Panoramic view of Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas on a clear day
Port Douglas is a small port town in Far North Queensland, Australia. It has a population of approximately 1,000 people (2012 estimate), though actual number of people in town depends on the tourist season. During peak holiday season, the population of Port Douglas is often several times that of the low season.
As with so many other towns and cities in Australia, Port Douglas was established following the discovery of a precious metal, in this case, gold. James Venture Mulligan discovered gold in the area in 1877, and the township quickly grew. At its peak, it had a population of 12,000 people.
The completion of the Kuranda Railway from Cairns to Kuranda in 1891 made Port Douglas redundant, and this is reflected in its dwindling population since then. The population bottomed out in 1960, when there was only 100 people in the town. Since then, it has recovered somewhat, though never again returning to its peak.
St Mary's by the Sea, a former Catholic church in Port Douglas
The Australian television personality Steve Irwin died from a stingray barb accident at Batt Reff, which is off Port Douglas, on 4 September 2006. Despite this mishap, Port Douglas continues to attract domestic as well as international tourists, particularly during the Port Douglas Carnivale season, which runs from the end of May over two weekends. During that time, as many as 10,000 people may crowd into the town.
Visiting Port DouglasFly into Cairns and then drive about an hour north on State Route 44 to reach Port Douglas.
Places of Interest in Port Douglas