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THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND PORT DOUGLAS

Port Douglas is renowned for being one of the top getaway destinations in Queensland. With so many tourism activities to choose from, our friendly Shantara staff can assist you with choosing the best places to go and things to do during your time in our beautiful region.
Whether you are looking for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef, a rainforest experience at the Daintree, or even an adventure in a helicopter, we can help you plan the perfect activities to enjoy during your stay. We can even arrange transfers from the Shantara Resort leaving you safe in the knowledge that every detail of your experience is taken care of.

amazing port douglas

GREAT BARRIER REEF EXPERIENCES

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on earth and is even visible from space! Thankfully, you don’t have to go that far to experience the breathtaking beauty of the coral, marine-life, endless blue sea and stunning blue skies.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourselves underwater with a scuba diving experience, remain on the surface and snorkel or keep your feet completely dry on board a boat, there are many tourism operators to choose from. You don’t even have to be able to swim to enjoy an activity on the Great Barrier Reef! We have prepared our top picks.

Immersed in the northern frontier of Great Barrier Reef, this is the perfect sailing and snorkelling adventure for a conservation minded visitor. Ideally suited to those who can swim and have a spirit of fun and adventure.  Discerning guests can enjoy an inspiring full day experience to the absolutely stunning Coral Cays on the Great Barrier Reef in the most environmentally way! An Eco Adventure on the Wild Side!  Focusing on small groups and marine biologists to share their passion and knowledge of the reef.

Wavelength focus on taking people to outstanding outer reef sites with a crew of passionate marine biology guides.  Their focus is getting to see as much interesting marine life as possible.

During the day you visit 3 different sites – mainly on Opal Reef – you can see the ocean drop off from most sites just 500m away.  The outer reef generally has clear water and a high diversity of hard and soft coral and that amazing abundance of small and larger fish that the Great Barrier Reef is famous for.

Wavelength is a snorkeling only operation – this means that everyone gets in the water at the same time, its quieter and the sites we choose are the best for snorkeling and tend to have a large area of shallows.

During the day passengers have access to a range of talks about marine life and the ecology of the area.  Also included in the day is a marine bio tour, generally on the second site, where you can be shown marine life you may otherwise miss.  The crew are in the water with guests at all sites looking for interesting marine life and will help you find the marine life you really want to see…

We offer an adventurous, fun and memorable day – allowing you to get as much as you can from your special Great Barrier Reef visit.

Wavelength use high speed catamarans which give a fast and comfortable ride.  The boats were designed and built in Australia and are maintained to the highest standards.

Enjoy a full day experience of the Great Barrier Reef with a snorkelling and sailing cruise to Low Isles, a Coral Cay Island. Relax on the white sandy beaches, snorkel over the magnificent coral gardens in the blue lagoon and swim with turtles in their natural habitat. Take a trip on the glass bottom boat, explore with an island heritage walk. Enjoy delicious food and pure sailing on a luxury catamaran. Focussing on small groups of likeminded guests.

PORT DOUGLAS SUNSET CRUISES

A ‘must do’ during your trip to Port Douglas is to enjoy a sunset cruise.

Indulge yourself with a sunset cruise and soak up the peace and tranquillity of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea as you sail along the coast off Port Douglas. Take in the ambient music, relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the spectacular mountain views while enjoying a welcome drink and delicious canapés.
Or searching for estuarine crocodiles and other wildlife, on an idyllic calm water river cruise through the mangrove forests around Port Douglas.

Enjoy the thrill of pure sailing! A must do when visiting Port Douglas is to relax with a twilight cruise on board the first class sailing catamaran. Soak up the peace and tranquillity of a tropical sunset over the Coral Sea as you sail along the coast off Port Douglas.  Take in the ambient music, relaxed and friendly atmosphere and the spectacular mountain views while enjoying a welcome drink and delicious canapés. Suitable for adults only.

All cruises showcase a wide variety of visual delights; take in the spectacular wilderness and scenery of the mangroves, wildlife, shipwrecks, and harbour and coastal views around the inlet entrance. The commentary delivered by the captain is informative and entertaining, with comfortable and relaxed surroundings, and no chance of getting seasick, despite the weather. We are a calm water cruise and have covered seating over the entire back deck. Substantial time on board is spent searching for wild estuarine crocodiles in their natural habitat and exploring the mangroves. Sunset Cruises include a stunning sunset at the end of the tour. Sunset 16.30-18.00

DAINTREE RAINFOREST

At more than 80 million years old and over 9,000sq kms in size, the Wet Tropics is home to one of the oldest, continually surviving rainforests in the world. Comprising of over 30 national parks including the Daintree and Kuranda, the bio-diversity of this unique environment is simply astonishing.

With so many ways to experience this ancient land, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities. We highly recommend a guided experience with one of the local tour providers, so you can gain more information and knowledge about this unique environment as well as getting a real feel for this special part of the world.

Daintree Rainforest Discovery

The Daintree Rainforest is the oldest continual living Rainforest in the world, and this is your opportunity to truly discover this World Heritage Listed area in a small group and with your personal tour guide.

  • You will get picked up from your accommodation in Port Douglas by your personal guide for the day. If you are driving up from Cairns we will meet you at the Wildlife Habitat Carpark.
  •  We will start the day in the Daintree with a Traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony. Conducted by the local traditional Kuku Yalanji people, this will ward off any ‘bad’ spirits.
  • We will then head into the Mossman Gorge National Park, which is the southern part of the Daintree Rainforest. Your guide will share their knowledge of the local flora and fauna with you and answer any questions you may have. This is an easy 500m return walk mostly along boardwalks.
  • We enjoy a delicious Morning Tea at the Mossman Gorge Visitors Centre. Your choice of plunger coffee or Daintree Tea with a traditional damper served with jam, honey and cream
  • Next, we head along the Captain Cook Hwy through the township of Mossman and past the cane fields up to the mighty Daintree River. We make our way across the Daintree River onboard the famous Daintree Ferry and enjoy the beautiful views up and down the river.
  • You will enjoy a guided walk along the Jindalba Boardwalk, our favorite Daintree walk. With an abundance of flora and fauna to discover, you will get a real understanding of how the Daintree Rainforest lives. This is an easy 650m return boardwalk.
  • For lunch we head to the On The Turps Restaurant located at the Heritage Lodge. Enjoy a delicious cooked to order lunch in this open air restaurant nestled in the rainforest along the Cooper Creek.
  • After lunch you are welcome to enjoy a refreshing swim in Cooper Creek. This beautiful rainforest creek is easy to access via a path from the restaurant and free of crocodiles. Relax and enjoy the tranquility.
  • It’s now time to head off towards Cape Tribulation, the area famous for the saying where the “Rainforest meets the Reef.” You have time for a walk along the beach or to the lookout, an area steeped in history that is explained by your knowledgeable tour guide.
  • On the way back to the Daintree River we stop for Ice Cream flavored with locally grown tropical fruits. A real treat while on holiday!
  • And a stop at the Alexandra Lookout to take in the beautiful views of the Rainforest and a stunning vista that extends past Cairns in the distance.
  • Back at the Daintree River where we will meet our Wildlife Cruise searching for snakes, beautiful birds and of course the mighty saltwater crocodiles. 
  • With the afternoon sun lighting up the hills on the way home, creating the most stunning views, this is your last opportunity to ask your guide any burning questions about the Daintree Rainforest and local area.
  • After a full day of discovering the Daintree Rainforest we will drop you off at your accommodation or car.


What to Bring

  • Swimwear and towel
  • Sensible shoes
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Camera

What’s Included

  • National Park access
  • All activities part of the tour
  • Morning tea and lunch
  • Chilled drinking water on board
  • Insect repellent
  • Use of raincoats and umbrellas

Pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation

GREAT BARRIER REEF HELICOPTER EXPERIENCES

GBR Helicopters provides Cairns helicopter tours and scenic flights over a range of destinations in Far North Queensland. One of the most respected helicopter charter Cairns companies, GBR offers full and half day tour experiences to a reef pontoon, rainforest walk or sandy cay. Private charters are also available.

With five amazing experiences to choose from, the aerial vista provides the perfect vantage point for the keen photographer which will change your perspective forever. Enjoy the majesty of World Heritage Listed Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef in comfort departing from the helipad in Port Douglas.