Fab finds in Macrossan St, Port Douglas

This retail strip in Far North Queensland is a great place to stock up on glam beachwear, boutique buys and fun finds from around the world

A view of a a beach near Port Douglas.
  • Simon Furlong
  • August 2014

① Rose & Boy

Conceived and owned by two local families and named after their toddler offspring (India Rose and Zekke – aka Zekke Boy), this funky boutique is at the Four Mile Beach end of the strip. Cool clothes for guys and girls crowd the racks, with both international and Australian designers represented. Labels include Scotch & Soda for men; and Cameo, Eselah, Mink Pink, Isla by Tahlula, Kuku, OneTeaspoon and Samantha Wills jewellery for women. It’s beachwear, sure, but with style.

56 Macrossan St, +61 07 4099 4522, roseandboy.com opens in new window

② With Sugar

With Sugar owner Alison Kleyngeld made a sea change from Tasmania to Port Douglas in 2013 after running a similarly eclectic gift store there. For a small store, it has a staggering amount of objets d’art such as ceramic rabbits, leatherbound notebooks, kids’ stationery, handbags, jewellery, picture frames and patterned scarves. It’s a store that wouldn’t look out of place in Sydney’s Paddington.

Shop 4, Reef Anchor House, 43 Macrossan St, +61 0448 328 614

③ Ngarru Gallery

This Indigenous fine-art space mentors up-and-coming artists as well as sourcing contemporary Aboriginal art from Central Australia and Far North Queensland. Investment pieces line the walls, but if you’re looking for something that will fit in your hand luggage, smaller dot paintings range in price from $150-$250. The collection includes Maningrida sculpture, weavings and termite-hollowed didgeridoos.

Shop 1-2, 31 Macrossan St, +61 07 4099 5531, ngarrugallery.com.au opens in new window

④ Tshinta

Anyone who’s been on a tropical holiday knows the phenomenon: what you wear at home can feel inappropriate in a palm-fringed place like Far North Queensland. Safe colours such as black, and modest cuts such as one-pieces, suddenly seem too dowdy, and the desire to buy a bright, patterned bikini can hit like a tropical fever. Tshinta caters almost exclusively to travellers who’ve succumbed to this illogical lust for new bathers. Suits and separates are available in sizes up to an F-cup, and you can get a pair of matching thongs.

7/30 Macrossan St, +61 07 4099 5886, tshinta.com opens in new window

⑤ Barbarella & Swan

Awarded Best Retailer at the 2013 local Douglas Business Awards, Barbarella and Swan is aimed at women of all shapes and sizes. Owner Barbara Dippenaar says she selects pieces that have flattering lines, patterns and colours, and that the store brings a “touch of Paris” to Macrossan Street. On sale are accessories, shoes and handbags, but their main stock in trade is dresses: hundreds of dresses. Think polka dots and florals for days at the races or tea parties, or an amped-up mother of the bride.

11 Portico Building, 53-61 Macrossan St, +61 07 4099 4212, barbarellaswan.com.au opens in new window

⑥ The Original Port Douglas Tile Company

The lesson: don’t judge a shop by its name alone. What we expected: bathroom mosaics and concrete pavers. What we found: ceramic skulls, feathered headdresses and pink flamingos. The “tiles” of the shop’s title are in fact handmade wall decorations printed with retro tourism images. If you’ve been to Greece, the Côte d’Azur or Bondi (or even Mildura!) and forgotten to buy a souvenir, stock up here.

Shop 2, 35 Macrossan St, +61 0417 713 600

⑦ Imagine

An outdoor market unto itself, Imagine’s stock is strung up around the verandah and inside of one of the oldest original Queenslanders in town. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of 1970s hippy-style ephemera such as multicoloured Tibetan flags, wind chimes, mirrored mobiles, crystals, lanterns, Hindu Ganeshas, Balinese Buddhas, carved statuettes, fish-shaped kites, butterfly garden ornaments and frangipani paintings.

10 Macrossan St, +61 07 4099 6955