What To Pack For Port Douglas

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Port Douglas is a tropical destination, so your packing list should include your lightest coolest clothes. Choose fabrics that will breathe and/or dry quickly. Try to avoid clothing that will change colour or become transparent when wet.

If you’re visiting Port Douglas in winter (which is generally considered the best time to visit Port Douglas), you may want to pack a light wrap, fleece, or sweater, but generally, it will be too hot for any warm clothes.

The sun is incredibly strong year-round in Queensland, so, if you don’t plan on covering yourself in sunscreen, pack a wide-brimmed hat and sun-protective clothing.

We’ll give you some items to pack for Port Douglas in this post!

Clothes To Pack For Port Douglas

You will see a lot of summer dresses and “resort wear” in Port Douglas, never worry about being over-dressed, it can be quite “fancy” in Port.

A lot of cruise ships stop off Port Douglas too, so “cruise wear” is quite common.

If you don’t have an extensive summer wardrobe there are plenty of shops in Port Douglas selling swimwear and summer clothing, from the cheapest (K Mart and Cotton On) to the more expensive (Tommy Bahama) holiday wear.

You can also get away with shorts, thongs and a T-shirt. Very few restaurants and bars have dress requirements, although most will require you to wear clothes, a few may not allow thongs, but you shouldn’t have too many problems.

You can wear whatever you like in Port Douglas, within reason. Bikinis are fine for the beach, as are full stinger suits or modest swimwear.

Cover up away from the beach.

I wear jeans almost every day of the year and I live in Port Douglas, baggy jeans are cooler. Jeans are fine to wear in tropical heat, for me. Maybe they are for you too. Other women may prefer shorts or skirts.

Smart longer shorts for men are perfectly acceptable as formal wear. A lot of weddings are held in Port Douglas, it’s not unusual to see male guests (or even the groom) in smart shorts.

Sportswear is also very practical in the heat and the Port Douglas community is pretty active, you won’t get strange looks for being in sports wear.

There are no requirements to cover knees or shoulders in Australia.

If you’re wondering about packing a rain jacket for a wet season visit, you probably don’t need to unless you plan to be outside in the rain for hours on end. It’s warm rain, you shouldn’t get chilled.

What To Pack For Your Day on The Great Barrier Reef

You will probably want to wear swimwear under your clothes to board your reef tour in the morning. It can be a real struggle changing on a moving boat in tiny bathroom cubicles, so it’s best to be ready.

Any kind of swimwear is fine and some visitors just wear underwear under wet suits and stinger suits, this is also acceptable.

In stinger season your skin must be as fully covered as possible, you wear a stinger suit (usually provided by the boat) over your swimwear.

After each snorkel you will stay in your suit until the next one, at the end of the day you change back into dry clothes for the return trip.

At this point you will probably be quite cold, make sure you have a dry towel.

It’s best not to wear a hat on the reef boats unless it’s firmly attached, they will blow off.

Your boat crew will fit you with fins, a mask and snorkel, there’s no need to take your own, but of course, you can.

Most boats will offer sea sickness medication and have drinks to buy. They should have reef-safe sunscreen, but it’s best to not take any chances and take your own. Your forehead and hairline are particularly likely to burn.

All you need to pack is a towel, realistically, and your dry underwear. A wet bag is a good idea for the return journey, your swimwear and towel will be soaked.

Wear shoes that will not be destroyed by seawater, we don’t recommend Birkenstocks, the glue holding the soles on doesn’t last long in the tropics, and rubber thongs are better in the wet.

Remember to take off your watch if it won’t cope with sea water.

Gear To Pack For Port Douglas

You will need to pack your usual travel essentials. These may include the following.

  • Your phone and chargers.
  • An Australian SIM or eSIM
  • A camera if you use one.
  • A spare battery pack or two.
  • Goggles to use at the beach.
  • Rash vests or sun-protective swimwear.
  • Packing cubes.
  • A wash bag.
  • A travel purse.
  • A drone if you have one. (Check local regulations)
  • Your laptop if you will be working.
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent (particularly for the wet season).
  • A wet bag, or beach bag for wet swimwear.
  • An Australian adaptor plug.
  • A travel towel for the beach.
  • A sarong.
About the author
Alyson Long

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