Discover Tropical Queensland

Australia’s idyllic Port Douglas is justly renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful places to relax, unwind and cast your worries to the sea. This unique tourist destination sits adjacent to Tropical North Queensland’s two World Heritage Sites — the fabled Great Barrier Reef, and the majestic Daintree Rainforest. As home too to Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas boasts one of Australia’s most picturesque locations for sailing, wind surfing, kite-boarding, and surfing.

The pristine surroundings of Port Douglas were originally settled thousands of years ago by the Kuku Yulanji tribe. The English first encountered its astonishing beauty when Captain James Cook was mapping the eastern coastline of Australia in 1770, during his initial voyage to the continent. In fact, Port Douglas was an unexpected stop for Cook and his crew, for they ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef, and had to delay their voyage for more than seven weeks in order to repair their ship, the Endeavour. Cook thus named this bay Cape Tribulation, because, he noted in his journal, “here began all of our Troubles”.

Discover Tropical Queensland

Discover Tropical Queensland

These days, such troubles are no more than poignant history in Port Douglas, with the Reef now well-marked and carefully conserved. Its protection allows visitors a unique and breathtaking opportunity to experience an incredible underwater world. Discovering the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system — its 35 million hectares embracing 900 islands and 3000 individual reefs — is one of the hallmark travel opportunities of a lifetime. This is an organic structure so large that it can be seen from outer space – composed of billions of coral polyps, it is home to an extensive variety of underwater wildlife including whales, sea turtles, starfish, eels, and dolphins. It is, quite possibly, the best place to go diving or snorkeling in the world.

Back on shore, the Daintree Rainforest rivals its aquatic counterpart for beauty and mystery – a fascinating, immaculate ecosystem that is home to 430 bird species, giant tree frogs, sugar gliders, bandicoots, and estuarine crocodiles. Here you will find the largest range of plants and animals in the world, all within easy access of the Port Douglas beachfront. In the mood for a swim? The forest’s cool, green Mossman Gorge, a series of freshwater swimming holes in its midst, represents the perfect photo opportunity. Explore the history and depth of the Daintree by taking a jungle tour, riding horseback, or a river cruise.

The highlights of Port Douglas, however, go well beyond natural wonders, outstanding though they are. Macrossan Street, bisecting the heart of the city, boasts a range of great restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as a fun nightlife scene. Four Mile Beach, which is conveniently just a few meters southeast, is a stunning sandy coastline — ideal for indulging in a wide range of water sports, or simply a leisurely bike ride.

The adventures and sights of Port Douglas though will no doubt take their toll, and the Rydges Sabaya Resort provides you with a tranquil haven to unwind and rejuvenate. Newly redeveloped in 2007, the resort features fresh, well-appointed guest rooms and apartments, a lagoon-style pool, tasteful new restaurant, and large banquet facilities. Offering a warmth of service that reflects both the relaxed Port Douglas lifestyle and Rydges’ sense of fun and energy, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from the southern rim of Four Mile Beach – making it all the easier to start relaxing on your Port Douglas vacation.

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