AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays

Port Douglas

Why do we rate it?
This once-sleepy fishing village deserves its status as one of Australia’s best destinations. Everyone from lazy couples to hyperactive teens will be happy here.

Where is it?
In the northern part of Tropical North Queenlsland, 70km from Cairns, a 1hr drive along one of the most beautiful roads in Australia, the Captain Cook Hwy.

Where to stay
This is a town with as many options as the Gold Coast, without a tower in sight – the local council will not approve a development higher than the palm tree on iconic Four Mile Beach. Resorts and top-end luxury rental homes abound, but there are cheaper options. In town, try rental apartments On The Beach on the Esplanade or Yaringa. The Pink Flamingo on the main road opposite the Sheraton offers one-bedroom no-children villas with très-sexy outdoor showers and baths for a romantic couple.

How much is it?

This is the higher season as opposed to the highest, so if you’re happy to risk tropical rain most days interspersed with glorious sunshine and high humidity, book now. Yaringa’s two-bedroom apartments cost from $210 per night. A three-bedder at On the Beach costs from $375. The Pink Flamingo offers one-bedroom garden villas at $195 a night, or $185 if you choose to not have your room serviced.

The Pink Flamingo, Yaringa and On the Beach will all be available from December 26 until mid-October, when you can expect to find it a little harder to book.

What to do

Take advantage of two World-Heritage-listed sights colliding – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree. Kuku Yalanji is an easy and enthralling indigenous walk in the Daintree. Four Mile Beach is pristine – but take a stinger suit at this time of year. There are loads of great restaurants in town (warning: they can be pricey) but the pick is Spence Patrick at Harrison’s. For a cheaper option try the Tin Shed (Combined Club) for an afternoon G&T and counter meal.


Pink Flamingo //
15 Davidson St.
(07) 4099 6622;

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