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4 Mile Beach Australia is a picture postcard tropical beach in Port Douglas Australia. This beautiful sandy beach which is not, in fact, 4 miles long, is to be found in Far North Queensland on the northeast coast of Australia. It is lapped by the Coral Sea, protected by The Great Barrier Reef, and beyond that wonder of the natural world, lies The Pacific Ocean. There is only one real beach in Port Douglas Australia, 4 Mile, but several more beaches nearby.
4 Mile Beach
4 Mile Beach Australia has a tropical climate, and so, has year-round beach weather, more or less. We’ll talk about swimming conditions, weather, safety, stingers (jellyfish) and activities on 4 Mile Beach Australia
The little town of Port Douglas has a village-like feel and is hugely popular as a holiday or short break destination. Most of our visitors take trips to the reef from Port Douglas, but the beach is also popular as a year-round place to swim. The beach is closed occasionally by bad weather or wildlife dangers.
Tourists and locals use Port Douglas beach almost constantly. Wildlife incidents are rare, but read on.
4 Mile Beach Dangers
Australia has some beautiful and interesting wildlife. That wildlife includes saltwater crocodiles and deadly jellyfish. So you probably need to know about those if you’re planning to visit the 4 Mile Beach for a swim.
4 Mile Beach Location
The beach stretches from Macrossan Street, the heart of Port Douglas, south to the mouth of the Mowbray River. The northernmost limit of the beach is the rocky outcrop at the base of Flagstaff Hill.
You can walk the full length of Port Douglas beach in about 45 mins to an hour, it is 4Km long, not 4 miles. You can walk around Flagstaff Hill, at the beach’s northern end, using the Flagstaff Hill scenic walk, it’s a nice scenic walk, great for a stroll or serious exercise, but not suitable for everyone.
This scenic walk has a lot of steps and steep slopes. It’s probably not for you if you have mobility issues or if you’re pushing a baby in a stroller or pram. It makes a good place to run for athletes, and those training to be athletes.
As you round this rocky outcrop you will find a tiny bay, with sand. It almost directly faces Dickson’s Inlet, which is where the crocodiles live, although it is a popular, and pretty, wedding spot.
Another popular wedding location is Rex Smeal Park, a grassy area with palm trees overlooking the inlet. You’ll find this grassy area at the end of your Flagstaff Hill walk if you start on the eastern side, at the top of the beach.
There is more sand further into the inlet near the historic Sugar Wharf. This is not safe for swimmers and you shouldn’t get close to the water’s edge because of the crocodiles. This is not a useable beach in Port Douglas. 4 Mile Beach will be your safest bet.
Other Beaches Near 4 Mile Australia
North of Port Douglas you will find more sandy beaches, Cooya Beach is before Mossman, Wonga Beach is further north before you hit the Daintree Village, the Daintree River and Daintree Rainforest. None of these beaches have swimming enclosures and all of them have a risk of crocodiles. Once you cross the Daintree River you’ll find more beaches still, Cow Bay, Thornton’s Beach, but crocodile risk is high. These beaches are very unspoiled and beautiful.
South of Port Douglas you will find a collection of beaches known as the “Northern Beaches” before you arrive in Cairns city itself. Cairns is roughly 1 hour south of Port Douglas by car or shuttle bus, and lies at the point where an estuary meets the coral sea at Trinity Inlet. There are crocodiles in the Trinity Inlet, so again, no swimming, although the Cairns Ironman swim has been held here, I was in it!
Several of these Northern Beaches have stinger nets and lifeguard stations and are used for swimming.
Palm Cove is a pretty beach between Cairns and Port Douglas popular with tourists and holiday makers as it has plenty of nice hotels and dining options. Palm Cove does have a swimming inclosure for use in stinger season.
4 Mile Beach Best Hotels
Building regulations in this part of Australia, the Douglas Shire don’t allow development beach-side development, so all of Port Douglas’s hotels are set back a little way from the beach behind at least a row of palm trees and some grass, and near Macrossan Street along the Port Douglas Esplanade
These hotels are the closest to “beachside” in Port Douglas. Two of the nicest resorts in Port Douglas are almost on 4 mile beach, from one you have a reasonable view of the beach.
- The Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas. This is a beautiful hotel with a huge lagoon pool just behind the beach itself. This hotel is fairly close to the centre of Port Douglas and you can walk along the beach to Macrossan Street.
- Pullman Sea Temple Port Douglas. Another of the very best hotels in Port Douglas is towards the south end of 4 Mile Beach. Guests can use short boardwalks to access the beach from the hotel. As this hotel is a little out of town (about 45 mins walk) you may use your own vehicle or local shuttles to go into Port Douglas for dining. Many local tours will pick up guest from their hotels.
4 Mile Beach Camping
No free camping is allowed in Port Douglas Australia and there are no campsites adjacent to the beach itself. Most campsites in Port Douglas are just a short walk from the beach.
4 Mile Beach Conditions
If you plan to visit 4 Mile beach for a swim you can check current beach conditions using the beach-cam below.
Do as we do and check the 4 Mile Beach webcam. here.
If you see larger swell then waves may be coming over the swimming enclosure, in which case the net will be ineffective and therefore closed to swimmers.
This beach is patrolled (near the net and lifeguard station) by surf lifesavers, you’ll find flags and a sign giving you information on sea conditions, UV dangers and current status with regards stinger risk, plus any crocodile sightings.
Beaches Near 4 Mile Beach
- Oak Beach. Oak Beach is approximately 16 Km south of Port Douglas, a 15 min or so drive. Oak Beach has a small residential area and a creek running to the rear of the main sandy beach.
- Wonga Beach. Wonga Beach is at least a 30 minute drive north of Port Douglas, at a distance of 37 Km approx. It’s quite a big residential area.
- Cooya Beach. Cooya Beach is to the north of Port Douglas on the way to Mossman. It’s the closest Coral Sea beach to Mossman. Cooya Beach has some modest play equipment for small children and a slipway for boats. The boat ramp opens onto the river directly behind Cooya Beach at the north end of the Cooya Beach Road. There is no lifeguard station and no stinger net at Cooya Beach. There are abundant warning signs about crocodiles and jellyfish. To drive from Port Douglas (Macrossan St.) to Cooya takes about 17 mins (18.5Km) along the Captain Cook Highway.
- Pebbly Beach. Pebbly Beach is to the south of Port Douglas The drive from Port Douglas to Pebbly Beach, Queensland, is about 14 mins, 14 Km. There is also a Pebbly Beach in New South Wales.
- Ellis Beach. Ellis Beach is another of the beaches between Cairns and Port Douglas, this one does have a lifeguard station and a stinger net in season.
- Palm Cove. Palm Cove is a major holiday destination on the way north from Cairns to Port Douglas. It has a nice stretch of sand, a jetty, or pier, and many tourist facilities and good hotels. You’ll see Double Island just of Palm Cove beach
4 Mile Beach Activities
Activities available on 4 Mile Beach Port Douglas vary with time of year, weather conditions, and tourist numbers. Broadly, expect the following activities and facilities to be available on Port Douglas Beach.
These beach activities are a very small part of the extensive Port Douglas activities.
- Deckchair and sunshade hire
- Inflatables to rent
- Kayak hire
- Segway tours
- Kite surfing
- Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP)
- Showers and washrooms are available behind the beach
- Free public barbecues behind the beach.
If you have brought your own snorkel and mask, it is worth snorkelling inside the stinger net. You’ll sometimes find very large fish trapped in the folds of the net. We saw a large guitar shark or shovel-nosed ray inside the stinger net just last week.
Keep a safe distance from the net and do not touch it as jellyfish can be trapped in the mesh.
4 Mile Beach is a nice beach. It’s kept very natural, so expect some natural marine debris and nowhere to stop for a coffee on the sands. As with many beaches in Queensland and Australia, there is no development on the beach itself.
If you’re looking for souvenir shops and restaurants, find those on Macrossan St and at the Port Douglas Superyacht Marina.