Up in Far North Queensland, Port Douglas is a gorgeous destination right on the coast. Famous for its Four Mile Beach, this is where you get to soak up the Aussie sun and enjoy the world-leading hospitality of the region.
It’s also close to the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park – two of the most stunning natural attractions in the world.
This small town is full of distinctly unique areas, so you’ll need an idea of what’s on offer before deciding where to stay in Port Douglas. There are also some great villages a short drive away, if you’re looking to explore somewhere off the beaten path.
Combining our own experience with hints and tips from locals and guides, we’ve figured out the three best places to stay in Port Douglas. Whether you’re looking for a beach escape, rainforest adventures or somewhere peaceful to take the family, we’ve got you covered.
Best Airbnb near Port Douglas: Cloud 9
Nestled in the Daintree Rainforest, it doesn’t get more serene than this little cabin. The decor is rustic, and the balcony provides spectacular views across this beautiful area. It’s super secluded, making it ideal for those looking for a real escape.
Best Hostel in Port Douglas: Dougies Backpackers
Australia’s budget accommodation is favoured by backpackers across the world, and Port Douglas is no different. Dougies Backpackers Resort provides great social facilities and superb guest ratings. It’s super close to town, so you can save money on public transport while you’re there.
Best Luxury Hotel in Port Douglas: Sea Temple
This stunning five-star hotel will cater to your every need throughout your stay in Port Douglas. It’s situated on Four Mile Beach, and contains some of the highest-rated spas in town!
The Port Douglas Peninsula is where the centre of the town is, and it’s also where you will find most excursions departing from. This is the most bustling part of Port Douglas, though it still manages to maintain a laid-back ambiance.
Daintree National Park is home to the oldest rainforest in the world! For adventure travellers, it is well worth taking the 40 minute trip from Port Douglas to embed yourself in the ultimate hiking destination.
Four Mile Beach
The area surrounding Four Mile Beach Park is another popular neighborhood in Port Douglas. At the southern end of the famous beach it is a much more peaceful neighbourhood than the Town Centre in the north.
Port Douglas’ Top 3 Neighbourhoods to Stay in
A popular coastal resort town, Port Douglas offers regular excursions to both Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. It’s quite a small town, but we recommend bringing a car to make the most of the area.
If you’re visiting Port Douglas for the first time, the Town Center is the best place to stay. Located on the Port Douglas Peninsula, you’ll find the biggest excursion providers here, as well as fantastic places to eat.
Daintree National Park is the best place to stay for adventure-lovers. The park is well connected to Port Douglas, but offers unique accommodation in the rainforest. It’s one of the best national parks in Australia, and offers abundance of hiking opportunities.
As the name suggests, Four Mile Beach stretches right down the coast. Its southern end is a bit quieter than other areas, making it an ideal location for families staying in Port Douglas. There are loads of hotels on offer here, so you’re bound to find one to suit your needs!
Still unsure? Read on for more detailed guides on each area, as well as the top accommodation and activities in each.
The Port Douglas Peninsula is where you’ll find the town center, as well as the most excursions. This is the most bustling part of Port Douglas, though it still manages to maintain a laid-back ambiance. For first time visitors, the Town Centre is a great spot to gather your bearings and really get to know the area.
The Town Center is also well connected to other areas close to Port Douglas. You’ll find regular tripsto Daintree National Forest, the Great Barrier Reef, and even into the smaller towns and villages nearby. If you won’t have access to your own transportation, this is the best place to stay.
Airbnb Luxe is the high end selection of properties on the website, offering additional services that go above and beyond. The Edge offers a private chef, airport transfers and restaurants’ concierge among other things. It’s pricey – but it’s ideal if you want to stay near the Great Barrier Reef.
Best Hostel in Town Centre: Dougies Backpackers
About a five minutes south of the town center, this Port Douglas hostel sits in a calmer neighbourhood. They host regular social events throughout the week, giving you plenty of opportunity to meet other backpackers. They offer a free BBQ area, plus bike and fishing pole hire.
Best Hotel in Town Centre: Port Douglas Peninsula Boutique Hotel
This hotel is located right on the waterfront giving you unparalleled views of the Queensland Coast and Four Mile Beach. It’s an adult only hotel, making this our top pick for couples visiting Port Douglas.
Things to See and Do in Town Centre:
- Quicksilver Cruises offer regular excursions out to the Great Barrier Reef – an area of immense natural beauty offering some of the coolest adventures in Australia.
- Head down to Port Douglas Markets. They’re open every day, and you can peruse locally sourced ingredients and vintage chic.
- Take a walk up to Trinity Bay Lookout. From here, you can admire views across Four Mile Beach and the ocean.
- If you fancy trying your hand a little bit of sailing, pay a visit to Port Douglas Yacht Club who offer boat hire and private lessons.
- There are some great cafés located along Macrossan Street – we love the Little Larder in particular who offers typical Australian grub.
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2. Daintree – Where to Stay near Port Douglas for Adventure
Home to the oldest rainforest in the world, Daintree National Park is the perfect place to stay if you’re seeking something more off the beaten path. For adventure travellers, it’s well worth taking the 40 minute trip up from Port Douglas to reach this ultimate hiking destination.
The village of Daintree is the main hub for the area, and one of the only places surrounded by civilisation. That being said, you can also find some great accommodation options deeper into the forest. If you do decide to stay here, note you’ll most likely need a car.
For an epic rainforest experience, you can’t beat this awesome cabin. It’s just outside the village of Daintree, allowing you to connect with nature. Our favourite feature is the expansive decking area that offers views across the rainforest. Even during the wet weather, you can admire the scenery from the comfort of the living room.
Best Hotel in Daintree: Daintree Ecolodge
Unfortunately, rainforest travel isn’t always sustainable. However, this four-star hotel works with local conservationists to ensure the hotel positively impacts the local area. It’s also super stylish, and guests have quick access to some epic hikes.
Best Budget-Friendly Studio in Daintree: Village Hideaway
This peaceful pied-à-terre is right in the heart of Daintree village. You’ll only be a short walk away from the local cafés and tourist attractions, including the starting point for some great rainforest expeditions. Housed within a bed and breakfast, you’ll also get to enjoy a complimentary meal every morning.
Village Hideaway is one of our favourites in Port Douglas but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Daintree:
- Daintree Discovery Centre is the place to go to learn about local wildlife. Grab some maps and try to spot the cassowaries!
- There are endless hiking opportunities in Daintree. Please consult local guides before heading out on one, but we love Mount Sorrow Lookout in particular.
- Speaking about local guides – one of our favorite excursion providers is Cooper’s Creek Wilderness. They provide memorable trips that let you take in all the different natural features in the forest.
- There are some great dining options in Daintree. Daintree Ice Cream Company offers a great $5 sampler bowl, where you can try out all of their flavors at once! Might as well…
3. Four Mile Beach – Best Area in Port Douglas for Families
The area surrounding Four Mile Beach Park is another popular neighborhood in Port Douglas. The southern end of the famous beach is a much more peaceful neighbourhood than the Town Centre in the north. Nevertheless, it’s full of hotels making it a great choice for families heading to the area.
Best Airbnb in Four Mile Beach: Coral by the Sea
This two bedroom apartment is a great option for families looking for something more budget-friendly. It’s located right across the road from the beach, so you’ll never be too far from a day of adventure. The interiors provide all the basic necessities needed for a comfortable stay.
Chic Resort in Four Mile Beach: Sea Temple
This five star hotel provides for a luxury stay in Port Douglas. With a vast fitness suite, multiple swimming pools and beachfront access, you will never want to leave. It also has a golf course and fishing area on-site, giving you the chance to unwind from your adventures.
Best Airbnb in Four Mile Beach: Stroll Along the Beach
The Airbnb Plus range is definitely worth splurging on for a unique stay in Port Douglas.This property right on the beach is within walking distance of both Four Mile Beach Park and the Town Centre. It also has room for eight guests – perfect for families and groups.
Stroll Along the Beach is one of our favourites in Port Douglas but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Four Mile Beach:
- Departing from near Four Mile Beach, this epic excursion takes you into the heart of Daintree National Forest for some snorkelling and river floating.
- Four Mile Beach is an attraction in its own right – stretching along the coast of Port Douglas, hikers will love the stunning scenery the entire length of the beach.
- There’s a large play-park area for kids on Four Mile Beach, as well as some leafy hideaways where you can shelter from the sun.
- Palmer Sea Reef is the golf course attached to our hotel pick for this region, and it is open for the public to use throughout the year.
- Kick back and relax at the Beach Shack – a restaurant and bar that offers laid-back vibes, affordable Australian fare and a prime coastal location.
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What To Pack For Port Douglas
Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.
Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.
Hanging Laundry Bag
Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.
Sea To Summit Micro Towel
Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.
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Grayl Geopress Water Bottle
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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Port Douglas
ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.
They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.
SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!
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Final Thoughts on Where To Stay in Port Douglas
Port Douglas is one of the coolest places to stay in Australia. Though the climate is great year round, this is an especially fantastic destination for those planning a trip during the Australian winter.
If we had to pick one neighborhood that really stands out to us, it would have to be the Town Centre. You’ll find regular travel connections to both Daintree and the southern end of Four Mile Beach.
That being said, the best place for you really depends on what you want to get out of your travels in Australia. Daintree is a must for adventurous travellers, whilst Four Mile Beach is a laid-back alternative for families. We hope this guide has helped you to plan your itinerary.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!