Port Douglas Region Guide

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Getting There

Updated: 21-Jan-2013

The Cairns Domestic or International airport is the arrival point for most visitors to Far North Queensland.  Choose to transfer to Port Douglas by coach, private limousine or rent a car. 

There is not a regular bus service to Port Douglas from Cairns.  Airport transfers do need to be pre-booked as the transfer companies do not meet every flight unless they have passengers arriving. 

Coach Transfer 

Coach transfer is the most economical way to travel.  This is a door to door service.  If pre-booked you will be warmly greeted by your driver holding a sign with your name on it in the arrivals terminal. 


Coaches generally depart hourly.  This is usually about 30 minutes after aircraft arrival-time for domestic flights, but it may be up to an hour for international flights because of customs and other formalities.  As you will be travelling in a small coach with other travellers this transfer does take longer as you will need to drop fellow passengers at their hotels along the way. 


Sole charters and limousines are more flexible as you can determine your own departure time when bound for the airport.  If you have booked a limousine or a sole-charter, you will be on your way as soon as you are ready.  There will be no other stops along the way.  The sole charter approach is particularly attractive if you are travelling in a group.


The trip from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas normally takes around 60 minutes, and to Palm Cove around 25 minutes.  In the peak season (June to October), on busy weekends, and in very wet weather the journey will be a little longer.


Renting a Car

If you plan on renting a car for your stay in North Queensland, you can pick it up from the airport.  Click here to get an online quote!


After leaving the terminal, follow the airport road out to the main road, (T-Junction) first set of traffic lights. Turn right here and follow the signs for Port Douglas. You'll pass through a number of large roundabouts and beach turn offs to Machans, Holloways, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach and Palm Cove – these are the Cairns’ Northern Beaches.

One of Australia’s most spectacularly scenic coastal drives begins at Buchan's Point.  The picture postcard coastal drive is absolutely stunning, meandering past secluded beaches and providing spectacular ocean views.  Stop at Rex’s Lookout for a great photo opportunity and to watch the hand gliders.


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