I’ve been putting off writing this blog post because I’m still in denial that our trip to Australia is really over! Haha. It was such a dream that I just can’t seem to realize it’s over! Port Douglas was our last stop and we went out with a bang, lemme tell ya! We flew into Cairns then drove a little over an hour to Port Douglas for our last few days before heading back to the states. If you missed my previous posts from our first two stops in Australia, you can check out Sydney’s guide here & Uluru’s guide here!
Thala Beach Nature Reserve: OKAYYYY. This resort. was. incredible. The views of the water were breathtaking. Their restaurant looked over the ocean and we couldn’t get enough of it, especially at sunset! We were welcomed with some tropical drinks and the nicest staff ever. We were about 15 minutes outside of the downtown area of Port Douglas and the resort sits on 145 acres, so we truly were submerged in the rain forest for such an epic feel! Even though we had a pretty jam packed schedule, they have so many freebies they offered for things to do at the resort if we wanted to. Like star gazing, walking tours, etc. (And a spa that sounded awesome!) We stayed in our own separate bungalows with balconies that had the best views! It was such a fun experience and gave us the true Port Douglas rainforest feel! Most of our meals were at the hotel, too with great food!
If you wanted to be closer to downtown, there were so many hotels and resorts near by, too.
A few we passed that were closer to town and looked really great were: Pullman Resort, QT Port Douglas (This one looked SO SO cool and fun!) Port Douglas Sands Resort. With any of those, you would not be disappointed!
Aquarius Sailing & Snorkeling: This day will forever be one of my favorite memories that I’ll cherish for a lifetime! I had never been on a catamaran boat before so that alone was so exciting! We were on a smaller tour with just us and a few other people and the staff. I think we got super lucky because the boat I guess could hold up to like 40 people or something like that! It would have been so crammed! I think there was only about 10 total. We had some light snacks and drinks for breakfast then started our sail out to sea. We went out about 2.5 hours to the reef! Once they briefly went over some snorkeling things, we hopped into the water and snorkeled for about 45 minutes. (There was a second round later in the day, too for those that wanted to go out again) Jumping into the water and getting your wits about you was actually pretty hard at first and I had a little freak out! I think we all did! Haha but once I got myself familiar with the water and current, it was smooth sailing and so freaking cool!! We snorkeled all through the great barrier reef and saw so many cool fish. Dennis took a bunch of photos (and I think videos) on his GoPro, too! After, during our sail back into the port, we took a quick nap on the nets in the front of the boat-can you say dreamy?! It was the most relaxing thing ever.
*Side note: Overall, the day was so great. BUT…the staff honestly wasn’t the best. They weren’t that friendly or engaging. We heard one of the staff complaining about guests while we were on board, so that was sort of a bummer! And I honestly don’t remember their names because I don’t think they even introduced themselves to us when we got onto the boat. With that being said, I’d still 10/10 recommend doing the Aquarius sailing tour but maybe lower my expectations a little bit when it comes to the staff! The experience is so worth it we just had wished the staff was a littttle bit better! That’s all!
Walkabout Adventures Cultural Tour: The next day after snorkeling, we had a full day private tour with a local Aboriginal tour guide!! We visited a number of special cultural areas and he told us all about the traditions, history, and true culture of the area. It was honestly so eye opening and intriguing. To hear how another culture lives and what traditions they create is such a fun thing to be a part of! Our tour guide had such great stories to tell us. It was just us five and him on a private bus and we went EVERYWHERE! We saw a smaller town called Mossman, stopped at a local farmers market to pick up some exotic fruits, learned how to throw a spear fishing rod, had lunch with our guide, stopped at a rainforest park and walked through it, etc. We did it all! At the end, we felt like we were best friends with our guide-that’s how great he was! He was so engaging that we could have listened to him talk and tell us stories all day. Dennis got to try out playing the didgeridoo-which he CRUSHED by the way at the end! Ugh it was such a great experience I can’t say enough good things about it. They offer different types of tours as well, so if you don’t have time for a full day, they have half day options as well! I’m sure I’m leaving out a few details but I think you get the jist of it and how fun it was!
The Wildlife Habitat: Our visit to the wildlife habitat was on the last night of our trip. We got there around 11:30, had a quick bit to eat at their restaurant-which, heads up, if you don’t care for birds, be prepared! They had a bunch of different birds flying through and they would sit up in the smaller trees in the restaurant area. It was all open, but if you don’t like birds, you might want to brace yourself! Haha. There is a huge area where there are kangaroos and wallabies that you can feed! It’s awesome because they aren’t caged in to a small area and basically just walk all around (well, hop!). There is a walkway that you can follow but they just make themselves at home-which was SO fun! You could buy a bag of feed for $2 and it lasted for quite a while, they don’t skimp out at all! We couldn’t get enough of them. Each time you think they are the cutest they can be, they get even CUTER! At one point, like four or five were standing around Den waiting to get some little treats. It was honestly one of the coolest things I’ve done-but I feel like I’ve said that a lot with this trip, it was just that great! Once we finished that, it was time to get in line to hold a koala bear! They call it the creature feature picture because you can choose from a reptile, bird, koala, etc. We got a few pictures with her-she was soooo cute! Her name was Tia and all of us just about died from how cute she was!
Downtown Port Douglas: There is a whole street lined with shops, restaurants, coffee shops, all sorts of stuff! We stopped by there after our Wildlife day and grabbed some dinner, which I’ll get to! There were so many different kinds of restaurants to choose from so you had tons of options. The shops did close a little earlier than we had expected but we still popped into a few and it was fun to walk around and explore!
*I didn’t add a where to eat/drink portion to this travel guide because we mostly ate at our hotel or out during our excursions with snacks/meals they provided and made for us! We did end up in downtown Port Douglas one night and grabbed some dinner there so I’d recommend downtown as a starting point! They had so many different options like I mentioned so it would definitely be super easy to find a spot there!
This wraps up my Port Douglas travel guide that was our last stop on our Australian vacay! I hope you guys enjoyed & found it helpful! We’ve just returned home from our road trip, too that I had posted about previously detailing our stops and cities that you can check out here! I have some other fun content coming your way soon but definitely be on the look out for highlights from our road trip coming soon to the blog!
As always, thanks for tuning in & don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss a beat!