Beaches and Foreshores

The Douglas region has some of the most pristine beaches in Queensland, and our tropical beaches are a popular destination for individuals and groups all year round.

A swimming enclosure located at Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas is in the water to provide safer swimming conditions during the dangerous marine stinger season typically from November to May (subject to seasonal variability). Council provides lifeguard services on this beach at certain times. Swim safe and only swim at beaches patrolled by a lifeguard.

Lifeguard services

North Queensland Surf Life Saving Queensland officially patrols Four Mile Beach. All lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers are fully trained in first aid and in the treatment of marine stings from dangerous marine stingers. These stingers migrate to our waters in the warmer months (typically November to May though times vary from year to year).

North Queensland Branch is the most Northern Branch of Surf Life Saving Queensland which was established in 1950. The clubs that are part of our North Queensland Branch consist of South Mission Beach SLSC, Etty Bay SLSC, Cairns SLSC, Ellis Beach SLSC and Port Douglas SLSC.

Lifeguards also have direct contact with the Ambulance and State Emergency Service (SES) in the event of a medical emergency.

The lifeguards also supervise the stinger resistant enclosure systems at patrolled mainland beaches. The stinger nets are designed to minimise the threat from box jelly fish (Chironex fleckeri).

Up to date information on beach conditions can be obtained by contacting Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Far North Queensland Supervisor, on telephone 0403 577 649.

In the event of all marine stings where a lifeguard is not present, get out of the water and apply liberal amounts of vinegar, which can be found on all main beaches. Monitor the patient’s breathing and send for urgent medical attention.

Swimmers are advised to stay on the patrolled beaches, swim between the flags and to avoid swimming in saltwater creeks or tidal rivers, as estuarine crocodiles pose a very real and dangerous threat.

Swim safe during annual stinger season

Stinger season generally runs from November to May. The stinger resistant swimming enclosures at local beaches give a high degree of protection against Box Jellyfish (but are not 100 percent ‘stinger proof’).

Beaches may be closed when stingers are present. Closures remain in place until weather patterns change and drive stingers away from the coastline. Always heed lifesavers’ warnings and do not swim when beaches are closed.

Even when beaches are open, you can reduce your exposure to potential stings – wear protective clothing (wetsuit or full-body lycra suit) and enter the water slowly as stingers will often swim away, given the chance.

Beaches status

For current beaches status, view Surf Lifesaving Queensland’s North Queensland Marine Stinger Season Update website.

Freewheeler Beach Wheelchair

b&w wheelchairLifeguard Hut, Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

Please see the life guards on Four Mile Beach to collect the Freewheeler Beach Wheelchair. There is no cost to hire the Freewheeler, but you will need to sign an indemnity form.

Submit feedback: As part of ongoing evaluation of the use of the Freewheeler and improving the shire’s accessibility, we welcome any feedback regarding its use during your booking. Please submit feedback by contacting Council via email or calling 4099 9444.

Boat ramps

The Queensland Government provides a number of boating facilities such as boat ramps, pontoons and jetties within the Douglas Shire Council area.

For a list of locations and facility types, including amenities, restrictions and site conditions, visit the Maritime Safety Queensland website and search “boating facilities”.