The local’s guide to Port Douglas and Cairns

Escape the winter blues and enjoy warm sunshine all year round in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas caters really well to the tourist trade, but there are plenty of locations to visit that you won’t see in a brochure. Here are five spots the locals love which you can add to your itinerary.

The perfect picnic spot

Plan a full moon picnic with a friend or loved-one on Vasey Esplanade at Trinity Beach.  Watch the sun disappear behind the ranges, then the full moon rise. When planning this picnic, pack some comfortable shoes suitable for walking, a rug, picnic basket and your favourite beverages. Don’t forget to take a torch as it’s likely you’ll stay late into the evening.

To find this beautiful picnic spot, take the stairs at the northern end of Trinity Beach, continue walking past the apartment building and follow the path through the rainforest. You will eventually come to a dirt road known as Wilma Street. Walk for another five minutes and veer right until the Coral Sea reveals itself between the trees. Perch yourself high on the flat-topped boulder and look eastward. If you have timed the trip perfectly you won’t be waiting long for the magic to take place.

Indulge in Japanese cuisine

Due to an increase in Japanese tourism in Cairns, there are some high-quality Japanese restaurants to try. One of the most popular restaurants is Kanpai on Shields Street — they also have a dedicated Karaoke area if you are in the mood to sing along to your favourite tunes. This restaurant serves fresh and inexpensive dishes, and is a favourite with locals and tourists  alike.

Cool off with a quick swim

Exploring tropical North Queensland can get a little hot, so take a refreshing dip in the 3000sqm lagoon pool. The Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa is a water-themed resort where guests can swim under footbridges or through overhanging ginger plants, while some villas and apartment patios even have swim-up access. Water-lovers will be right at home in this resort.

4 Mile Beach

This spot is not a place you want to miss. The beach is popular with walkers and joggers as the sand is firmly packed, meaning less stress on leg muscles. Take a picnic and spend the day playing beach games such as cricket or soccer.

Road trip for mangoes

Pack the car, turn up your road trip tunes and head north from Cairns on one of the most scenic highways in Australia. Don’t forget to stop and photograph the lookouts and beaches scattered along the highway. This 50km stretch of road hugs the coastline most of the way from Cairns to Port Douglas. If you visit between January to March, there is a grove of overhanging mango trees at Ellis Beach laden with sweet juicy mangoes ripe for the picking.

For a strictly limited time, you can secure a fantastic RACQ Travel Exclusive Holiday Package to Port Douglas from just $499 per person. The package includes return flights, five nights’ accommodation at Paradise Links Resort, breakfast hamper and more. Hurry, the package is only available to book until 31 July 2018. Book online today!