It has to be said; if you’re looking for one, you’re never far from an adventure in Port Douglas. If the waves in Port Douglas aren’t big enough to get your adrenaline flowing or don’t appear when you want them to, there are several other aquatic-orientated options which you might enjoy just as much as surfing.
Kayaking or canoeing are both great ways of exploring the offshore areas and waterways of Port Douglas without getting wet. Paddle out over the Great Barrier Reef early in the morning in a sea-kayak, and you could spot dolphins, green turtles, and sea eagles. Most canoeing and kayaking tours take up about half a day so aren’t too hard on the arms if you’ve never done it before.
For a complete change from Port Douglas’s coastal scenery, canoe or paddle board down the Mossman River and through the lush rainforest of Mossman Gorge. It’s a surreal experience being in the natural habitat of strange creatures like tree kangaroos, eastern water dragons and platypus all of which you stand a fair chance of seeing as you paddle along the gorge. If you’re new to paddleboarding, no worries, all SUP tours include a skill lesson and practice session with a qualified instructor who will have you afloat in minutes and there are frequent rest stops during the outing so it isn’t too strenuous.
If canoeing and paddle boarding are too tame for your adventurous spirit, then head to Cairns where you can join a tour which will take you white water rafting on the Tully River. Some traveling is involved as the rapids are two hours outside of Cairns, but it’s well worth the trip for the incredible adrenaline buzz you get while hurtling down the river in an inflatable dinghy. White water rafting is an extreme sport so not for everyone, and you’ll need to be fit and healthy to participate.
Not quite as thrilling, but just as much fun are jet skis. There are several places on Wharf Street in Port Douglas where you can hire jet skis for half an hour to an hour and go off to enjoy a whizz around over the Coral Sea on your own. It’s also possible to join jet ski tours which go out to the Great Barrier Reef or Snapper Island for turtle spotting.
When surfing is off the agenda because there are marine stingers, sail out from Port Douglas to the reefs around Low Isles Island on a glass-bottom boat, and you’ll still be able to see what’s beneath the water. Many boat tours going out to the reefs and beyond provide passengers with stinger suits so they can still enjoy some snorkeling whatever the season.