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12 reasons to plan a family holiday to Port Douglas

Fat Mum Slim /

Need a family getaway? At the moment I’m obsessed with Port Douglas {and Cains as well}, because it’s perfect spot to getaway as a family. The food is amazing, the views are spectacular, there’s so much Great Barrier Reef to snorkel and explore, and then there’s the Rainforest too, just to get us started. Want some reasons to plan your next tropical holiday? Read on friends, it’s time to get tropical!

1. HAVE AN AMAZING PERSONAL, ANIMAL EXPERIENCE

Whether you want to have breakfast with the birds, to feed a kangaroo, cuddle a koala or even gently wrangle a snake, this is the place to do it. The experience here at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas is really personal, and special. We started with the breakfast {an amazing buffet, although we were hardly hungry with so much to see {and perhaps I was busy trying to avoid the birds}. They even have a predator plank, where you can stand above to get a bird’s eye view of one of the biggest crocs you’ll probably ever lay eyes on.

2. GO CROC-HUNTING ON THE DAINTREE RIVER

I’ve done this a few times now, and of all the things to do in beautiful Australia, this is one of my favourites. Bruce Belcher’s Daintree River Cruise, is a beautiful Aussie experience. We boarded the boat, and cruised the Daintree River and kept an eye out for crocs. In my imagination I always imagine rivers like the Daintree to be infested with crocs, but it isn’t so. There are many, but not as many as my imagination would allow me to believe. We spotted six, and it was even quiet season, and that’s more than enough. Bruce knows them by name and the best spots to find them.

3. EAT A SEAFOOD PLATTER, OR THREE

Seriously, do it. Tropical North Queensland begs you to with it’s super fresh seafood. We made our way around town eating seafood platters at every opportunity {except not for breakfast of course, we’re not animals!}. We loved the platters at On The Inlet and the Courthouse Hotel.

4. ENJOY SNORKELING AT LOW ISLES

I love a snorkeling trip that doesn’t take forever to get to, and promises great sights. This one was a winner. We took the Reef Sprinter {so much fun!} out to Low Isles. The Reef Sprinter moves so fast, and creates so much fun {it’s so much more than just getting from one place to another}. Low Isles is easy snorkeling off the shore, which means the big people {i.e. Hubby} can go out as far as they please, and I can entertain Lulu closer to shore.

5. GO WILD WHILE JUNGLE SURFING

About an hour north of Port Douglas is the beautiful Cape Tribulation, and one of the best things to go is to go Jungle Surfing. The activity takes a couple of hours, and it’s a wild ride. It’s a guided tour where you get to have a bird’s eye view of the rainforest canopy below. It’s a must-do for any Tropical North Queensland visit.

6. CHECK OUT THE VIEW OF CAPE TRIBULATION AT THE LOOKOUT

Just a hop, skip and a jump {around 5 minutes drive north of Jungle Surfing} is the lookout for Cape Tribulation. It’s beautifully pathed, and easy to navigate {no fitness needed!}. After a short walk you’ve rewarded with that stunning view!

7. SOAR ABOVE IT ALL AT SKY RAIL

One of the perks of Tropical North Queensland is that it’s this beautiful mix of Great Barrier Reef and Rainforest. One day you can be swimming with Reef Sharks checking out the beautiful coral, and the next you can be in the Rainforest, or in this case above it. Located just out of Cairns, the Sky Rail is the perfect way to see the Rainforest and also explore a little more. I mean, the Queen once journeyed on the Sky Rail, and if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for me. There are two stops on the trip, where you can check out the lookouts and see the most stunning waterfalls of your life.

8. GET CULTURAL RAINFORESTATION

Once you hop off the Sky Rail, you’ll be in Kuranda, a small town that’s filled with lots of great eateries and scenic spots. My hot tip is to book a visit to Rainforestation Nature Park, where you can eat a delicious buffet lunch, watch the Pamagirri Aboriginal experience, throw a boomerang, watch spear throwing, learn how to play the didgeridoo, ride a Waterduck and so much more. It’s a jam-packed experience that we love, and highly recommend.

9. BE IN AWE AT THE BUTTERFLY SANCTUARY

Make sure you wear your brightest colours when visiting this little spot, because butterflies are attracted to bright colours and are more likely to land on you. This is the largest butterfly sanctuary in Australia, and a beautiful spot to take some with the family… and see who can find the prettiest butterfly. {Hot tip: I always win!}.

10. TAKE THE KURANDA RAILWAY

So you’ve taken the Sky Rail to Kuranda, spent time at the Rainforestation and the Butterfly Sanctuary, and now you need to get back to Cairns, but how? You could take the Sky Rail back, or you could take a stunning train ride back, and it’s truly stunning. Make your way through tunnels, spot stunning waterfalls and learn the history of the area. Make sure you book a window-side seat so you can take in the sights and smells of the rainforest around you.

11. INDULGE AT PRAWNSTAR

I think this is a brilliant idea. The people behind Prawstar have turned old fishing trawlers into dine-in spots to eat the most delicious, also the freshest prawns you can imagine. Don’t expect a vast menu as there are no kitchens on board, it’s just simple seafood done really well. You’ll eat bugs, prawns, and oysters, and you will absolutely be in bliss.

12. RELAX AT RILEY

The newest hotel in Cairns, Riley, is also the hottest spot to be. It’s a Instagram-worthy hotel, with too many pools to count, a bar with views for days {and cocktails to drool over}. The rooms are stunning, the food is delicious, and the decor looks straight off Pinterest. It’s simply perfection.


I am an ambassador for Tourism and Events Queensland, and we were hosted for this itinerary. All thoughts are my own, of course.

@Fatmumslim