The road leading into the city
The road leading in to Port Douglas is quite unique compared to the other places we visited....the road is completely lined on both sides by a long avenue of palm trees, with the effect that you feel like you're driving along Hollywood Boulevarde or something, with country clubs and enormous hotels also lining the way.
Diving the Great Barrier Reef
After looking aroung jdlastra's page with all the great dive pics, I realized that I had neglected giving you all a great tip about Port Douglas and diving the reef.
"Synergy", is a 62 ft. catamaran that sails out of Port Douglas Monday through Friday.
It will cost you only about $30 more than if you were to go out with "Quicksilver" but the maximum group with Synergy is 12 (for a daytrip). Quicksilver takes about 300!
The great Synergy folks even send a limo to pick you up from your resort! It's a real bargain in my book.
Lunch is provided, there is a divemaster on board, and no want/need is overlooked. This was a great experience. I highly recommend this company.
The best part of the dive? Giant clams! Like 4 feet wide! That's a bunch of clam fritters! And clam soup, and fricassee' clam, and clam casserole, and, and , and..........
No pearl though.
Haba Dive the Great Barrier Reef!
I recommend Haba Dive highly if all those in your party intend to snorkel or scuba... if there are some who don't want to get in the water, I recommend Quicksilver - see my other tip. The Haba Dive boat is smaller and family-owned and you definitely felt like you were getting more personal attention. The fee for an adult is $155 (child 4-12 $95) which includes wet suits, all snorkel equipment, local transfers, morning and afternoon tea, fresh tropical buffet lunch, education reef brief, and a guided snorkelling tour.
Glass bottom boat - $10/adult, $5/child
Pickup/dropoff to Cairns - $15
Intro dive - $50
2nd intro dive - $40
Two Certified dives if you bring your own gear - $40
Two Certified dives including all gear/computer & guide - $60
Third Certified dive - $15
The schedule for the day was - 8:30am departure, a little over an hour trip to first location, snorkel/dive time, lunch on the boat while travelling to the 2nd location, snorkel/dive time at 2nd location, a little over an hour trip back and arrive around 4pm.
The afternoon tea included some very yummy desserts like a chocolate swirl cheesecake! Also, this smaller boat made the possibility of seasickness a bit greater and our trip back home was quite a wild ride... I did get sick... but I didn't take the precaution of the seasickness tab as you begin the journey. So, if there is any chance you may feel sick, just take the pill and don't sit in the inside next to the food (that is the worst spot for feeling sick)!
So overall, Haba Dive was an excellent trip and I highly recommend it if all your party will be snorkelling or scuba diving, but if some don't want to get wet, try Quicksilver with better options for staying dry.
Port Douglas has the Clink Theare. I have not been lucky enough to be in Port when they have had plays on.
Check out the local paper or walk around to the theatre and check out the notice board.
Most places we went to along the Queensland coast between Mackay and the Daintree, we were expecting to be super super touristy, rather expensive, and pretty exclusive, but all along the way, we were pleasantly surprised by how unspoilt so many places still were.
Pt Douglas though could be a little different...I wouldn't describe it as unspoiled (though the beaches are great and the town beautiful) but it definitely IS exclusive, and driving down its palm tree lined boulevard, passing country club after country club and huge resorts, seeing helicopter pads, guided tour buses and courtesy buses everywhere.....it wasn't really for us, but we sure had a great time browsing some of the many exclusive shops (though there are a few affordable ones too) and admiring the scenery.
And another beautiful photo of the ocean from the lookout at Port Douglas....just superb