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Port Douglas | The Urban List Edit

It’s no secret we love our food and wine here at The Urban List and that we also love weekend getaways and sunshine. So, we are super excited about the upcoming Port Douglas Carnivale, which brings together all of these elements in ten sundrenched days of feasting. This Far North Queensland beauty offers chic dining, cafes, and cocktail lounges plus year-round sunshine, making it the perfect winter escape.

Far North Queensland has a style all of its own. The laid-back nature of the locals is infectious and you’ll soon be relaxing with a beer under the swirling fans in the local pub enjoying this tropical oasis.

Warm, balmy days are best spent exploring the region with a plethora of tours, attractions, and activities. Sultry nights take on a sophisticated edge with outstanding dining experiences all within a village atmosphere. Macrossan Street is lined with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants where alfresco dining can be enjoyed all year round.


Port Douglas Carnivale celebrates life in the tropics and is on from the 17th to the 26th of May. This year sees one of our favourites, Ben O’Donoghue, heading north to showcase his culinary skills in A Taste of Paradise as well as Kerry Heaney and Natascha Mirosch discussing the latest trends in restaurant eating at this free event.

Another highlight is the Palates of Port on Friday, May 25 featuring an eight-course degustation dinner with a Great Gatsby theme where you’ll be taken back to another era ruled by glitter, glamour, and a lot of class. Every course will be created by one of the regions leading restaurants, and is designed to showcase the Far North’s local ingredients in the style of that restaurant. The wines will be hand picked to bring out the best in both the dish and the wine and participating restaurants are Bucci, Salsa Bar & Grill, Bel Cibo, Thala Beach Lodge, Zai, Nautilus Restaurant, Sheraton Mirage, and Port Douglas Catering and Events.

To take the effort out of the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a selection of spots to eat, drink, and caffeinate while you’re in Port.  So pack your bags with a wardrobe that takes you from beach to bar and back again—think movie-star shades, floaty kaftans, and beaded sandals—and head north.

Where to eat

With its white-washed walls and louvered windows, chef Goran Zonai delivers a menu showcasing the bountiful fresh produce of the tropics, accompanied by an extensive wine list of quality Australian and New Zealand vintages and sensational cocktails.
The colonial style house and colourful gardens create a romantic setting coupled with Spencer Patrick’s French-inspired menu.  We love their ethos of fabulous food served by warm, friendly, knowledgeable, and professional staff, which shines through at any time of the day.
Tucked away in a small cluster of shops, well away from the main street, Otz Food is Port Douglas’ worst-kept secret. Sisters Karen and Liz Fines offer simple food, impeccably done. With a rustic, communal table and display of a fresh selection of house-baked quiches and treats, eat in or gather supplies to take back to your room.
Where to shop

On Sunday mornings, Anzac Park is buzzing with a great lineup of local producers and holiday makers milling around the park.  There is plenty to browse from unique jewellery, photography, and foodie gifts.
While technically in Mossman, it’s worth taking a detour to this incredible gallery of indigenous art and meeting the inspiring, Binna. Binna was born with a severe hearing disability and you’ll warm to his cheeky grin, good humour, and friendly personality. The Gallery also runs private art classes and workshops.
Where to stay

Nestled in thriving Macrossan Street, these 5-star apartments are pure luxury. For the ultimate indulgence, opt for a rooftop apartment incorporating private plunge pool, spa, and outdoor entertaining area with divine views.
This small boutique hotel is simply one of Port Douglas’ best. You’ll be ensconced in comfort & luxury at this adults-only retreat located opposite Four Mile Beach.
Just 16km south of Port Douglas, Thala Beach Lodge is an eco escape where you settle into secluded bungalows scattered among 145 acres of tropical headland and one of the world’s most beautiful private beaches.
By Sally Scott | as appeared on The Urban List | 19 April 2013 12:02PM
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