Is Port Douglas Safe? A Guide To Staying Safe in Port Douglas

If you’re packing your suitcase ready for a stay along the tropical Queensland coast, it’s quite understandable if the question – is Port Douglas safe – is at the forefront of your mind. Everyone knows things can go wrong on vacations just as easily as they can at home.

Typical holiday worries can encompass everything from bag snatchers on the beach, your hotel room being broken into, things being stolen from your rent a car to your chosen destination suffering a natural disaster. These things happen in tourist destinations the world over so finding out what’s happening somewhere before you go doesn’t make you a worrywart, it’s a sensible thing to do.

Port Douglas, with a resident population of under four thousand, has a relatively low crime rate. There’s more probability of encountering a saltwater crocodile than a bag thief on a Port Douglas beach. While that in itself is vaguely reassuring, there are certain times of the year when natural hazards are present and to stay safe in Port Douglas, you’ll need to follow the precautions recommended by the local authorities. Do that, and you’ll find Port Douglas is as safe a vacation destination as you would wish to find anywhere.

Is There Much Crime In Port Douglas?

Nowhere is perfect, and that includes Port Douglas. While the occurrence of crimes is statistically lower in Port Douglas than in many other towns and cities in Australia, it doesn’t mean crime doesn’t happen.

One factor which can greatly influence the safety equation in Port Douglas is the number of tourist visitors it attracts. While the town’s population is relatively small, it can increase almost three-fold during peak tourist season. No-one knows where each and every visitor comes from or what their criminal history might be.

Keep in mind; most people are more socially open when on vacations, especially after a couple of relaxing beers or cocktails at the hotel happy hour. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with the folk at the bar or sitting at the next table to you, to get chatting about the amazing things you’ve been doing or the places where you’ve been sightseeing during the day. It’s all part of the holiday vibe. But to stay safe in Port Douglas, or at any other holiday destination, exercise the same caution you would when talking to strangers at home and don’t divulge any important personal information.

Is It Safe To Get Home After A Night Out In Port Douglas?

To get back to your accommodation after a night out in Port Douglas, as there are no bus or train services, you’ll need to take either a taxi or an Uber. All drivers working for taxi and Uber services in Port Douglas are either registered with the taxi company or have viewable profiles on the Uber app. Make sure you get in the correct vehicle, and you’ll have a safe ride home.

Are The Beaches In Port Douglas Safe

Many of the beaches in and around Port Douglas are safe to swim at so long as you follow the golden rules laid down by the Surf Life Saving Australia lifeguards. Check out individual beach statuses before swimming there on the SLSA website, don’t go swimming alone and where possible, swim between the flagged areas on the beach..

Port Douglas Stinger Season

From the start of November through to the end of May is what is known as “stinger season” in Port Douglas. Stinger season is when the poisonous Irukandji and Box jellyfish are prevalent in the Coral Sea and are found in large numbers along the Queensland coastline. During stinger season it’s advisable to swim at lifeguard patrolled beaches where stinger nets have been installed and wear one-piece stinger-proof swimwear.

Port Douglas Saltwater Crocodiles

Crocodiles live here signs are posted close by the natural habitats of saltwater crocodiles. If you see one, most probably when strolling along a deserted beach close to a tidal inlet, don’t ignore it because they’re not a joke. Don’t get in the water, look somewhere else for a safer swimming location.

Is It Safe To Swim In Port Douglas?

You can check out more tips for staying safe while swimming at Port Douglas beaches, including information on Cone snails, Stone fish, sharks and lifeguard patrolled beaches. Related: Swimming in Port Douglas

Is It Safe To Sunbathe In Port Douglas?

Port Douglas has an amazing climate all year round and one you’ll want to enjoy to the max. Sunbathing in Port Douglas is safe so long as you remember to respect the strength of the sun and use appropriate protection, Use a factor of sunscreen suitable for your skin type and for the length of time you plan to be basking under the tropical Queensland rays.

Tip: A factor twenty screen multiplies your natural resistance to the sun twenty times. Take into consideration – if you’d turn pink after five minutes without it, then the cream will give you around one hour and a half hours of sunbathing time before you start to burn. Using a higher factor, fifty, sixty or even a hundred, doesn’t mean you won’t get one of those all over golden glows, you will and you’ll be able to enjoy being on the beach much longer without getting painful sunburn.

It’s also advisable to apply a good sunscreen before going out sightseeing or driving around in the car.

Is It Safe To Drive In Port Douglas

One of the most enjoyable things to do when visiting Port Douglas for the first time is to hire a car and explore the area at your own pace. The road conditions are good and traffic minimal, so Port Douglas is a pretty safe place to drive.

It’s always a good idea to ask at the rental car office if there are any local traffic rules or well-known accident danger spots you should know about before hitting the highway. Port Douglas, the same as anywhere else has speed limits, seat belt regulations, and laws about driving while using a mobile phone. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean those laws don’t apply to you, they do. Get caught breaking them, and you’ll be liable for a fine or worse.

Depending where you’re from, driving on the left side may take a few minutes to get accustomed to, and you may find you need to take extra care negotiating roundabouts and junctions until it becomes second nature. Local drivers have seen the views from the highway too many times, so if they want to go speeding past while you’re sauntering along enjoying the scenery, pull into the nearest passing bay and let them go by. Your gesture will be appreciated.

Tip: If you haven’t driven on the left before and are worried about getting confused whether you’re on the correct side or not, all you need to remember is – the driver should always be positioned in the middle of the road.

Is Port Douglas Safe In Cyclone Season

Port Douglas has a six-month cyclone season lasting from November to April. Cyclone activity in the Coral Sea is monitored by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. They track each individual cyclone to be able to forecast its intensity and the level of threat it poses to certain areas should the cyclone take a landward route.

While cyclones can cause mass destruction and flooding, Port Douglas and Queensland have more than adequate advisory systems operating for warning residents and visitors of any impending danger. There are also well-publicized safety precautions and evacuation plans in place organized by local government agencies for helping to keep people safe if a cyclone strikes.

If you’re visiting Port Douglas during cyclone season, you will need to be, in part at least, responsible for your own safety. You can do this by getting to know when, where and how the cyclone notifications are published, making sure you have emergency equipment and provisions to hand as advised by the local authorities and know what to do if you’re caught in a tropical storm.

Related Question

Do I need Travel insurance in Port Douglas? It’s wise to purchase comprehensive insurance cover for your vacation whether you’re visiting Port Douglas or anywhere else. Accidents or sudden illness can happen while you’re away from home. Private medical consultations and treatments can be costly.

Do I need to get vaccinations to visit Port Douglas? You won’t require any vaccinations unless you have been in a yellow fever infected country one week prior to the date of your arrival in Port Douglas.

Is the water safe to drink in Port Douglas? The water in Port Douglas and throughout Australia is potable.

In an emergency, who do I call? If you find yourself in an emergency situation or feel unsafe for any reason, dial 000 and it will connect you with the police, ambulance or fire service.


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