Port Douglas Festivals 2022: Hot & Steamy and more

Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas’s famous two hectares of lagoon pools serve as a sparkling aqua backdrop to a bustling pop-up Festival Village of food stalls, open-air bars, cooking demos and live music.

As the smoking ceremony — performed by kuku yalanji locals — comes to its conclusion, the sound of tropical birdsong is joined by that of corks popping. Smells of pulled pork croquettes with kimchi, roast lamb with red capsicum, and barramundi ceviche start to waft across the lawns.

Taste Port Douglas is back after a four-year hiatus and, considering Queensland’s borders are still shut to large parts of the country, it’s pulled in an impressive line-up. Local Michelin-starred chef Spencer Patrick (Harrisons) plays host to his peers from across the country, including Adam Wolfers of Gerard’s Bistro and Arc Dining’s Alannah Sapwell.

Ben Williamson (Agnes) is here too, hanging his pork and pineapples over the campfire in readiness for tonight’s Harry Hawker Street Food Party.

Yesterday’s opening event, the much-anticipated Long Lunch, took place under the poinciana trees in Market Park, compered by celebrity chef Alistair McLeod, and catered by four of the best local restaurants, in collaboration with Dominique Rizzo (lemon and pecorino gnocchi), Laura Sharrad (roasted Spencer Gulf king fish), Jake Nicholson (Grilled Ora King salmon), and cookbook author and all-round legend Philip Johnson (pork shoulder cooked in milk, garlic, lemon, and sage). F

or the rest of the weekend, there’s a busy schedule of a seafood feast, cocktail masterclass, gourmet golf, and other culinary events across town, culminating in Sunday evening’s closing party back at the Sheraton.

The success of (a plastic-free!) Taste Port Douglas 2021 isn’t hindered by the fact that all weekend long the sky is as blue as a bird’s wing, with a hint of a breeze blowing in off the ocean preventing it from being uncomfortably warm. 

Nestled between the Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree Rainforest — with a surprising hinterland of caves, gorges, waterfalls, and tea plantations — there are literally hundreds of very good reasons to visit this slice of the tropical Far North. And the good folks at Taste aren’t the only ones to see the potential. If you’re planning a trip in 2022, take a look at this Port Douglas festival schedule, and start turning dreams into plans.

Port Douglas festivals 2022

Hot & Steamy is Australia’s first major LGBTQI festival of the year, and a flamboyant example of diversity and inclusion in Far North Queensland. Iconic annual events such as the Taste in the Tropics (TITT) Long Lunch and the White Party on the marina’s Sugar Wharf lead up to the climactic Pool Party, hosted at one of the town’s most fabulous resorts.

Save the date: Feb 24-27 2022

Port Douglas Carnivale was originally held to mark the start of the sugar cane harvesting, but is now considered the official opening of the tourism season. Kicking off with the sparkly spectacle that is the Macrossan Street Parade, the weekend includes a Family Beach Day on Four Mile Beach (don’t miss the sandcastle competition), and live music from big-name acts. It coincides handily with the annual pitching of the Wonderland Spiegeltent — a 10-day program of cabaret, circus, magic, music and more. 

Save the date: Carnivale May 20-22 2022; Wonderland Spiegeltent May 13-22 2022

Art events in Port Douglas

The Port Shorts Film Festival shines the spotlight on the creativity of filmmakers from Australia and all around the world, and visitors to Port Douglas can watch the outdoor screening of shortlisted films under the stars in the town’s waterfront park. Dine al fresco from a range of food trucks and raise a glass at the waterfront bar. Legendary Aussie actor and Port Shorts ambassador Stephen Curry hosts.

Save the date: Oct 14-15 2022

Head north for Port Douglas Carnivale in 2022.
Head north for Port Douglas Carnivale in 2022.

Activities to do in Port Douglas

Known as the‘Race in Paradise’, the Great Barrier Reef IronMan is one of the world’s toughest triathlons in one of its most beautiful destinations. It kicks off with a 3.8km dip in the ocean off Palm Cove, continues with a 180km bike ride along the coastal headlands of the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas, and finishes up with a 42.2km jog along the palm-fringed Cairns esplanade. That’s a top spot to sink a cold beer when you’re done.

Save the date: June 12 2022

Things to do in Port Douglas

The Crocodile Trophy Bike Ride claims to be the world’s oldest and most iconic mountain bike stage race. Over nine days in the saddle, cyclists make their way from Cairns to Port Douglas along lush rainforest trails, over steep bush tracks, and across croc-infested rivers, ending up at the breath-taking Four Mile Beach.

Save the date: Nov 4-12 2022

Where to eat in Port Douglas

The Taste festival returns to Sheraton Grand Mirage Port Douglas in August 2022. Meanwhile, the Sheraton Taste Roadshow continues with events in Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast soon to be announced.

This article originally appeared on Escape

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