Port Douglas has always been an annual holiday destination for our family. Hey, we like it so much last year we went twice! Last year we also embarked on a new adventure when we traveled there with four other families which we found worked so well we did it again this year with two more families added to the mix. Its crazy, hilarious and so much fun!
Port Douglas is a little town located about an hours drive north of Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. As soon as you step out of the airport you are engulfed by the warm tropical air and you know you are ready to get your holiday on and begin to relax!
We chose to stay at Peppers Beach Club Port Douglas last year and it worked perfectly with our crew that we booked again for this year. The fabulous beach pool just makes it so easy with children even the crawling little ones can potter around digging in the sand while the older kids can run amok and swim wherever they please. They also have a heap of pool noodles, water toys, buckets and spades etc. which just make your job of parenting that much easier!
Everyday for us would start in the pool then head into town (a 5 min walk) for a bite to eat then back to spend the afternoon by the pool with a cocktail or two thrown in the mix for the mumma bears. Port Douglas is a great place as you can do as little or as much as you like. The Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rain Forest, Mossman Gorge, markets, zoos, outback shows etc there really is something to keep you busy every second or just embrace the opportunity to relax and unwind.
There are so many great culinary options in Port Douglas and they are all so child friendly it really makes your holiday so much more enjoyable. Especially when you dine with one hundred children (maybe not that many but felt like it at times!) its nice to know they can get up, have an explore and play, maybe even get given pencils and paper to entertain them. It meant we could sit and enjoy an extra glass of wine and have a conversation with each other.
Port Douglas really is superb for a family holiday. There are so many options from accommodation, food, activities etc. it can tick the boxes for everyone and make the holiday actually really enjoyable, just not for the kids but the parents as well!
- Esplanade Villa – With main street only a few steps away, this luxurious villa is right on the beachfront so you can fall asleep listening to the Coral Sea washing up on Four Mile Beach. Three bedrooms, all with ensuites, a heated pool and a rooftop spa with ocean views this would have to be my favourite choice!
- Peppers Beach Club – We had a three bedroom apartment which was perfect that had direct access into the pool. Also great having a kitchen for the occasional meal when travelling with kids. Tip: Belle Property manage some privately owned apartments at Peppers and can be rented at a considerably lower rate than directly through Peppers.
- Sheraton Mirage – Currently receiving a much needed million dollar upgrade the Sheraton is a great place to stay with beautiful beach lagoon pools. Only downside is it is a good 20 minute walk to town so a hire car would be advised.
- A private home through Executive Retreats or The Boutique Collection – Gorgeous multi-million dollar properties available to rent. This is what we normally do when just travelling with our own family and it works perfectly.
- There is a baby hire company in Port Douglas that can provide you with everything you need from any type of pram, toys, cot, bouncers, monitors etc. Your accommodation provider should be able to help you organise it all which makes it super easy!
- Salsas – Somewhat of an institution and one of our favourites. Great kids menu with healthy options
- On the Inlet – So much fun and fabulous food, go for an early dinner or arrive at 4pm to try and spot the enormous groper fish that comes to visit while you sit back with a bucket of prawns and glass of wine.
- Sassis – Classic Italian restaurant that has a great kids menu that includes vegetables!
- Surf Life Saving Club – Casual with terrific food we often go here for lunch and dinner. Playground next door and great big lawn for the kids to run wild
- Tin Shed – Good casual lunch spot on the water where the kids can watch the boats come in and out
- Chillys Pizza & Trattoria – Dine outside under the fairy lights, really casual, fun and awesome for kids, they even have a sandpit
- Latternfish – Wonderful lunch spot or takeaway dinner option, super casual and fantastic food
- Zipangu – Great option for a night in if you feel like takeaway
- The Little Larder – Our breakfast go-to and they make lovely gourmet sandwiches for lunch as well
- Lighthouse Cafe – Casual place for breakfast/lunch
- Betty’s Bohemian Beach Cafe – Cute for brunch
- Origin – Coffee spot
- Barbados – When you want to get your cocktail on. Toasted marshmallow martini anyone?
- Great Barrier Reef – Sailaway, Aquarius, Calypso or a private charter are all good ways to experience the reef
- Mossman Gorge
- Daintree Rain Forest
- Massage – Niramaya Spa is luxurious and will make you feel like you are in a rain forest. They can pick you up and drop you off and you can also use the pool and have lunch at the resort. Perfect for some time out from the kids!
- Sunday Market – a must do on a Sunday morning
- Cane Toad Races – At the Iron Bar every night at 8.30pm
- Wildlife Habitat – Kids loved seeing and feeding the animals and admission allows you to go back as many times as you like during your stay