brings to life the rivers, waterfalls and surrounding rainforests making them even more exquisite.


Summer in Port Douglas sees the beginning of the rainfall that comes attached to a tropical climate. From December until February visitors can expect balmy temperatures, high rainfall and the beginning of stinger season. However, don’t let this deter you from planning a trip to Port Douglas during the summer, as this time of year still has a number of great perks! With temperatures averaging a high of 30 degrees (although often feeling warmer due to humidity levels), a low of 23 degrees, and water temperatures averaging 29 degrees, the temperatures are perfect for swimming and enjoying all that is on offer in this diverse region. In fact, this time of year is considered to be when the water is at its clearest, making snorkelling and diving the Great Barrier Reef even more impressive.

Whilst you can expect an average of 200mm of rain in December, and 400mm in both January and February, much of the rain falls in the evening meaning the days are still sunny, warm and perfect for exploring (just with a very slight chance of a sun shower to cool things down)! Moreover, the rain helps to add allure to Port Douglas, proving perfect for those wishing to explore the surround waterfalls and river systems, particularly those in the famous Daintree Rainforest. The wet weather helps to fill the waterways, meaning visitors can expect cascading waterfalls, and fresh flora on their trip inland.

Whilst the summer months can often deter visitors to Port Douglas, there is absolutely no reason for it to. The water is at its clearest, the temperatures are more than desirable and whilst the nights may be a little wet, the days are more often than not, perfect! Tip: in summer be sure to wear adequate sun protection and remain hydrated!


Autumn in Port Douglas sees similar weather and climate to that of the summer. Whilst March still has average rainfall of 400mm, April and May are truly when the wet season begins to move on, and the dry nights come out to play. Visitors will also notice that the temperatures are still hot, but aren’t quite as warm as summer!

March to May sees average daily temperatures of between 27 and 29 degrees, and lows of 20 to 23 degrees, meaning that the days are still perfectly warm for enjoying the beautiful waters of the Great Barrier Reef! An added perk of the Autumn season is that after all the monsoonal rain has occurred, Port Douglas is conveniently located near a number of white water rafting rivers that are perfect for the adrenalin junkies! Along with this, the rainforests are lush, the waterfalls are cascading and the lakes and rivers are flowing making for a very picturesque scene! May also sees the start of wonderful fresh breezes and lower humidity making it a very desirable time for travellers looking to experience Port Douglas’ prime weather before the expensive season starts!

For visitors who are looking to escape the rainfall, but still enjoy warm weather before the winter season, autumn is a great time to visit.


Winter is commonly regarded as the prime time to head to Port Douglas and its surroundings. With low rainfall, comfortable warm temperatures during the day and cool evenings, winter can be best described as pleasant for many travellers! Despite being the coldest time of year, the days are sunny and clear, humidity is low and days reach an average of approximately 25 degrees. The evenings see a cooler average of 17 degrees, however don’t worry about packing any heavy jumpers, at most a light long sleeve top is all that is needed to keep warm at night!

Even though it may officially be winter, Port Douglas averages temperatures that are still much warmer than most other locations across Australia during June to August. In fact, winter is actually the most popular time of year for those looking to head to Tropical North Queensland. However, as comes with popularity, expect peak prices and a lot more busyness! Winter is also known for being stinger free, meaning swimming in the beaches is a lot safer! A trip to Port Douglas isn’t complete without a dip in Four Mile Beach and winter is the perfect time of year to make this happen! Four Mile Beach’s pure white sand, and tropical palm tree appearance has even helped land it in the top 5 Australian beaches!

If budget isn’t a problem for you, winter is the ideal time to visit Port Douglas as it provides the most balanced weather conditions! With perfectly sunny days, cool temperatures without the unwelcoming humidity, and stinger free waters, Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef doesn’t get much better than now! Just expect others to have a similar idea!


Spring is much like autumn in terms of weather and climate. The days are filled with sunshine, refreshing breezes and clear skies. Spring does however see less rainfall than autumn, with average rainfall sitting at 50mm or less for each month. Spring is when the days start to warm up again, with temperatures gradually reaching an average of 29 degrees, and evenings averaging a pleasant 22 degrees. Towards the end of spring, as the season starts to venture towards the monsoonal ‘green season’, days also start to become more humid.

The spring school holidays see a large number of travellers venture towards Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef. With warm days and sensational water temperatures it doesn’t take much to figure out why. With stinger season yet to start, spring is great for snorkelling and diving the reef. For those who couldn’t brave the 22 degree waters of winter, spring provides a more bearable temperature of 26 degrees.

If you’re after a holiday filled with warm, sunny, relatively humid days, coupled with excellent swimming conditions, then spring is the time for you. Considered one of the best times to venture to Port Douglas, it doesn’t take much thought to figure out why!

Whether you’re willing to go against the trend and pay Port Douglas a visit in the summertime, or if you’re wanting to be a little more safe and stick to what you know and venture to North Queensland in the winter, you will not be at all disappointed!

Summer and early autumn are considered the off-season meaning prices will be less and a number of great deals will be floating around. Winter and spring on the other hand are peak season and do encourage higher rates and less deals.

Port Douglas truly does boast great year-round weather and statistics continue to prove this time and time again! The real deciding factor is your budget and how much you love crowds!

For all things to see and do in Port Douglas and its surrounding visit our large catalogue, filled with tours, activities and experiences to enjoy year-round.

Experience Oz

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