The essential Port Douglas shopping guide
We holiday to switch off, unwind, shake off the shackles of the everyday grind and treat the temple that is our (often frazzled) body and mind. And as any holiday maker to Port Douglas knows, the secret to full-blown relaxation comes not only through snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef, sipping champagne as the sun sets into a blissfully warm evening aboard a yacht, or falling asleep with a book on Four Mile Beach.
It can also be achieved through a very specific type of therapy, made all the more pleasurable and rewarding when done on holidays.
We’re talking retail therapy and within the few hundred metres of CBD you’ll find so much more than just ubiquitous surfwear stores, souvenir shops, hat stands and chains like Witchery, Lorna Jane, Cotton On and Just Jeans.
In this compact shopper’s nirvana, you’ll discover everything from jewellery that can be customised with an image of the moon on your exact date of birth, right through to homewares imported from Africa and VB gelato (yes, really!).
Start with this guide to shopping in Port Douglas and we bet the stress will leave your body quicker than you can say “Thai massage” (probably Port’s third most prominent business type after retail and restaurants).
For your beach bag… Tahitian Lime
Could there be a better souvenir to take home from your Port Douglas holiday than a locally-designed swimsuit, emblazoned with local artwork and made on the Gold Coast? This swimwear brand is the brainchild of sisters, Prue and Brooke Needham, who opened the doors to their gorgeous boutique in January.
Not only are the one-pieces and separates a feast for the eyes with artwork by local artist, Wade Lewis, splashed across them in tropical tones, but 10% of all sales go to BARC, the non-profit Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre.
In the store you’ll also find floaty, gypsy dresses and jumpsuits from Australian labels Jaase and Arnhem, suede fringed bags, Quay Eyewear sunglasses and beach bags dripping with pom poms. They also sell online so you can keep your wardrobe well stocked once you touch down back home.
For the eye candy… Aloha Lucy
Just along from Tahitian Lime, you’ll spot the hanging crochet chairs and captivating carnival-style lights of Aloha Lucy. Head here to stock up on goodies for you and your home, or pick up the perfect present for someone with a birthday coming up.
We love the Wildfire candles, leather bags, dresses and crochet cushions.
For your home… Ahoy Trader
Grab a coffee, brewed from the striking turquoise espresso machine at Sparrow Espresso at the front then prepare to drop some dollars in this covetable space.
If you’ve visited Byron Bay on your travels you likely spotted some of the striking artwork and ceramic crosses that have helped artist Jai Vasicek make a name for himself. Here in the second outpost of his store, Ahoy Trader, you’ll find his painted tiles and embellished crosses alongside scented candles and a tight edit of clothing and homewares.
Prepare to visit at least a few times during your stay, if only for the eye candy.
For your yacht (even if only in your dreams): Martinique Island Style
Been for a cocktail at Barbados on the marina yet? If not, stop reading this and go there first, then come back and we’ll let you in on a little secret. All the dreamy decor and homewares found within this lounge bar are for sale in the open-by-request store, Martinique Island Style (found just inside the marina building).
Pick up one of the iconic blue-and-white-striped beach umbrellas, slip the Japanese-style tea sets into your carry-on and try to figure out how to smuggle one of the impressive large coral formations back home so it can take pride of place on your coffee table.
For shopping with a side of coffee: Pebble
From the outside Pebble looks like the type of coffee shop you’d expect to find on a tropical island and inside the island vibes continue with driftwood hanging mobiles, lots of gauzy white fabrics and chunky Cool Earth Beads, which will help you fight the summer humidity.
For the kids: Love Always
Your kids will be the sharpest dressed little humans in town after a purchase from this beautiful new kids boutique on Macrossan Street, which opened its doors this month!
You’ll find labels like Hugo Boss, DKNY and Marc Jacobs in mini sizes stocking the racks here as well as some seriously cute formal wear, which is ingenious of the owners owing to the popularity of Port as a destination wedding hot spot (there are up to 500 weddings a year here!).
They stock up to size 12 in most labels and have plenty of adorable accessories to complete the look.
For boys only: Captain & Crew
On the list of typical boys’ activities – fishing, surfing, tormenting younger sisters – shopping isn’t really known to pull rank but at Captain & Crew the stock is tailored specifically for boys and men of all ages so you can get styled up together.
Mix and match from labels like Mossimo, Nautica and Superdry and you’ll even find some pretty natty bamboo socks lining the back wall so you can show off your ankles at dinner tonight.
For your body: Deep Wholefoods
Tucked away from the main street on the corner of Owen and Warner Streets, follow your yogi nose to this yoga studio, massage therapy and bathhouse complex, which also offers up a tightly curated selection of whole foods.
Stocking Kitz Living Food products – all activated, vegan, raw and gluten free, through to locally-made kombucha and Fusion health supplements, Deep Wholefoods is also the exclusive Lululemon stockist for Port Douglas.
Whether you need a dose of bone broth, have a craving for kimchi, or just want some high-quality organic dark chocolate, you’ll find it here amongst the “omms”.
For a good read: Whileaway Bookshop and Cafe
As the name suggests you can certainly while away the hours here, and not only because half of the store is actually a cafe serving up coffee, tea and treats.
Inside you’ll find a book lover’s utopia – beach reads, heavy coffee table tomes, fun kids activity books – and plenty of gorgeous toys and greeting cards for all occasions.
For the perfect gift: With Sugar
Don’t leave Port Douglas without at least poking your head into this fantastic gift shop, overflowing with a million options for anyone you’ve ever exclaimed is “so hard to buy for!”
From eco water bottles and coffee cups through to cheeky greeting cards, locally made beeswax candles to board games, ceramic coasters and neoprene tablet covers printed with visions of the Great Barrier Reef, there’s too much fun for one afternoon in here.
What was that luggage allowance limit again?