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About Douglas Shire Council

About the Shire

About the Shire

The Douglas Shire covers an area of 2,445km 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.

The First Peoples of the Douglas region are the Kuku Yalanji whose country extends from Mossman in the South to Cooktown in the North and Palmer River in the West. The Kuku Yalanji are rainforest people whose connection to the region extends back 50,000 years to be among the earliest human occupations in Australia.

Where the rainforest meets the sea, the Douglas region is a world-renowned tourist destination enveloped by several of Australia’s World Heritage listed, magnificent natural boundaries: Wet Tropics rainforest-covered mountain range to the west and north, and 95km of Coral Sea coastline and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to the east.


News By Douglas Shire Council

No Ferry Tale … It’s Free!

No Ferry Tale … It’s Free!

By Douglas Shire Council

28 Nov 2018

DAINTREE CALLING FOR FNQ LOCALS | The Daintree Ferry will be FREE to regional FNQ residents for the next three months. 

The free ferry trip is the best incentive for local residents to get out and visit one of the world’s most enchanted places ¬– or make that much anticipated return visit to this unique tropical location.

The usual fee of $28 will be scrapped for local residents until February 28.

Local is classed as residents from Cardwell to Cooktown, including the Atherton Tablelands.


Daintree Ferry 'Early Bird' Trial

Daintree Ferry 'Early Bird' Trial

By Douglas Shire Council

15 Sep 2017

The Daintree Ferry has experienced record numbers of vehicles travelling on the ferry in the past 18 months. Council has been working with local tourism operators north of the Daintree River to develop strategies to minimise delays while encouraging visitors to experience the beauty of the world’s oldest rainforest and the early bird discount is the latest initiative.

From 15 September to 3 October inclusive, Douglas Shire Council will trial an ‘early-bird’ discount for ferry travellers for any vehicle in the car/ute category travelling before 9am each day, reducing the return fare by over 25 per cent to just $20 and offering one-way fares for just $10, a discount of over 33 per cent for self-drive tourists.

Mayor Leu said initiatives implemented such as the Douglas Card – which offers free travel on the ferry to residents of the Douglas Shire, Cairns Regional Council, Mareeba Shire, the Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Cooktown and Wujal Wujal areas between 1 November and 28 February – had helped stimulate record visitor numbers for the region.

“We are hopeful this new ‘early-bird’ discount for self-drive tourists during this trial period will also have a positive impact on not just the Daintree economy, but make the experience of visiting the Daintree better for everyone by reducing the demand for travel during peak periods for north bound traffic,” Mayor Leu said.

“Following the trial, Council will complete an analysis of travel trends for corresponding periods in previous years to ascertain the effectiveness of offering discounted ‘early bird’ fares.”

Council will be promoting the discounted fares extensively in the upcoming weeks however the local tourism industry is encouraged to contribute to the success of the trial and share the information with their own networks to inform as many visitors as possible about the initiative.

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