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Port Douglas or Cairns?

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Port Douglas or Cairns?

Which would you visit (where would you stay) and why would you pick one over the other?

Cairns, Australia
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1. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

Any reason why you've narrowed it down to just two destinations in FNQ? If you mention your interests, how much time you have, can be of more assistance.

Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
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2. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

I wonder if reversing the order of the 2 places will get a different answer to the question.

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3. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

What does FNQ mean or am I being dumb?

Cairns, Australia
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4. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

FNQ means Far North Queensland.

Which would I stay in?

With Galah on this one. Would depend on so many other factors and other places would suit some moreso than others. Though generally when people empahsise the where rather than the what they prefer Port Douglas.

Little bit like asking if I went to your part of the world should I stay in Boston downtown or Marblehead.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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5. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

I prefer Port Douglas....others prefer Cairns..its a personal choice question..

I love Port Douglas because of the beach....Cairns does not have a swimming beach. However, it does have some beautiful beaches close by.

I also think Port has better restaurants than Cairns..that again is another personal opinion. I think Port is a very special place in FNQ and offers wonderful attractions close by like the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation.

Its only a short one hour drive north to Port Douglas from Cairns. So I usually always recommend tourist to split their time between the two. That way you can experience both places and then decide which one you prefer over the other.

Cairns has Kurnada skyrail and good tours to the Great Barrier Reef.

Port Douglas - Daintree NP and Cape Tribulation.

Have fun ☺


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6. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

I prefer Port Douglas, it has a beach and is a nicer town than Cairns but could you split your time between the two to get some time in both places?

Cairns, Australia
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496 posts
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7. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

Verdant old mate,

I must correct you on this one, sorry.

"FNQ" stands for the expression of impatience that most people use, when trying to get into this part of the world.... as in... "Why should I FNQ when obviously I deserve to be here more than these other folk..?"

So history suggests anyway.



Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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8. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

I'm heading up next week.. We've been there before and have chosen to spend most of our time in Port Douglas (holiday home accommodation) and a couple of nights in Cairns. We plan to do dive trips and rainforest walks so Port Douglas has more options I feel.. it's smaller and less "hard sell" touristy - plus we are in our own home not a resort so will feel more isolated and relaxed for that reason as well.

Once you've seen kuranda, done the white water rafting and walked the Cairns Esplanade a few times....... hmm...I'm trying to find other reasons to spend more time in Cairns but that's about it

Depending on your interests and available time I'd devote two thirds of my time to PD and a third to Cairns on the way out/in.

Cairns, Australia
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9. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

TW Yachtgirl,

Nothing to do in cairns! Next week is the Cairns Show complete with Miss Showgirl! lol

Good base for southern tablelands, Ma Mu, Paronella, Fitzroy Island, Frankland Island, Dunk island, Mission beach, Bungy Jumping, balloon though most do involve leaving town, this is true! Misty Mountain trails and of course our favourite little walk, Nandroya. In town not so much, same as any town in Australia. Still worth looking to see if market day or other event on at Tank Arts, lunch at Palm Cove, an evening spotting bats fly about town. Nicest parts are tucked away in the hills but again a car required really.

I was thinking of you though when I saw by Salt House the Cairns Yacht Club has a little space there with a notice they take visitors out for a small fee.

Also in the pier now Saturday morning farmgate market is a little treasure, quite small..like a big deli atm but the best food in the region is before anyone tries to cook it.!

Just that people will book PD then ask how to do some of these as day trips and then it becomes problematic. If need be, avoiding the touristy areas of Cairns is quite simple. Afterall I live here and rarely ever see one. So very possible!

ps For those interested in Miss Showgirl the Cairns show is next week :)


10. Re: Port Douglas or Cairns?

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