Stephen Curry’s insider tips on the best things to do in Port Douglas

The actor and comedian Stephen Curry goes troppo for this Queensland coastal wonderland, where toad racing and film festivals meet.

Port Douglas beach and ocean on sunny day, Queensland, Australia.
  • Rachel Gray
  • October 2019

Skyrocketed to stardom after appearing in the iconic Australian flick The Castle (1997), comedian and actor Stephen Curry returns to Port Douglas for another year as an ambassador for the short film festival Port Shorts, which showcases some of the best emerging international, local and young talent.

With two days of acting, filming and cinematography workshops followed by two days of screening (25-26 October), the festival also offers the opportunity to sample a tropical paradise in this Queensland seaside town. Here, Stephen lifts the lid on some local secrets...

Sunset over water and beach with Port Douglas Pier in background.
Sunset at the end of a beautiful day in Port Douglas.

Port Douglas in a nutshell?

A chilled vibe, spectacular scenery, beautiful humans and a terrible place to leave. Your worst day in Port Douglas is better than a good day anywhere else.

What is the first thing you do when you arrive in Port Douglas?

Smile. Exhale. Get in the shorts. Put some sunscreen on. Get together with a few local mates and crack open a very, very cold beer.

Your ideal day in Port Douglas?

I’d start at dawn, slowly walk down to the marina, hop on the Dragon Lady fishing charter, catch a coral trout, have lunch and a beer on the boat. Get back to town and create a big slap-up feast of freshly caught seafood. Pair it with a crisp riesling and damn fine company. That would be my perfect day.

Must-dos for first time visitors to Port Douglas.

Toad racing at the Iron Bar, open mic night on Thursdays at Central Hotel is always a hoot and Hemingway’s down at the marina, where they have their own brewery. Also, get a swim as soon as you can but make sure you stay inside the nets.

What is so special about the Port Shorts film festival?

Incredible entertainment, beautiful food and drinks and a movie-going experience unlike any other.

People relax on the grass enjoying an outdoor screening of a movie during Port Shorts Film Festival in Port Douglas.
Port Shorts Film Festival in Port Douglas with Stephen Curry (inset).

A favourite memory you have of Port Shorts?

It was a perfect night – still, not a cloud in the sky – and just as the second film started, the full moon rose right behind the screen. It is the most magical location for a film festival, with the Coral Sea in front of you and the rolling hills of the Daintree Rainforest on the other side.

Three things you cannot travel without?

My wife and two kids. But when I travel solo: a curious mind, an open heart and noise reduction headphones.

Best places to eat in Port Douglas?

Salsa Bar & Grill is is where Wolf Creek producer Matt Hearn and I came up with the idea for our movie, Cape Tribulation, which we begin filming next year. Try their red claw linguini. You can’t go past The Little Larder's good old-fashioned bacon and eggs with smashed avocado. The best brekkie I’ve ever had! And Flames of the Forest is a little place up in the middle of nowhere. The whole experience is something to behold, the menu changes regularly but you won’t leave a morsel on your plate.