If you’re looking for a holiday that feels akin to a home away from home, make your way to Port Douglas. I’d call it a DIY retreat; there’s plenty of delicious food markets, interesting tours, nature and yoga sessions. You'll come back feeling super refreshed and relaxed.
I stayed at the beautiful Port Douglas Cottage and I could not recommend it highly enough. It’s basically what you'd get if Notting Hill and a luxe beach-house had a baby. It's absolutely magical. The cottage is beautifully furnished, clean and only a few minutes’ walk away from restaurants, shops and the beach. It’s relaxing, cute and totally not over the top, which means it ticks all my accommodation boxes.
Some places just exude warmth, openness and happiness and this is one of those places. The bedroom was absolutely beach chic and included robes (I don’t know what it is but I love walking around the house on holiday in a fluffy robe – is anyone else the same?). The kitchen was light and felt like the center of the home; as it should be. There were also beautiful flowers everywhere that always brought a smile to my face.
My highlight was undoubtedly the private pool. That pool and I now share some seriously special memories!
The cottage is perfect for families, couples and solo travellers like myself. Graeme, the owner, was super lovely, friendly and accommodating too – what a bonus! I’m counting down the days till I can go back to Port Douglas and stay in the cottage again.
If you’re looking for some great restaurants in Port Douglas, these are some of my favourites:
- Betty’s Bohemian Beach Café
- My favourite Whileaway bookstore and cafe
- Lotus Leaf Asian Salads
- Have breakfast at The Little Larder. Baked mushrooms cooked in garlic, thyme and oil, slow-cooked pine-nuts and spinach with Goat's-based Persian feta. And yes, I’m still dreaming of it.
- Salsa in Port Douglas. Yum.
My top seven things to do in Port Douglas include:
- Get yourself a picnic blanket, pack your lunch and meet the locals while watching the beautiful sunset down at The Point in Rex Smeal Park
- No trip to Port Douglas is complete without going on a tour of the Daintree. I loved seeing the crocodiles and seeing swallows and native birds when birdwatching. Check out my review of the tours I went on below!
3. Go to the jungle juice “hippie market”. Trust me. If you’re a spiced chai fan, like myself, and your mouth waters at the thought of almond falafels, you'll be in heaven. Make sure to stop by Kuranda markets to try it all!
4. While we’re talking about markets, don’t miss the Mossman Market on Saturday morning.
5. Get the train to Kuranda, to experience one of the most unique rail journeys in Australia. Get ready to bear witness to traditional Australian culture and deepen your knowledge of the Dreamtime legend of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people. The carriages date back to the early 1900’s so you know you’re in for a real treat. It’s even better than Harry Potter. It’s more than just a train-ride, it’s an educational experience not to be missed. Explore the spectacular views, look at the marvellous tunnels and visit Freshwater station.
Oh, and definitely come back via the Sky rail. It’s a must-do. It’s a skyrail committed to environmentally-friendly tourism, protecting the environment and providing guests with an opportunity to challenge, learn and grow. You’ll glide just a few metres above the gorgeous world-heritage protected rainforest, see the real beauty behind the ancient tropics and learn all about one of the most diverse areas on earth! You’ll see, hear, smell and become part of the tropical rainforest. It’s a full-body experience.6. Eat lunch at Salsa in Port Douglas. Delicious.
7. Walk the lighthouse and do the heritage walk around the town. It's absolutely beautiful and so calming.
Being the homeboy that I am, the best part of the day was always coming back home to my little cottage. I would buy lots of delicious fruit during the day and dream of coming back to snack and lounge around by the pool. It felt like my home centre and the place where I could truly unwind.
If you’re a full-on yoga-lover like me, be sure to check out Deep Yoga Studio. It’s been voted as the number #1 yoga studio in Port Douglas and it has my Supercharged tick of approval. It’s a peaceful and beautiful studio with highly-skilled teachers who personalise classes phenomenally. It’s super close to town and just five minutes from the beach – yoga and swim anyone? They have a range of classes to suit everyone including dynamic and energising classes, introspective yin-style classes, warmer yoga classes and Pilates. If that doesn’t get you excited, they also have a massage retreat, sento bath and steamroom/sauna!
You can enjoy a 60 minute session in their Soaking Pool, combined steamroom/infrared sauna, followed by their Relaxation Studio. Any place which has a room called a Relaxation Studio is a place I want to be! They have cocoons (how cool is that?!), mats, massage balls, band mats and more!
Daintree Discovery Tours
- This tour well and truly has it all. Be whisked away along the beautiful Mossman gorge, experience a Daintree River Cruise, take Instagram pics (we all have our priorities) of the panoramic views of the Daintree river, walk the beach of Cape Tribulation and more! You can choose between a half-day or full-day tour depending on your preferences and personal schedule. I chose the morning tour and was not disappointed! Grant Knight, will pick you up from your accomodation, (he is was one of the best tour guides I’ve had!) He's a legend of a guy and so passionate about everything he spoke about. The itinerary's pieced together beautifully and I was interested and engaged the whole time. Who needs to listen to the sounds of the Amazonian rainforest on an app when you can witness it in person?! Driving through the Daintree was magical. We saw crocs, snakes and birds.
- Get ready to fall in love (see what I did there?) with these beautiful waterfalls. You can feed the fish and turtles, swim in this unique environment or just sit back and enjoy the wonderful view.
- If you’re looking for a tour like no other, be sure to check out Brett’s Kuranda Day Tours. Brett picks you up from your accommodation and takes you on a lovely 7.5-hour tour of your choice, so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! He’s friendly, funny, extremely helpful and knowledgable – what else can you ask for in a tour guide? He takes you through Kuranda via the Skyrail where you can see the beautiful village craft markets. You then travel up through the rainforest via the Kuranda Scenic Railway where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views and arrive in beautiful Palm Cove. At the end of the tour, Brett drops you back at your accommodation or a restaurant and you say bye after a fabulous day together! If you’re in for a food-venture (like me, always), you may want to check out his Outback Tasting Adventures. Enjoy a delicious range of food (and maybe a cheeky glass of wine), with beautiful backdrops of lush scenery and explore growing crops and dairyland. You’ll learn all about bananas, mangoes, avocadoes, macadamia nuts and more and taste them for yourself! If you’re a night-owl, Brett also takes night tours to Tjapukai. It’s a quick yet, luxe trip which involves delicious welcome drink and canapes, a live Didgeridoo tour, a sacred corroboree of the Aboriginal dreamtime, a lake-side fire ceremony, tropical dining and a fireside farewell. If you’re interested, be sure to call Brett at these numbers: 07 40985 059 or 0418 909 818, click on the links above or check out his Facebook page here.
To learn more about Port Douglas and experience it for yourself at the beautiful Port Douglas Cottage, click this link here.