It might be the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest but Port Douglas has once again become an idyllic tropical getaway in its own right.
Attracting a slew of celebrities from Mick Jagger to Tom Hanks at the height of its popularity, this Far North Queensland 1980s hot spot is enjoying a renaissance, thanks, in part, to a chic $43 million refurbishment of the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort and its burgeoning food scene.
With its glorious weather – even in winter it hovers around 25 degrees - palm-fringed shores, native wildlife, focus on local culture, boutique shopping on Macrossan Street and world-famous natural wonders like the pristine Mossman Gorge at its doorstep, Port Douglas, an hour’s drive north of Cairns, is a traveller’s dream.
A vibrant food bowl due to its fertile soils and abundance of seafood, the town has a slew of cafes and fine dining options such as the hatted Harrisons and local institution Nautilus.
Gastro Brewpub, Hemingway’s, is a perfect spot for a brew and a stone-fired pizza of an afternoon while a sunset cocktail at waterfront bar Barbados, overlooking Dickson’s Inlet at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, is a must.
Port Douglas is also home to a vibrant artisan market, held every Sunday morning from 8am to 2pm at Market Park, where locals and tourists can grab a coffee and browse the selection of stalls selling art, clothes, produce and jewellery while listening to tunes provided by local musicians and soaking up those laid-back, Far North Queensland vibes.