How to get to Port Douglas?
So you’re keen to holiday in Port Douglas, but not quite sure how to get here? Let us help you figure out how to travel to Port Douglas! Keep reading below

Are you dreaming of a tropical holiday in stunning Port Douglas? Let us help you figure out how to get here!

So you’ve seen the beautiful photos of Port Douglas, Four Mile Beach, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, and now you’re ready to explore our beautiful paradise your self.

Create lasting memories with family or friends, and snap those beautiful pics with you in it.

The good news is that it’s not hard to travel to Port Douglas at all, millions of people have found their way up to Tropical Far North Queensland already. What are you waiting for?


What is the closest airport to Port Douglas?

There are lots of domestic and international flights arriving at Cairns Airport on a daily basis. All major airlines and some of the smaller ones know exactly how badly you want to travel to Port Douglas, and have made it super easy for you to do so.

The International (T1) and Domestic (T2) Terminals are seperate buildings at Cairns Airport, connected by a covered walkway.

It is important you are aware of which Cairns Airport terminal you are arriving when booking transfers to Port Douglas.

HOT TIP – It might be challenging to find an Airport transfer to Port Douglas that will pick you up either late at night or very early in the morning. If your flight does arrive very late in the evening it might be worth booking a night stay in Cairns and travel to Port Douglas the next day. This way you will get to enjoy the stunning views along the Great Barrier Reef Drive as well.

How far is the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas?

It is a stunning 67 kilometer (41 miles) drive from Cairns Airport to the heart of Port Douglas. In general this is an hour drive with beautiful views of the Coral Sea and tropical beaches along the way.

During morning or afternoon peak hours you might find traffic a bit slower close to Cairns City. Once you’ve escaped the ‘big smoke’ of Cairns, it is usually smooth sailing along the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas.

Bus and Airport Transfers from Cairns to Port Douglas

There is no public bus or train service between Cairns and Port Douglas, but there are lots of Airport Shuttle companies that do a wonderful job of taking you from the Airport right to your accommodation in Port Douglas.

Exemplar Coaches & Limousines is the longest running airport shuttle company, offering shared and private shuttles between Cairns and Port Douglas.

Some of the other Port Douglas based airport transfers are SR Coaches, Excellence Coaches and Rodgers Rides.

Shared Airport Shuttles from Cairns Airport to Port Douglas are around $50 per person, while Private Transfers range from $200 – $500 per trip depending on the number of people and style of vehicle.

If you’re not quite sure which Airport Transfer is best for you, we are happy to help. Please click here to get in contact.

Can I drive from Cairns to Port Douglas?

You can absolutely drive from Cairns to Port Douglas yourself. The Captain Cook Highway or Great Barrier Reef Drive is a sealed road that takes you from Cairns to Port Douglas along a beautiful scenic road.

Most of the bigger Car Rental companies have a pick-up available at Cairns Airport, click here for more information.

The smaller local Cairns Car Rental companies are located just outside the airport, and will happily pick up from the airport upon arrival.

Things to see between Cairns and Port Douglas

Along your journey from Cairns to Port Douglas you will pass the stunning beaches of Palm Cove and Ellis Beach, which are both highly worthy of a quick stop for lunch or to stretch the legs.

You will also pass the Skyrail to Kuranda, which is located in Smithfield just north of Cairns. We don’t advice to plan this activity  on your arrival or departure day, due to possible flight delays or Skyrail delays. Please contact us for more information and to book the Skyrail and Scenic Railway, which is a great activity during your Port Douglas holiday.

Half way between Cairns and Port Douglas you will find Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. This animal park specialises in crocodiles and also has lots of other Australian animals. During the day they offer animal encounters, feeding shows and lagoon boat rides. Schedule at least a couple of hours here, which can definitely work on your way to Port Douglas or back to Cairns. Pop into our shop to pick up your 10% discount voucher for Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.

The Great Barrier Reef Drive is the stunning stretch of highway between Palm Cove and Port Douglas. This windy road will take you along the most stunning coastline with tropical beaches and a beautiful lookout just north of Wangetti. Definetly have a break at the Rex Lookout, which offers a great photo opportunity.


The drive from Cairns to Port Douglas is part of your tropical holiday adventure in Far North Queensland. You will love it!

Top Tours to enjoy

Great Barrier Reef Tours

Top tours to explore

Daintree Rainforest Tours

Rather leave the planning up to us?

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