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How do I get from Cairns to Port Douglas? Is there a bus service? Is there a train? Do you need a car in Port Douglas?

Port Douglas is one of the most amazing places to visit in the world, boasting gorgeous beaches, the incredible Daintree Rainforest, and, of course, the Great Barrier Reef. Located just 60 km from Cairns, it can nevertheless be tough to know how exactly to make that trip, so here we will look at some of the ways you can travel this distance and reach the destination that people come from all over to visit.

Is there a bus service to Port Douglas?

One of the best ways to get to Port Douglas is by bus. A good shuttle service operates daily from 7 am to midnight and costs less than $50, fantastic when compared to the $200 or more a taxi will set you back. There are public buses which can cost even less but they run very infrequently when compared to a shuttle service. You can book or take a Cairns to Port Douglas Bus easily and get where you want to go without the hassle of driving or the expense of a taxi making it an excellent choice.

Is there a train to Port Douglas?

If travelling from further away you could get a train as far as Cairns, but to get to Port Douglas you can go by bus, shuttle, a taxi or you can drive yourself. As we have mentioned, taxis are the most expensive (unless you really want to travel in style and book yourself a limo) with buses and shuttles your next choice and driving the cheapest. It can be more hassle than taking the bus though, as you have to rent a car if you don’t have one and aren’t from the area and do your own driving, and then you will have a car while you are there which can be a pro and a con. 

Do you need a car in Port Douglas?

If the question is if you actually need a car then the answer is no. You can walk around and there are shuttle services, organised tours and ways to get where you want to go. If you think you might want a car that is another matter, it can be nice to have the ability to drive where you want, at your own pace, and do what you wish so if that sounds like you, a car can be a good thing. If you would rather sit back and enjoy the ride then leave the car at home and utilise one of the other means at your disposal to get around, it’s up to you.


There are several options for you to choose from when making the trip from Cairns to Port Douglas so have a think about cost, convenience and decide which best suits you and your holiday, but with cheap fares and frequent departures, a shuttle bus is certainly one of the best ways to get around.

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