Just over an hour’s drive north of Cairns finds you at Port Douglas, a popular destination for day-trippers from Cairns. It would be a shame, however, to drive without stopping because there are some great spots along the way that you don’t want to miss. So let’s check out the drive between Cairns and Port Douglas so you can experience the best holiday ever!
Driving north out of Cairns in your car hire along National Route 1 and Captain Cook HWY brings you to Wangetti Beach. Along the way, you’ll pass Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove, Ellis Beach and Borderline Beach. All of these are fabulous spots to stop and explore on your way back to Cairns so let’s keep going and head straight to Wangetti Beach.
It’s just an hour’s drive to Wangetti Beach and if you want shops, tourists and traffic, you’re going to be disappointed. This is a 4km stretch of pristine, isolated coastline that offers a quiet and secluded spot to rest and relax. It’s a photographer’s delight and doesn’t pop up on the main tourist sites because there’s nothing but unspoilt wonder at Wangetti Beach. Parking is at either end of the beach but there are no facilities. It is, however, a fabulous way to stretch your legs on the way to your next stop.
A short 16-minute drive north from Wangetti Beach in your Cairns hire car brings you to Thala Beach. Along the way, however, don’t forget to stop at Rex Lookout (just short of halfway between Wangetti Beach and Thala Beach) as it gives you a spectacular 180-degree view over the Coral Sea and out to Double Island.
Thala Beach or more correctly, Thala Beach Nature Reserve, is a luxury beachfront, eco-retreat halfway between Wangetti Beach and Port Douglas. It’s a family-owned retreat sitting on 58 hectares of native forest with breathtaking views over the Coral Sea. It even has its own secluded 2km long beach called Oak Beach with swaying coconut palms and crystal clear water.
Offering a treetop restaurant, wildlife walks and star gazing, why not spend a night in one of their boutique timber bungalows in the forest canopy? Want more? Well, Thala Beach Nature Reserve holds the highest eco award for its sustainable practices and environmental sensitivity, so what’s not to love?
Heading north again in your Cairns car hire for 12 minutes brings you to the Wildlife Habitat, just shy of Port Douglas on Port Douglas Road. This award-winning eco-certified wildlife sanctuary is definitely worth a visit before heading into Port Douglas for lunch!
With a variety of different habitats, you can interact with emus, pelicans, and turtles, enjoy treetop walks, sit amongst the richly coloured woodland birds and swim with crocodiles! The Wildlife Habitat offers a plethora of experiences that are as fascinating to adults as they are to children.
A short 8-minute drive in your Cairns hire car brings you into the heart of Port Douglas. With plenty of resorts, shops, restaurants, cafes and live music, this coastal town offers you everything you need to nourish your soul.
So check out the Court House Hotel or the Central Hotel in Port Douglas, and then there’s the Iron Bar, Hemingway’s Brewery, Paddy’s Irish Pub or the Daintree Bar. Whether you want a quiet meal or a lively experience with the locals, Port Douglas has everything you need!
If you want a fishing experience that the whole family can enjoy, then a 40-minute drive in your Cairns car hire heading north on the Mossman Daintree Rd brings you to Hook-A-Barra at Wonga Beach. The beach itself is worth a trip because it’s an unspoilt part of our coastline that offers swaying coconut palms and one of the longest stretches of sand you’ll ever see!
Hook-A-Barra is located just off the main Mossman Daintree Rd on 49 hectares of land with large containment ponds full of Barramundi! This land-based fishing experience offers Barra Fishing Tours where you can catch & release or catch & keep (all fishing gear provided). There are also Gourmet Farm Tours where you can learn all about barramundi and even feed them in the ponds or combine the two tours for a day of fun fishing for everyone. Of course, you can’t visit Hook-A-Barra without tasting the barramundi at their Big Barra Café!
The return trip to Cairns from Hook-A-Burra takes just under 90 mins, so why not stop at some of the fabulous spots you bypassed on your way north?
Make sure you book your Cairns hire car early! Call us on 0447 809 899 or BOOK ONLINE today.