The revival of Port Douglas as a must visit destination for incentives and groups has been a few years in the making, but the redevelopment of Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas in 2016 was the moment that loudly declared Port Douglas is back. Since then things have only been on the up with ongoing investment and new product making this a must for anyone looking to grab some winter warmth.
Any group coming this way has just two things on their mind – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. No matter what size the group of what type of event brings them this way, both these are a must and due to the proximity to both, are easily achievable for any size group even on a three day stay.
In addition to these natural wonders Port Douglas is a gateway to some extraordinary encounters with the natural wildlife, some friendlier than others. There are also numerous ways to connect with the local Indigenous culture and learn more about a habitat that has supported human communities for tens of thousands of years.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort Port Douglas The great dame got her mojo back and offers the perfect place for large groups, as it comes with its own conference centre. It also sits on the beach, and so if you’re one for an early start simply grab a hire bicycle and head out for a ride on the compact sand. A great way to work up an appetite for breakfast by the lagoon.
Silky Oaks Lodge Resort & Spa This hotel offers a rainforest retreat vibe yet is only 15 minutes from the town centre. The restaurant overlooking the Mossman River is stunning and worth a visit alone.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve An eco-reserve that has just joined the exclusive ranks of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, one of only five in Australia. The resort sits on 58 hectares of native rainforest, with 2 kilometres of private-access beach and possibly the most iconic palm tree in Australia.
Quicksilver This company is so good at whisking large numbers of people off to the Great Barrier Reef you can forget just what an amazing feat of logistics it involves. State of the art vessels, an abundance of friendly crew and diving/ snorkelling options for every type of swimmer.
QT Port Douglas The usual QT quirk in a relaxed setting. With plenty of lawn there is enough space to set up a delightful dinner under the stars, pretty much any night of the year.
Port Douglas Catering and Events One chef, one waitperson and one mobile bar and you can turn anywhere into a party with these guys. We pulled up a chair at Rex Smeal Park and were treated to food so fabulous we didn’t want to leave.
Great Barrier Reef Helicopters So you’ve just dived the reef. Want to take that bucket list experience up a notch or three. Get a lift back to town in a chopper and get a seagull eye’s view of the world’s largest living organism on the way.
Jimmy’s Rum Bar A cocktail list as long as a phone directory and bar staff who know their stuff backwards. A great place to head out to if you want somewhere with a little edge.
Calypso Reef Charters Take a sunset cruise on catamaran Aquarius and enjoy the Coral Sea with a glass of bubbles in one hand and smile that just won’t go away.
Pullman Port Douglas Sea Temple Resort & Spa A resort known for the size of its rooms, it’s also a great place for a formal dinner. The open air reception and restaurant make a great spot for a sit down affair or cocktails.
Flames of the Forest Turn off the phone, there’s no reception anyway, and simply soak up the atmosphere in this rather magical offsite rainforest venue. Natalie and her team spent many days over Christmas installing new chandeliers and creating new crystal curtaining to amp up the wow effect. With fire the element of choice, this venue does warm welcomes like no other.
Hemingway’s Brewery The marina is set for a redevelopment with plans for a new 5-star hotel by developers Crystalbrook on the cards. In the meantime soak in the views from the ever popular Hemingway’s Brewery with one of their popular local beers in hand.
Mossman Gorge The award-winning culture centre goes from strength to strength. Experience the Daintree Forest through the eyes of one of their Indigenous guides.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures Have lunch here overlooking the pond and see if you can spot any of the monsters lurking below. Then head out on their guided water tours for an up close but not too personal look at one of the world’s greatest apex predators.
Wildlife Habitat Take a tour through this wildlife sanctuary that has a focus on bird life with one of the knowledgeable staff and hand feed the roos or if you’re feeling plucky the cassowary. The large undercover food court makes a great place for dinners if you’re happy to share with the many birds who call it home.
Choo Choo’s and Bally Hooley This delightful lakeside café is owned by local icon John Morris, who in the words of Starship ‘built this city’. A great way to have a casual breakfast, with the option of taking the historic steam train at the adjoining St Crispins Station all the way through to Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina, with quick stops at the Sheraton Grand Country Club and QT Resort.