Port Douglas, Cairns
Reported an artists' colony - think Taos or Monterey - we found it to be a seedy Carmel-by-the-Sea. Still, it has one gem for the photographer: St. Mary's by the Sea, a small church and very popular for weddings.
The Rainforest Habitat is a wildlife sanctuary with an abundance of indigineous wildlife. It's really nicely laid out, and there's a relaxed atmosphere where you can get up close and personal to many of Australia's extraordinary animals. Favourite features were:
1) a walkthrough Aviary where you can see the famous and rare Cassowary and different types of Kookaburra
2) the Koala Conservation Area, where for a fee you can have a picture taken with a Koala, but unlike many other places, you don't get to pick up the Koala as they can be easily hurt. Aswell as a chat on the Conservation side of their project all proceeds from the photos go to the Conservation Project
3) the Kangaroo pen where you can hand feed Kangaroos, Wallabies and Pademelons ?!?
There are also Crocs and Pelicans and lizards and so on and so on.
If you're going to visit one Wildlife Sanctuary while you're here this is the one to go to, and say hello to Lewis the Koala for me.
Lovely town on the sea from where you can take trips to the Barrier Reef. Some of the biggest Tour Operators are here, ie:Quicksilver, but don't rush through the town because it is well worth a visit in it's own right. The drive from Cairns itself is worth making the visit for as the road skims along the shore affording spectacular views of the coastline. There is also a 4 mile beach.
This tiny little church is on the edge of town and can easily be overlooked, but it is worth going to see while you're in the area. I've never been in a church with a better view, as behind the altar there is a large window with stunning views of the Daintree Rainforest and estuary. The other reason for visiting this church is an excellent beachside cafe near by called the Soul & Pepper (see restaurant tips)