Just north of Cairns is Port Douglas and Mossman, both surrounded by luscious rainforest and wonderful swimming spots. If you’re taking a trip up north with the family for a holiday or just a day, we have a list of free activities you might like to try.


1. Beach

Four Mile Beach is a picturesque location. It’s a short walk from much of the accommodation in Port Douglas and a popular place with both tourists and locals alike. Life guards are on duty and a stinger net is deployed from November to May, meaning swimmers are safe from any nasties all year round.

2. Local shops

In Port Douglas there’s a strip of shops which makes for a nice stroll with the family. There’s touristy shops, clothes stores and shops which house carved wooden furniture. Regardless of what you’re interested in, there’ll be something for you to look at and take in the friendly atmosphere.

3. Go to the markets

Every Sunday the locals of Port Douglas hold markets at Market Park. Selling fresh fruit and vegetables, souvenirs, and handcrafted items such as paintings and jewellery, this is a great opportunity to look at the local talent. There’s often live music as well!

4. Parks

There’s a variety of parks in Port Douglas which make fantastic locations for picnics or a place to play. Bruno Reidweg Memorial Park, Port Douglas Market Park and Rex Smeal Park all house playgrounds, meaning your little ones have something to entertain them once they finish their lunch and gain some extra energy.

5. The Marina

The Marina is a great place to visit even if you’re not going on a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef. While the view alone is beautiful, a nice walk along the pier and around the paths will freshen up any day. And if you get hungry, there’s always restaurants nearby. Choo Choos in particular has a kids meal with all items priced $10.

6. Flagstaff lookout

The flagstaff lookout is another must-do in Port Douglas. The view is amazing and the track can be walked if the kids need to bounce off some extra energy. It is also accessible by car however, so don’t worry about missing out!

7. St Mary’s by the sea church

If you’re looking for something historical in this small town, then St Mary’s by the sea is the way to go. This small, heritage-listed church sits in a gorgeous location surrounded by palm trees, and makes for a lovely attraction.

8. Mossman markets

If you head over to Mossman on a Saturday then you’ll be treated to the Mossman markets. Held every week from 7am to 1pm, these markets sell local produce and handmade items, giving you and the family something new to see each time you visit.

9. Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is widely regarded as one of the best swimming holes in Queensland. Situated in the heart of the rainforest, it’s the perfect place to cool off. You might even see some interesting flora and fauna while you’re there!

10. Janbal Gallery

Janbal Art Gallery is an Aboriginal art gallery run by the Kuku Yalanji people. It gives visitors an accurate representation of Aboriginal culture and art, allowing you to view painted items such as didgeridoos, boomerangs and jewellery.


Feature image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland. Photographer: Darren Jew.