Driving from Cairns to Port Douglas: Best stops

The Captain Cook Highway – the highway to paradise!

Driving from Cairns to Port Douglas is one extremely picturesque drive and if you continue heading up towards Cape Tribulation you will be in awe of the beauty that surrounds you – rainforest on one side and the ocean on the other. This is what Tropical North Queensland is all about.

The drive to Port Douglas from Cairns is just over an hour, however, I would absolutely recommend taking your time with stops at a few beaches along the way.

Packing for Tropical North Queensland

You definitely need to be prepared for your trip to FNQ (Far North Queensland). There are a few essentials in my mind, one of which is, of course, mosquito repellent!

Click here for a printable packing guide for your trip.

Where to stop between Cairns & Port Douglas

Trinity Beach

A very beautiful beach with a lookout at the top of some stairs. Although, if you miss the lookout it’s not the end of the world as the trees have grown and you can’t see a great deal!!

Instead, drive down towards the end of the beach as there is a short walk you can do and look back on the beach!

Clifton Beach

Beautiful beach, perfect water (that you can’t swim in) and soft sand.

Palm Cove

This place is amazing! I just loved the vibe in Palm Cove. There were people everywhere, plenty of cafés and the stunning palm trees hugging the beach. This spot is truly paradise!

Rex Lookout

Driving along the Captain Cook Highway, you will come across Rex Lookout. You can easily pull over as there are a few car spots and it’s a quick dash across the highway where you’ll be able to enjoy the view!

Cairns to Port Douglas

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

I’d recommend stopping in here for a couple of hours if you have the time. We were able to see an adorable baby Koala, check out the Wallabies, feed Cassowaries and jump on a croc cruise where we can see the Crocodiles being fed. All of that was included in the entry price!

thewelltravelledman hartleys crocodile adventures

Four Mile Beach

One of the best known and most popular beaches in North Queensland, you will find Four Mile Beach! If you’re wanting a nice view over the beach, check out Four Mile Beach Lookout and you will get views like this!

Visiting more of Queensland?

Be sure to keep an eye on our Queensland page for all of our posts on Tropical North Queensland as well as Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Do you have travel insurance?

Before travelling, make sure you get a travel insurance policy – you never know when you might need it! Click here for information on travel insurance, what company we recommend and a link to get an instant quote.

Alternative accommodation

If you’re looking for alternative accommodation to either save some money or share with friends or family, click here for information on Air B&B ($50 discount on your first booking), hotel price comparison websites etc.

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Anonymous

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