A charming little rainforest resort town in the far northern reaches of Australia, Port Douglas tends to attract a ritzy clientele, but that’s not to say there aren’t accommodation options for the budget traveler. There are several hostels in Port Douglas that will allow you to enjoy a holiday in the tropics, and being a tiny town, none are more than a short walk from the beautiful, palm tree-fringed Four Mile Beach or the main street in town, Macrossan Avenue.
Outside of the beach, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors occupied in Port Douglas. Its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef makes it a great jumping-off point for snorkel and dive trips, and as well for exploring the rainforests of the Wet Tropics. Most Port Douglas hostels offer bicycle hire (sometimes free of charge) to get around and explore the town. The tropical climate makes Port Douglas a hot and steamy place to visit nearly all year round, and most hostels will have a swimming pool to cool off in, which is especially handy during “stinger season” (around October to May, when dangerous jellyfish occupy the waters just off the beach). As Port Douglas is built in the rainforest, it’s full of interesting wildlife— it’s not unusual to find a green tree frog in the shower or bright blue Ulysses butterflies fluttering around in the town’s streets. There is also a lively bar scene and plenty of restaurants to indulge in tasty, though often pricey, fare.
Most travelers reach Port Douglas from Cairns, a laid-back north Queensland city with an international airport located an hour’s drive south of Port Douglas, and luckily, many Port Douglas hostels offer a free pickup service from Cairns on certain days of the week if you call ahead. And with its “cruise-y”, laid-back atmosphere and relaxed hostels, many travelers end up staying in Port Douglas much longer than planned.