Safe Travel In The Time of COVID

By Sharon Timms
Aug 18, 2020. Last updated Oct 19, 2021


As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 bubble throughout the world, including Australia, here’s what travellers need to know about travelling in the Port Douglas and Daintree region.

Please note that with all COVID-19 travel-related news – these restrictions are likely to change at lightning speed; therefore it’s highly recommended that you check with the appropriate state and territory offices, relevant health departments and airlines prior to planning a trip.

Who can go on holiday in Port Douglas Daintree?

Anyone in Australia can currently come to visit us here in Port Douglas Daintree, except those who have recently come from hotspots and overseas. For those who have come from hotspots and overseas, mandatory quarantine and COVID testing prior to entry is currently in place. A Queensland Roadmap has been released for interstate and international travel leading up to Christmas 2021.

There are hefty fines for anyone providing false information, so we absolutely recommend not skirting the rules.

Can I book a holiday house or a hotel room?

There’s plenty of accommodation open across the region but they must have a health management plan in place. Camping sites and caravan parks have reopened shared shower and kitchen facilities with COVID Safe plans, and bookings are essential for stays in national parks.

How are we managing social distancing?

Have you ever seen peak hour traffic on Four Mile Beach? We were the socially distancing bosses before social distancing was even cool, yo. We’ve been keeping apart together for a while now! Seriously though, we are very conscious of social distancing and encourage everyone to o the same. This is an extraordinary region in a very special part of the world, and we intend to keep it that way. Keep an eye out for those snazzy COVID SAFE signs to reassure compliance.

Can I go hiking, camping or stay in a caravan park?

Absolutely! Being outdoors at one with Mother Nature is definitely one of the many perks of being in the tropics! While all national parks are open, some have limited access to facilities. Although caravan parks are open, they have been rather busy with all those roadtrippers of late, so it’s best to call ahead and make a booking. Fishing and boating are allowed, and camping is A-OK, just making sure you exercise social distancing, tropical style - stay at least one adult cassowary’s width away from each other.

I want to go diving on the Great Barrier Reef — can I?

In short, yes. All tourism experiences are operating with reduced capacities in compliance with the Queensland Government Restrictions Roadmap, so it's definitely recommended to contact operators independently to get the low down on what they're allowed to do - businesses have had to adapt to changing requirements with lightning speed, all while continuing to provide the exemplary service we're known for here in the North.

Queensland Government Restrictions Roadmap

What about Mossman Gorge, Daintree, Cape Tribulation and Cooktown?

Yes, all restrictions to these areas have currently been lifted and travel to regional areas is encouraged to help the tourism industry and stimulate the economy. However, we do ask that you exercise respect and precaution when coming into these areas as it is widely understood that our First People Elders are particularly vulnerable.

What else is open?

Restaurants, cafés and bars are open, all operating under COVID-safe precautions and guidelines. Registration must be recorded for each person on entry, and venues are operating with restrictions in place. Wildlife exhibits and retail stores are also allowed to open but may be working at reduced capacity to allow appropriate social distancing, depending on current guidelines. Many are selling entry tickets only online and other purchases are contact-free. Craft markets and farmers markets are operational, again adhering to social distancing rules.

What’s not open?

You may notice not all businesses are open. Due to the lack of international and some interstate travellers some businesses have elected to remain in hibernation until greater numbers return. In the Daintree region where the community lives off the grid, restarting visitor servicing infrastructure is costly and as such many will remain in hibernation until visitor numbers increase. If in doubt, call ahead.

We look forward to welcoming you to the region with warm (sanitised) hearts and open arms (but no hugging just yet).


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