It's the great Australian ritual: packing up the car and heading for the beach. Picnics, kanga cricket, frisbees and plenty of blankets, books and sunscreen. Whether it’s your backyard beach or a holiday beach, they all bring a feeling of instant Rancho Relaxo. And here in Port Douglas, well… we reckon we’ve one of the fairest of them all - Four Mile Beach.
Some say Four Mile Beach is a serious contender for Australia’s best beach. And who would we be to argue? Four Mile Beach is certainly one of Port Douglas’ biggest attractions, for good reason. Despite what it says on the packet, Four Mile Beach isn’t actually four miles long (shhhhhh…) – it’s four kilometres as the crow flies, starting at the base of Flagstaff Hill and ending at the mouth of the mighty Mowbray River. Fun fact: it was named after a local family with the surname Fourmile.
Trivia aside, what really sets Four Mile Beach apart from others on the Tropical North Queensland coast is the protected wilderness and unspoiled beauty that comes with being nestled between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. A palm fringed coastline with the golden sands of beach unfolding in a gentle curve that continues as far as the eye can see, its prettiness is splashed all over Instagram feeds with #fromwhereyoudratherbe enviously tagged at the end. And for a beach so close to the centre of the town, you’d be forgiven for thinking that civilization was just a wild rumour. But wait! Four Mile Beach is more than just a beach – it’s a hot bed of activities that make it perfect for the readers, the exercisers, the adventurers and the lovers. Paradise indeed.
Starting at the top, the northern end of the beach is the main accessible entry point, and also where the Port Douglas Surf Lifesaving Club patrols the beach and maintains an enclosure net during stinger season (November – May). With the coastline being protected by the Great Barrier Reef, the waves are low and the beach isn’t prone to rips, so perfect for kiddies to frolic in the rockpools and get buried in the sand. But don’t forget, it’s still always best to swim within the patrolled area. PD Watersports & Beach Hire have set up a nice spot with beach loungers and umbrellas for hire, as well as kayaks for those who want to get out for a bit of a paddle. Yoga practice on holiday doesn’t need to be a 60-minute vinyasa flow at the crack of dawn. However, if that is your jam, then when in the tropics your sun salutes should be on a beach, right? Located just down past the SLSC, this is yoga in it’s tropical, outdoorsy finest. Facilitated by Deep Yoga Studio (they have a studio in town), let the sounds of the ocean lap the shoreline as you ‘ohm’ and take in your morning with beach yoga.
Fancy something new, something different to see the sights? Bringing to the beach the best form of transport since rollerblades, Port Douglas Segways take daily tours spanning the whole of Four Mile Beach, darting in and out of small rainforest trails, creeks and low sandy flats. The northern end also signals the start of the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Definitely worth the effort, this walk is perfect for those Insta-worthy views spanning out over the Coral Sea and Low Isles, all the way out to Snapper Island and the Daintree Rainforest. There’s a 1.5 kilometre walking track linking Four Mile Beach and Rex Smeal Park that winds through the rainforest and around the headland, offering panoramic views of unrivalled natural beauty.
The Southern end of the beach is a hive of activity for the sporty types. Stand Up Paddleboarding with Windswell SUP & Kiteboarding is popular down this way in the mornings, gliding over coral and spotting green sea turtles on their way to Low Isles for the day. Dolphins are occasionally spotted, along with manta rays and an abundance of fish. Afternoons give way to kite surfing, especially in the winter months with stronger south-easterly winds chopping up the surf for some epic breaks. For mountain bikers and runners, the hard-packed sand of Four Mile Beach is a perfect way to raise the heart rate. PD Bike Shop & Hire have a wide range of bikes available for hire… and who knows, you may love it so much that you’ll be back for the annual Triple-R MTB Race, Australia’s oldest (and most gruelling) point-to-point mountain bike race!
For the foodies, you’ve not been left out! Four Mile Beach is situated just on the edge of a point which makes it the perfect spot for the most breathtaking sunrises and idyllic sunsets. There are picnic and barbeque facilities scattered down the stretch of beach at both the Northern and Southern end, so it’s ideal to take your own BBQ goodness and cook up a feast as you watch the sun go down. The Lighthouse Café on the corner overlooks the main beach and makes a mean morning coffee after all that physical exertion. Across the road, the Port Douglas Surf Club is a cracking spot for afternoon snack, with a super tasty daily menu that is conveniently close to a playground. Try the barramundi tacos and thank us later. For something a little fancier, Hi Tide By the Beach at the Peninsula Boutique Hotel is a perfect spot to settle in for an evening as the sun goes down with a seasonal fruit cocktail in hand. When tropical fruits taste this good, why wouldn’t you?
If your idea of nirvana includes salty seas and sandy toes, Four Mile Beach is a destination you don’t want to miss on your tropical escapade. And with all the activities available, it’s best you grab the sunscreen, whack on a hat and simply enjoy.