With a stunning setting on the edge of the Coral Sea in tropical Far North Queensland, Port Douglas has transformed from a sleepy village into one of Australia’s most upmarket resorts. It’s situated around one hour drive north of Cairns, with the picturesque coastal road taking in spectacular beaches and a rainforest-draped backdrop.

Macrossan Street is the main commercial artery in Port Douglas, lined with boutique shops and trendy cafes and restaurants. To the south stretches beautiful Four Mile Beach, which is backed by palms and mango trees and where visitors come to play in the shallow waters and soak up the sun. Take in the views across Port Douglas from the Flagstaff Hill Lookout or poke your head into the art galleries scattered across town.

Port Douglas is the closest mainland town to the Great Barrier Reef and the perfect base for day trips to go snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s also a popular launching point for excursions and safaris into the magnificent Daintree National Park, one of the most biodiverse tracts of rainforest in Australia. If you want to get up close to native Australian wildlife, Port Douglas is home to the Wildlife Habitat refuge where guests can hand-feed kangaroos, cuddle koalas and see pythons and crocodiles in action.

For a taste of local history, jump aboard the Bally Hooley Sugar Train, an old steam engine that departs from the Reef Marina and takes visitors through the surrounding cane fields to St. Crispin’s Station. The historic track was built to haul sugarcane to the Mossman Sugar Mill, with the Choo Choo cafe now found at the end of the road where you can enjoy lunch before returning to Port Douglas.