Rainy days in the tropical summer are very pretty... and greatly anticipated by locals (who doesn’t love a bit of puddle stomping?). Weather-watching during summer is practically a sport up this way, with bookies and punters betting on everything including day, time and amount of water felled during a downpour.
The affectionately-named ‘Green Season’ – called as such, well, because everything’s luscious and green – kicks in each year between December and April. With it comes longer, balmier days, a lot of sunshine, and (bingo) plenty of rain. No one can change the weather, so with true tropical North Queensland attitude, it’s best you pull on your double pluggers and make the most of your day! Below are nine of our favourite rainy day activities to 'wet' your appetite (#sorrynotsorry).
Only one-hundred and thirty-odd million years in the making, Mossman Gorge is located in the heart of the oldest continuously surviving rainforest in the world, the Daintree Rainforest. Get your David Attenborough on and take a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk with the local Kuku Yalanji people to explore nature, bush foods, listen to cultural stories and understand the importance of the wet season to the ecosystems here in the tropics.
Now, THIS is our kind of rainy day activity! There’s something quite luxurious about massages on holidays. Well, massages anytime, but especially massages on holidays with the sound of rain on the roof. You with us? Set in a beautiful tropical oasis in Port Douglas, Niramaya Villas & Spa is the pinnacle of natural luxury. Surrounded by the lush gardens, these guys know how to spa. It’s impossible not to feel completely absorbed in a cocoon of tranquillity.
Pop on your raincoat and wellies and immerse yourself in the Habitat’s lush rainforest environment and animals of the Wet Tropics. Walk the Predator Plank to play I Spy with Babinda, the 4.2M crocodile that lives in the billabong below; check out the python enclosures inside away from the rain, and interact with curlews, frogmouths and kookaburras whilst having an afternoon snack at the Curlew Café.
On the upside, water is already wet. Snorkelling and diving on the reef and diving on the reef is loads of fun whether it’s rainy or sunny, and the fish still come out in the rain! In fact, at this time of year, the Great Barrier Reef is phenomenal, with perfect water temperature and brilliant visibility. Channel your inner Catwoman (or cat burglar for the boys) and pop on your full length wetsuit (to protect from UV rays and any rogue stingers), and jump aboard a vessel to the Outer Reef, searching for Nemo and his mates. An experience not to be missed.
As the wet season picks up, so do the rapids! When it comes to adventure-seeking and adrenaline-chasing, white water rafting is where it’s at! Just south of Cairns is the thunderous Barron River, renowned for its wild rapids, rips and cascading waterfalls. Tee up a hot date between the team at Experience Co, the Barron River and big yellow floaty thing and take to the water, baby! It’s a helluva spot to see what Mother Nature can really do for fun.
Travel up the Dickson’s Inlet estuary in the Lady Douglas, an old fashioned paddle steamer, spotting crocodiles and other estuary wildlife on a calm water river cruise. Be entertained (and educated) with a commentary that covers mangroves, crocodiles, local history of Port Douglas and all there is to know about the area.
Some people like to have brunch on weekends. Others like being locked in a room with a few props and clues, solving puzzles to get out. In Port Douglas’s first Escape Room you have less than an hour – and counting down – to solve a series of puzzles using what you can ascertain from the room. Some clues are more obvious than others, and you’ll need to solve them in the right order if you’re going to get out.
As if we ever needed an excuse to lunch! But, just saying, if you DID need to justify, rain is a pretty good reason to get out of the house for some fine wine and snacks. The options are truly endless in Port Douglas – from the top end of town at Salsa Bar & Grill and Sassi e Cucina through to a little more casual at the Tin Shed or the iconic Central Hotel. Catch some live tunes at Paddy’s Irish Bar or Barbados, and you’ve got your afternoon set.
Janbal Gallery is more than just an Aboriginal art gallery – it is a true Aboriginal Experience completely Australian owned and operated by the artist. Learn about the dreamtime, animals and stories of country of the Aboriginal people of the Mossman region through hands-on painting and storytelling experiences. Entry is free, but there is a small charge for art workshops.
Okay, okay… we said nine activities, but we’ll give you this one for free. For some visitors it is quite the experience just watching HUGE amounts of water fall from the sky in a short period of time. The phrase ‘bucketing down’ was certainly coined here in the tropics - it’s not uncommon to have torrential down pouring for 30 minutes with the sun coming out not long after, producing some of the most extraordinary fairyfloss sky colours you'll ever see. Kick back with a book in hand, imagine you’re in a Ganggajang film clip and watch the lightning crack over cane fields.
*P.S. The green season in the tropics often has a more local, slower, authentic feel. It’s also often the best time to pick up super rates and deals on accommodation and activities. We do come with a warning though – please, please think safety first and avoid swimming in any waterholes and waterfalls during or after heavy rainfall.
Tourism Port Douglas Daintree acknowledges the custodianship of the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef by the local Kuku Yalanji and Yirraganydji people whose rich cultures, heritage values, enduring connections and shared efforts protect our natural assets for future generations, and we pay our respect to elders past, present and emerging.