UPDATE | 26 January 2024:
The road between Cairns and Port Douglas is now open! There are a few stops along the way which allows single lane traffic governed by traffic lights. Drive safely, keep an eye out for the many new waterfalls, and we look forward to seeing you here!
UPDATE | 19 January 2024:
On opening of the coast road between Cairns and Port Douglas on Saturday 20th January 2024, there will be three single lane sections. It is estimated that driving from Craiglie to Cairns will take approximately 90 minutes.
UPDATE | 16 January 2024:
The Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) provided an update on Tuesday 16th January 2024 that it is continuing to progress works on Captain Cook Highway between Buchans Point and Oak Beach.
It remains on track for the planned opening of Captain Cook Highway on Saturday 20 January at 8am, weather and site conditions permitting.
Following the opening of the section between Buchans Point and Oak Beach motorists will be able to travel between Cairns and Port Douglas on the Captain Cook Highway.
There will be some single lane sections between Buchans Point and Oak Beach. Motorists should plan their journey and expect delays.
There are shuttle buses that are transferring visitors between Cairns and Port Douglas via the inland road.
Shuttles & Private Transfers:
Paradise Limousines | 0403 507 069
Exemplar Transfers | (07) 4213 3333
Port Douglas Transfers | 0488 090 823
Damage to the road between Cairns and Port Douglas has hindered the 'usual' way to get to Port; however, it has opened up the opportunity to catch a boat along the coast from Cairns to Port Douglas, allowing for a scenic and relaxing few hours before arriving in the tropical north. Please note the boats will stop running on the 18th of January 2024. Alternatively, and if you would like to have your own vehicle from Cairns, you can take the inland road through the township of Mareeba. Here is a snippet of a what a recent visitor to Tropical North Queensland had to say about the drive:
'Driving across the range from Cairns to Port Douglas - good news for those coming, it is safe and relatively easy to drive. The first 12 kilometres are slow and have tight turns, and the final 10 kilometres coming off the ranges before hitting Mossman are also slow. The road is all sealed except for one section of 30 metres near Julatten. In summary, the speed picks up after you pass Kuranda and that road through to Mareeba is fantastic. When you get to Mareeba, please turn right and head through the township which is bigger than expected and a great spot for a rest. Change your GPS from Mareeba to Julatten and along the way after passing through Mount Molloy, is the turn-off for Julatten - you see a huge sign that reads Mossman & Port Douglas. Turn off your GPS and just stay on that road - it is an easy cruise to your destination.
Any future tourists that are thinking of cancelling because of this drive - don't be crazy, its a comfortable drive (in daylight hours) and the reward is FNQ's slice of paradise.
Please keep your plans and come to Port Douglas... absolutely beautiful'