Our Communities

The Douglas Shire covers an area of 2,445km² from north of Ellis Beach in the south to the Bloomfield River in the north.

The economy of the shire depends mainly on tourism, with 1.2 million visitors annually exploring our many natural wonders, and agriculture of sugar cane farming and processing.

Douglas is home to around 12,000 residents. About 70% of Douglas residents live in the two main population centres of Port Douglas and Mossman,

Port Douglas is the tourist gateway to the region, while Mossman is the administrative, service, agricultural and industrial hub.

Other principal urban centres include the beachside communities of Wonga Beach, Newell Beach and Cooya Beach.

The remaining residents live in small, decentralised communities scattered along the 100km stretch of coast road; tucked into the rainforest or in small rural townships in the valleys of the Shire’s hinterland.

Who are we?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent the largest minority cultural group in Douglas with 7.7% of the population compared to 4% of the overall population of Queensland.

Today, 20% of the population of Douglas was born overseas and 7.3% of the Douglas population speaks a language other than English at home.

The Douglas Shire had a lower proportion of pre-schoolers and a higher proportion of persons at post-retirement age than Queensland in 2016.

Our workforce

According to the most recent census figures, more Douglas residents worked in accommodation and food services than any other industry in 2016.

About 33.5% of the Shire’s employees work in the retail, accommodation and service provision industries compared to 17.2% across Queensland – illustrating the depth of the Shire’s dependence on tourists.