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Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

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Washington DC...
posts: 65
reviews: 64
Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

Hello everyone,

I have read all the posts and it's great to have such helpful advice from the more experienced travelers. After reading everything I possibly could, I still have a few questions that I need help on for our trip (my wife and I) to Port Douglas on Jan 6 - 16th.

Currently, we have reservations at the Raddison Treetop Resorts but I am not sure this is exactly where we want to be located. My wife and I enjoy the beach and doing some boogie boarding so nice waves are essential (we aren't pros so they don't have to be like surfing waves or anything). The treetop resorts were pretty close to the 4 mile beach so I was trying to find affordable hotels/apartments near or on the beach. Any better suggestions?

However, after reading most of the posts, I found the following comments discourgaing:

- Stingers will be out and you can't go to far out because of the nets

- It will be too hot and humid at this time

Also, we will be looking to going on a lot of the tours and do a lot of site seeing, for example, the Bush tour, Great Barrier Reef tours w/snorkeling, Rainforest tours, etc. We also want to enjoy the night life and go to different places to eat and shop during the day at times.

Is the hotel we are at too far from these things? And again, will it be just to hot to enjoy the tours and other things?

I really hope that the weather will still be fine. I checked weather.com and it said it would be okay. So any advice would be great! It's been hard to pinpoint where to go....you don't know how long it took me to decide to go to PD instead of the Goldcoast. I hope I made the right decision.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
posts: 17,391
reviews: 146
1. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

Boogie Boarding will be impossible... anywhere further North than Noosa heads is in the Shadow of the reef so NO waves...at all... you really can't have reef and surf so you either need to split your holiday in half or forsake one for the other

The hotel is not too far to enjoy the nightlife etc.. shopping is limted..maybe 40 shops in total including restaurants.. proabbaly almost 30 of those... no US style malls....unless you head into cairns...

The big advantage will be that surfers (GC) will be totally MAD at the time you are looking so if you want relaxation Port D would be better.

Washington DC...
posts: 65
reviews: 64
2. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

Thanks Guruswife!

What about the weather?

So the beaches in Port Douglas, Trinity, and Palm Cove area are pretty calm for the most part?

And are there any hotels/apartments you would recommend that are right on the beach at a relatively similar rate as the Treetop resort hotel?

Thanks again!

Washington DC...
posts: 65
reviews: 64
3. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

I have also heard that the GC beaches are beautiful...one of the best in the world so splitting our vacation up might be a good idea. Maybe 4 days in GC and the rest in Port Douglas.

posts: 172
reviews: 43
4. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

I think you already have the right advice. Jan is definately the wrong time of year for Cairns /Port Douglas. Box Jelly Fish are deadly and they are up there from Nov-Mar. You can only swim in enclosures. Gold Coast is far better for boogy boarding. Cairns/Port Douglas....very humid, hot and possibly wet in Jan. Gold Coast will be very crowded as our school holidays but still lots of fun.

Raddison Tree Tops is 4kms out of town. I personally prefer to be in town .

Surfers Paradise...
posts: 1,341
reviews: 2
5. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

At that time of year you will be in the middle of the monsoon season,the best time is March-Oct.

You would be better off at the Sunshine or Gold Coast.

Washington DC...
posts: 65
reviews: 64
6. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

Thanks for the advice!!

So, do you think I should could still have fun in Port Douglas concerning the tours like the Bush and Great Barrier Reef tour in light of the weather?

I am going to split my vacation up with me staying 6 days in GC and four in Port Douglas. Does that sound about right?

posts: 2,047
7. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas


Yes,if you are able to split it,then do so. You'll get the best of both areas with the ratio you've worked out.

Four days in Port Douglas would be enough time for you to achieve those tours and still have a little rest and relaxation.

Balgal Beach Nth...
posts: 1,014
reviews: 9
8. Re: Advice for our trip to Port Douglas

My kids use their boogie boards in North Qld. This is a typical stinger net scene in summer up this way and the waves carry enough power to run a boogie board ... www.bbbalc.com/index.cfm… Nothing brilliant but better than nothing.

The tropical heat at that time of year is nearing its peak so don't plan to do too much walking, even in the shade. The water temperature will be around 30C so not a lot of relief there.

At that time of year PD will be quieter than the Gold Coast for a very good reason.