Nautilus set the standard more than 50 years ago, when Port Douglas had probably never heard the term ‘gourmet’. In the centre of town, yet somehow re-creating a magical candlelit forest setting, dining here is beneath the stars. Chef Richard Hayes creates dishes that defy categorisation, commanding your complete attention because they are so imaginative and including perhaps a touch of France, Thailand, the Middle East and tropical Queensland. Bill and Hillary Clinton celebrated their wedding anniversary here in 1996, it was a huge favourite with Gough Whitlam in the early days, and when Diane Cilento and Anthony Sheaffer bought it, theatre luvvies flocked there in the 1980s. There is also a degustation menu.
17 Murphy St; (07) 4099 5330; open daily for dinner