Pack your favourite swimsuit, sunhat and storybook, because there’s a sunlounge with your name on it in tropical Queensland. From Port Douglas way up in Tropical North Queensland to Magnetic Island, just offshore from Townsville, we have your next escape covered with our top tropical holiday destinations.
From the Daintree Rainforest to the Great Barrier Reef and from world-class dining to boutique shopping, there are so many things to do in Port Douglas that you won’t know where to begin! We’ve made it easy for you, highlighting the best attractions, restaurants and places to stay in Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland.
Things to do in Port Douglas: Take the scenic drive approximately 2 hours north of Port Douglas to explore Cape Tribulation and the beautiful Daintree Rainforest. Soar through the trees on a zipline or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef off the coast. In Port Douglas itself, you’ll enjoy shopping along Macrossan Street or strolling along sparkling Four Mile Beach.
Best restaurants in Port Douglas: With its prime position close to the Great Barrier Reef, the cuisine of choice up here is seafood. Choose from a wide range of fine dining restaurants or grab some fish and chips for a picnic on the beach.
Port Douglas accommodation: Elegant and tropical, Peppers Beach Club is the ideal resort for a Port Douglas holiday. Swim up to your suite from your private plunge pool or relax in the spa tub on the balcony with a fancy cocktail.
Ideally located between Cairns and Port Douglas, the charming village of Palm Cove is the ideal romantic tropical holiday destination. View the rainforest or reef from above, or indulge at a day spa with a glass of champagne in hand.
Things to do in Palm Cove: The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is one of the best ways to discover the heritage listed tropical rainforest and has been voted one of the best things to do in Cairns. Upgrade to a Diamond View Gondola with a glass floor for an even better perspective! Departing from Cairns or Port Douglas, a helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef is an absolute must. Get a bird’s eye view from a scenic flight, or combine it with a reef cruise for a truly amazing experience.
Best restaurants in Palm Cove: From cute cafes to award-winning restaurants, Palm Cove has plenty to choose from - most overlooking the palm fringed beach and Coral Sea. With fresh ingredients sourced from the land and sea, Lime & Pepper restaurant is the perfect option for a casual beachside cocktail or romantic dinner.
Palm Cove accommodation: You will instantly be in holiday mode when you walk into the tropical lobby at Peppers Beach Club & Spa. With an indulgent day spa, inviting lagoon pool and contemporary accommodation with spa baths, this resort is a slice of heaven in Tropical North Queensland.
Credit: Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Credit: Tourism & Events Queensland
Credit: Salty Luxe Photography
Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays, and is always bustling with activities, from dining to shopping to nightlife and more. Explore the surrounding region by land, on water or by air – there’s plenty to do and see!
Things to do in Airlie Beach: The 74 islands of the Whitsundays have some of the most beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters in the world, and Airlie Beach is the perfect departure point, whether by light plane, helicopter or boat. Spend the day at Whitehaven Beach or fly over Heart Reef for picture-perfect views.
Best restaurants in Airlie Beach: Catering to all taste buds, Airlie Beach boasts restaurants of all cuisines, and from casual to five-star. Head to “eat street” on Sunday afternoons on the Esplanade, or book a table at Tides Restaurant & Bar for stunning views and delicious local fare.
Airlie Beach accommodation: An infinity pool, a relaxed ambience and Whitsunday Passage views from almost every room await at Peppers Airlie Beach. Enjoy fully self-contained apartments with balconies and an ideal location just 700 metres from the heart of Airlie Beach.
Credit: Larissa Dening
Credit: Jason Hill and Tourism & Events Queensland
Hop aboard the Sealink Ferry in Townsville and in just 25 minutes, you’ll find yourself on beautiful Magnetic Island. Named by Captain Cook in 1770, “Maggie” has a relaxed tropical vibe, secluded beaches and abundant wildlife, making it a true island paradise (that you won’t need your passport for!).
Things to do on Magnetic Island: Magnetic Island National Park covers approximately half of the island and features numerous walking tracks where you can get up close and personal with the native wildlife and experience some spectacular views. Take the Forts Walk at Horseshoe Bay to visit the World War II forts and see the majestic Mount Cook rising from the centre of the island.
Best restaurants on Magnetic Island: From freshly caught fish (and chips) to exceptional fine dining, there’s no shortage of places to eat on Magnetic Island. For a true tropical dining experience, book a waterfront table at Boardwalk Restaurant & Bar. Enjoy the warm sea breezes as you dine on mouth-watering fresh seafood and local produce.
Magnetic Island accommodation: Overlooking the Coral Sea and marina, Peppers Blue on Blue Resort is an island oasis. Relax on your sunny balcony with a glass of wine, take a dip in your private plunge pool, or enjoy an indulgent spa treatment.
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