Cairns to Pt. Douglas Drive Time

May 7th, 2003, 11:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 34
Cairns to Pt. Douglas Drive Time

Hi y'all,

I'd like to know what the average drive time is from Cairns to Port Douglas, and what the drive's like? I've never driven on the left side of the road. Is there public bus transport from the Cairns airport to Port Douglas? If so, do you know what time it ends? I'd like to avoid renting a car since I hear everything's within walking distance in Port Douglas. Thanks again for y'all's help.

huskydog is offline  
May 7th, 2003, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It's about an hour drive. Many PD hotels offer some type of pickup servce a the airport, but they charge for it. PD itself is quite small.
youngtom2910 is offline  
May 7th, 2003, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The drive from Cairns airport to Port Douglas is about 1 hour. Its a very scenic drive, hugging the coastline. You can pre-arrange transfers for about A$25 per person. You won't need a car within Port Douglas, especially if you are staying close to the main stretch. However, many resorts however are a long walk from the town centre. There is a local bus service or courtesy buses.
mpoll is offline  
May 14th, 2003, 05:13 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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I think it's worth renting a car because you can stop at the Crocodile farm on the way up from Cairnes to PD which is really fun.
The drive up is beautiful and not too many cars. There are little seaside towns you can stop in and have a bite to eat or a drink.
Also, when you get into PD, you'll have the option of driving further up the coast later on and seeing the National Parks which are amazing.
mustardmindy is offline  
May 14th, 2003, 08:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I agree with all the above. Just returned last week from Port. Also , stop at the Sebel Reef resort for great lunch/dinner. It's in a small turn off called Palm Cove. GREAT easter brunch there. Try the ocean trout, wonderful surprise from out stream trout in the states. Get in touch with Daintree Air for their Lizard Island trip. The most memorable part of our trip down under, that's FOR SURE.
debusa is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 11:32 AM
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Driving from Cairns to Port Douglas is very easy and an exceptionally beautiful drive. This is my favorite area of Australia!

I do think you need a car in Port Douglas to see everything.

(I live in Los Angeles)
Veronica is offline  
Jun 5th, 2003, 10:16 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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The drive is scenic but the road is windy. I'll guarantee you if you catch a bus, at least one person on it will be sick.

It's true that if you stay in the main drag of PD you could get by without a car, provided you're happy to stick to organised tours.

But I'd hire a car. There is so much rental car traffic between Cairns aiport and Port Douglas that the companies don't charge one-way drop off fees. You can pick up a car at the airport, drive to PD in an hour and drop it off there. If there are two or three of you it will probably work out cheaper than the bus.

Pumblechook is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:47 AM
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My husband and I did this drive on our trip to OZ last October. We were staying in Palm Cove and actually had a chauffered car come from Cairns, pick us up...and take us through Port Douglas (we had coffee at the pier while watching the sunset)and then went on to Silky Oaks Lodge for dinner. Our driver waited for us throughout dinner and then drove us back to our hotel in Palm Cove.

This was incredibly informative (the driver was a native of the area - from Trinity Beach...and narrated along the way), and was a stress free and enjoyable way to get up to Port Douglas/Silky Oaks and back. Our driver also stopped 1/2 way up the coast on a little look out over the ocean where we had some champagne and snacks (provided by the company) and took some pictures.
jules is offline  
Jun 6th, 2003, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 66

We hired our driver/car through a company in Cairns called "Beaches Meet & Greet". The owner is a wonderful guy named "Roland/Rolly Vrinsson". You can check them out on the web too at "". Enjoy! - However you end up getting up there it's absolutely incredible! (I think this whole thing cost about $100 US by the way...but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! we had great service and didn't have to worry about getting lost, or driving on the left side of the somewhat windy road). HAVE FUN!
jules is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 27
um, I worked on a large Hotel Tour Desk, and i can assure you that there are not a lot of companies that DO NOT charge a drop off fee from Cairns to Port Douglas.
The usual fee is around $50 drop off fee.
Some companies structure it into their price (like Avis). So they may SAY there is not a fee, but there is ;-)
The road from Port to Carins or Cairns to Port is very windy and steep.
It is also hard to concentrate on the road when the view is so amazing.
You can arrange a bus, or a limo. The limo costs $115 AUD one way... and that is travelling in style!
a bus is $27 AUD one way.
Port_princess is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 107
Nausiating ( spelling? ) thats the only word I can use to describe the ride. We had a transfer which is what I HIGHLY recommend doing -- as there is no need for a car in Port. Where are you staying?

Anyway, the road is scenic but lots of twists and turns and that combined with the excessive perfume of our driver I almost puked every time she drove us!

DawnF is offline  
Jul 16th, 2003, 06:03 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 124
I don't know. I must have been experiening a different ride to port douglas from cairns than all of my fellow aussie travelers. I found it beautiful and winding but in no way did anyone on the bus get sick. The cost to Port Douglas is 27 US dollars each way and took about one hour. Port douglas is so so much nicer than cairns although if you want alot to do then port douglas is not the place to stay(but there is still more to do there than in palm cove).
marshall531 is offline  

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