Think of Port Douglas and what do you imagine? Sand, sunshine, that tropical rainforest and a whole lot of beaches. If you’re visiting tropical north Queensland, as amazing is the rainforest is, sometimes you just can’t go past that beautiful turquoise water. Luckily, you don’t have to!
Port Douglas is home to some of the most beautiful beaches around, not to mention coral cays teeming with life. Begin your exploration of the water by sticking on top of it. Helicopter flights are a great way to take in the amazing views of the region. Though a helicopter ride will keep you firmly above the water, it’s a fantastic way to appreciate the scope of the reef. Don’t stay above the water too long though! Some of the best ways to get out on the water involve equipment that can be hired from any number of places in town. Rent a kayak, take a surfing lesson or try your hand at windsurfing to pump your adrenaline.
Of course, the big draw for water activities in Port Douglas is the Great Barrier Reef! Cruises to the reef are a dime a dozen, so you’ll have plenty of choice to make sure you’re getting the perfect experience to suit your tastes. Large cruise boats take groups of people out to pontoons on the reef, whilst smaller charters take small or private groups for a more intimate experience.
From on the water to under it, snorkeling is one of the best ways to see the reef. Many tour operators, and even some hotels, rent out snorkeling gear, or you can bring your own, to snorkel right off the beaches. You’ll need a mask, snorkel and fins – and be sure to ask about stinger suits and stinger season. If you’re on a tour however, all of the above will be taken care of for you. There’s less danger of stingers out on the reef, and the coral cays are less disturbed than those near shore. If you have the time (and clearance from your doctor), diving on the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most highly recommended water activities in Port Douglas. Descending into the underwater realm is truly a magical experience.