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5 Bucket List Things To Do in Port Douglas

Adventure Road Trip

Squished between the brilliant Great Barrier Reef, lush verdant Daintree Rainforest, and adventurous and wild Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas is your Far North Queensland launch pad for all things fun. Tick off your bucket list and experience the UNESCO World Heritage listed natural wonders, Aboriginal cultural heritage, and soft and scary Aussie animals when you venture up to the tropics. 

Here are five amazing and unusual bucket list things to do while in Port Douglas. Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg for cool things to do up in Tropical North Queensland.

1. Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk

The heritage-protected Daintree Forest is the world’s oldest jungle, predating the Amazon and home to dozens of plants and creatures you won’t find anywhere else. This UNESCO protected wonder also has a cultural legacy of indigenous people who knew the forest for the trees, from healing medicine plants to those that sting and poison.

Operating out of the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre and supporting the local Kuku Yalanji indigenous community, Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks takes you along private tracks to learn stories about the region’s fascinating people, flora and fauna.

Kick off with a traditional ‘smoking’ ceremony before following your guide through the lush rainforest, exploring traditional huts or humpies and identifying bush food sources and medicine along the way. Finish with bush tea, damper and a new appreciation for the forest.

A local of Kuku Yalanji shares stories about the Mossman Gorge Centre's fascinating people, flora and fauna to the tourists

2. Helicopter Ride to the Batt Reef

There are so many cool ways to approach the 2300 kilometre-long natural marvel that is the Great Barrier Reef. Day trips by sailboat or speedboat, snorkeling or scuba diving, reef pontoons…but to grasp just how huge and spectacular the reef is you really need to see it from above.

While you can technically see the giant reef from space, you need to be a little closer to appreciate its beauty. GBR Helicopters offer a variety of heli-tours, ranging from ten minutes to an hour. From Port Douglas, head to the skies for a bucket list flight to Batt Reef, where you might spot dugongs, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays and coral gardens in the crystal clear, shallow waters of the world’s largest living structure.

Giant and blue waters of Batt Reef in Port Douglas Queensland

3. Wildlife Habitat

Around the corner from your Oaks oasis is Wildlife Habitat, a zoo and sanctuary for native bird and animal life. The award-winning and advanced eco-certified wildlife park is a safe and fun space to interact with Aussie animals in recreated natural environments.

Hand-feed wallabies, hold a koala, watch a crocodile presentation and see the rare Lumholtz Tree Kangaroos. Wander through woodland, wetland, rainforest and savannah habitats looking at wildlife such as pelicans, cassowaries and one very large croc.

Before your visit, take a look at the special programs and lock in extra sessions such as the Breakfast with the Birds, night time walks and Lunch with the Lorikeets too.

Four tourists touching a Koala at the Wildlife Habitat Zoo in Port Douglas Queensland

4. Road Trip to Cape Tribulation

When you cross the ancient Daintree River by ferry, you’ll quickly feel like you’re driving millions of years into the past.  A narrow road meanders through dense jungle, with ancient ferns, cycads and trees crafting magnificent verdant tunnels.

Head towards Cape Tribulation, where Treetops Adventure will take you high into the trees across seven thrilling ziplines in this Jurassic-like foliage. The human hamster wheel that raises you to the first platform is definitely something to experience! A road towards Cape Tribulation makes for a great day trip, just watch out for the cassowaries!

5. Rainforestation Nature Park

With a focus on indigenous culture and experiencing the beautiful wetlands of Kuranda, Rainforestation is a popular excursion for visitors to Cairns and Port Douglas. 

Kick off with a local Pamagirri guide who will demonstrate and teach you how to throw a boomerang, followed by spear throwing and an incredible didgeridoo performance. The Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience showcases various dances and aspects of local culture.

Next, board a restored WWII amphibious Army Duck for a fascinating and educational ride into the dense rainforest. Cap it off with the station’s wildlife park, which includes Tasmanian Devils, koalas, roos, wombats, and two of the biggest saltwater crocodiles you’ll ever see.

Tourists on a boat experiencing the beautiful wetlands of Kuranda at the Reforestation in Cairns