Are you looking to use some vacation days in Port Douglas with your family? In this post, we give you all the information you need to know about Port Douglas family activities. If you want to create a perfect itinerary for your trip, get prepared by reading our post.
What to Do in Port Douglas with Kids
Family vacations in Port Douglas can help build lifelong memories. However, to ensure every member of the family is satisfied, it’s important to visit the best sites and eateries. Below we’ve therefore compiled a list of activities and attractions in Port Douglas that will give your kids unique experiences involving play, education and simple and pure enjoyment.
Port Douglas holidays with kids can be as busy as you like or as relaxing as you like. The town has cool areas where you can relax and unwind with your family. It also has several open spaces and parklands which offer playgrounds for your kids.
The Four Mile beach, for instance, offers a relaxing atmosphere where you and your family can walk, play and swim for hours. You can also hire some beach equipment to keep everyone amused.
As Port Douglas sits on a rainforest, don’t be surprised to find out it’s raining during your vacation. However, visiting the town during the wet season isn’t a very bad idea since there are a lot of activities to do during this time of the year.
It is during the wet season that the creeks, rivers and the Bloomfield Falls are in their prime and the Daintree Rainforest comes to life. Exploring the rainforest during the wet season, therefore, is a great idea. The entire family gets to appreciate the beautiful scenery and the diverse ecosystem of more than 3,000 plant species and a variety of animal species.
Mossman Gorge, a stunning waterway that comes to life during the wet season, is a must-visit for the entire family. The site has lots of clear swimming holes, several easy walking tracks and mountain ranges. It is great for swimming, trekking and watching wildlife.
Things to Do in Port Douglas with Toddlers
1. Climb aboard the Bally Hooley
The Bally Hooley steam locomotive offers a fun and unique experience for the entire family. The one-hour leisurely trip starts at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina offering an amazing view over the harbour and the collection of luxurious super yachts, sailing charter boats, and trawlers.
During the ride, expect to see different scenes including golf courses, and tropical mangroves. The train makes quick stops at the Sheraton Grans Country Club, QT Resort and the St Crispins Station. While the trained is being prepared for the return journey, you can enjoy lunch, ice cream or a refreshing drink at the Choo Choos café.
2. Browse the markets
If you’re in Port Douglas on a Sunday, be sure to head down to the community market located in Market Park (adjacent to ANZAC Park). The market is a popular attraction for families as it features an assortment of items including souvenirs, crafts, glassware, fresh vegetables and fruits, clothing, and toys. The community market is open every Sunday from 8 am to 1.30pm.
Other markets worth visiting with your kids include the Mossman markets and Sunset markets at the Reef Marina.
3. Dine out
Port – as it’s known to natives – is a foodie haven with so many good cafes and restaurants. The good thing is that the options are aplenty for food lovers of all ages and those with different budgets.
2 Fish Seafood Restaurant is one of the best places to dine out with your family without having to break the bank. This multi-award-winning restaurant offers a variety of innovative seafood dishes, prepared fresh daily. You can choose to have your meals in a dining room with art prints or on a breezy terrace.
The Little Larder, Zipangu, Shakes Gelati bar and Cafe Fresq are other popular restaurants you may want to visit with your family.
4. Visit the Great Barrier Reef
One of the most popular Port Douglas family activities is exploring the Great Barrier Reef. There are a variety of tour companies that offer snorkelling and diving tours to the site. The cruises are suitable for older children and toddlers as well.
During the tour expect to visit Low Isles, a cay located 8 miles (15 kilometres) off Port Douglas. It is a great place to see green turtles and learn the about the history of the island and its inhabitants. The Agincourt Reef pontoon is also a must-visit when touring the Great Barrier Reef. Both you and the kids can enjoy different activities including snorkelling, watching semi-submersible submarines and fish viewing in an underwater observatory.
5. Go to the Wildlife Habitat
The Wildlife Habitat offers a natural environment where visitors and animals can mingle. It is spread over 8 acres and is home to more than 1,200 animals. The sanctuary features easy trails and informative tours allowing you and your kids to appreciate Australia’s tropical environment.
Additionally, you and the kids can have breakfast or lunch with the birds and lorikeets. The habitat is open every day from 8 am to 5 pm, and tickets are valid for four consecutive days after the day of purchase.
Other Port Douglas Attractions for Kids
- Hartley’s Crocodile farm – the farm is a great place to see an array of wildlife including crocodiles, tropical birds, insects, reptiles and other native animals.
- St Mary’s by the Sea – you can also check out this 104-year old church (when it’s not overflowing with wedding parties). The kids may appreciate the history behind it.
- BIG 4 Port Douglas Glengarry Kids Waterpark – the park is a fun place to take your kids when in Port Douglas. It features five waterslides, a playground, jumping pillow and a heated salt water pool with a toddler wading area.
When is the Best Time to Visit Port Douglas?
Being a tropical region, Port Douglas has two seasons – the dry and wet season. The dry season is from March to October while the wet season is from November to April.
The best time to visit the town is during the dry season as you can enjoy a lot of the activities Port Douglas has to offer.
If you’ve done just about all you can in Port Douglas, then you might want to consider the 1 hour drive north to Cairns. There is plenty for kids to do there, so don’t forget to bring them along.