Being unique, in that Port Douglas is the only place in the world where two world heritage sites border each other - The Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, it's easy to understand why this small seaside town has become one of the most visited places in Australia, by both international and domestic tourists.
The main reef areas which are visited are:
Each of these offers quite varied topography, and with that there can quite a difference in wildlife to be found. However, regardless of the reef visited, the quality is amazing with the Port Douglas reefs having seen an incredible resurgence since the 2016 bleaching, and now boast some of the most pristine coral reefs to be found on the Great Barrier Reef!
Port Douglas offers opportunities for year-round diving, though can be roughly divided into 3 periods
January to April falls within the "wet season" and is easily the time of greatest rainfall, with tropical storms also possible. Despite this, the water is a luxurious 29-30oC with regular periods of calm, glassy days out on the reef.
May sees the prevailing South Easterly winds begin to blow, which can make the journey to the reef a bit spicy, though the following 2-3 months are when visibility can be at it's best (20m+)
June to August is the legendary 'Whale Season', with Humpbacks and Dwarf Minke whales making their annual migration.
From October onwards, expect calmer lulls with plenty of fish action. Coral spawning is another highlight during this time.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.