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The sparkling jewel in the crown of Northern Queensland, Port Douglas is just an hour away from the iconic climes of the Great Barrier Reef, yet possesses a distinctive character that is enchanting enough to keep you there for more than just the coral.
The enduring beauty of Port Douglas is that it contains all the thrills of a big city in the space of an intimate township. Sophisticated resorts and golf courses might be the order of the day, but that doesn't mean Port Douglas has forsaken the roots that made it such a brilliant travel spot in the first place.
Palm trees tower over the buildings, the main town squares are fervent with energy from the local cafes, pubs, and restaurants and the natives are unbelievably friendly, making Port Douglas an outstanding place in which to discover the beauty of the Queensland coastline.
Four Mile Beach
Surrounded by palm trees, the four (you guessed it) miles of sands on this stunning beach stretch as far as the eye can see, with swimming enclosures dotted amongst the rocky outcrops so you can get up close to the marine life. And what a display of marine life it is, allowing cruisers to take in sea turtles, fish of all shapes and sizes, and coral reefs which add countless flecks of colour to the aquamarine waters.
The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated at the heart of the Port Douglas Road, visitors to this sanctuary can have the rare chance to discover indigenous flora and fauna in their natural habitats.
There are three wholly unique environments to explore, the Rainforest, the Wetlands, and the Grasslands, where you can hand-feed kangaroos, watch crocodiles hunt for prey, and observe the notoriously shy Cassowary graze through the forest floor. Needless to say, this is a zoological exhibit for people who prefer to get up close and personal with the local wildlife.
You'll be amazed, but the skies are so clear around Northern Queensland that you can easily see island which are an hour away from the comfort of the spectacular shoreline around Port Douglas. The most prominent place in which to gain a panoramic view is Flagstaff Hill, which offers up an unbelievable look at the Coral Sea and the Whitsunday Islands.
Not that you'll have to look offshore to see the best of the island - you can also get a fantastic look at the entire town of Port Douglas and the King's Beach from the crest of this towering hill.
The Port Douglas Markets are the finest place to start a shopping spree in the whole town, offering arts, crafts and jewellery, plus not a few tropical fruits.
Nautilus is a hidden gem of a restaurant that is nestled within the embrace of tropical gardens, right in the centre of town. The intrigue is well worth it, as the seafood here is exquisite, rom the lemongrass laksa, and mud crab.
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