When dreaming of escaping to a tropical paradise, most people imagine jetting off to a far off land. However, if you’re lucky to be an Australian, paradise is in your own backyard.
Port Douglas is known for it’s turquoise beaches, lined with white sand and palm trees. You’d be forgiven for mistaking a picture of Four Mile Beach for an island in the Caribbean. What is the best way to experience this Australian paradise? Let’s find out.
1. To soak up as much of the pristine views, there is the sublimely located Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas. The only way to sleep closer to the water is if you pitched a tent on the sand. Thankfully, you won’t have to rough it in a sleeping bag with the incredible villas, suites, lagoon edge rooms with direct pool access, tropical garden view rooms and world-class facilities. If you manage to pull yourself away from the 2 hectares of relaxing saltwater lagoon pools, you can head over to the Mirage Country Club which has an 18-hole golf course surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the Daintree Rainforest.
Relax and unwind on the deck at Feast Restaurant & Bar, situated right over the lagoons during sunset. Enjoy watching the colours flicker and change across the lagoon pools and as the day draws to a close while you enjoy an unforgettable dining experience.
Harrison’s by Spencer Patrick offers fine-dining that is unparalled. Boasting nine Chef Hats and the most nationally awarded restaurant in Port Douglas along with many other national accolades, this is an irresistible attraction of the area. The quality local produce, inspired menu and sophisticated aesthetic, transforms an evening meal into an event.
The newly refurbished Daintree Bar at Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas is, without a doubt, the ideal location to relax. The Daintree Bar has opened with a focus on quality Australian and regional North Queensland spirits. The design is influenced by the prohibition era with the history of Australian distilling underlining the Daintree Bar’s concept. Taking inspiration from the local surroundings of the Daintree Rainforest, this revitalised bar introduces locally produced and Australian spirits in a novel way, showcasing exactly what Australia has to offer.
2. Discover the hidden wonders of the ancient Daintree Rainforest. As one of the most complex ecosystems on the planet, you will be awe-struck by its grandeur. There are countless walking tracks to explore, but be sure to spend as much time as possible at Mossman Gorge. You can appreciate the ancient rainforest by taking a guided Dreamtime Walk with one of the local elders; learn about the healing properties of the plants, be welcomed on to the local land with a ‘Welcome to Country’ smoking ceremony, hear traditional stories of the area, see some of the local tropical wildlife and complete your experience enjoying dampa and fresh tea from the Daintree Rainforest. It is a privilege to be shown and to learn about this incredible area from the local Kuku Yalanji (Gu-gu Ya-lan-ji) who are the traditional owners of the land for over 50,000 years. An experience not to be missed.
3. If you’re looking to explore more of the area visit the ever-helpful Concierge or Tour Desk Team at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas. They will happily book you an unforgettable Calypso Reef Cruise. Swim amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. This is an experience of a lifetime. View colours that aren’t found anywhere else on the planet as you interact with wildlife that is rarely seen.
Hop aboard the Quicksilver Catamaran, an impressive sight, and venture out into the outer barrier reef, all the way to the Agincourt Reef. The water is like glass, making viewing of the ribbon reef’s marine life second to none. Consult with the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas’ Concierge, who will masterfully curate an exceptional Great Barrier Reef experience.
4. When you are surrounded by nature’s beauty, you can’t resist meeting its equally quirky and incredible residents. The Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat is an award-winning re-creation of natural habitats and the perfect place to experience local wildlife up close and personal. It is more than just a habitat; it is a sanctuary, providing a safe place for some of Australia’s most precious animals to live. Only a short drive from the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas, it makes for a wonderful family trip. The Wildlife Care Centre has helped save the lives of platypus, kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles and countless varieties of birds over 20 years. This is a unique wildlife adventure that allows you to both see and support native animals.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is the closest you will come to seeing dinosaurs. These prehistoric animals will have you and the whole family thrilled as you head into the lagoon for feeding time. This unique part of Port Douglas is an open savannah woodland, full of animals that aren’t widely seen in many of the surrounding areas. It’s only a 20-minute drive from the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas, making it the perfect family day out.
5. The Port Douglas Markets are the best way to start your Sunday, which is just a quick 5-minute drive from the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas. Come here to procure the same fresh, organic local produce that the locals enjoy. You will be mesmerized by the quality and quantity. Bop along with live music as you navigate through the bustling market crowds, each stall offering something different.
As the day winds down your breath will be taken away by the view at Rex Smeal Park. There is a reason why so many people flock here at dusk. The pinks and oranges meld and fuse together, creating gorgeous vistas of silhouetted palm trees and awe-inspiring views across the Daintree Rainforest.
With so much to do in this tropical paradise, book your holiday now.