If your type of holiday is not relaxing by the pool at a beachside resort, then accommodation on or walking distance to Macrossan Street could be your taste.
The busiest street in town it has everything there is to offer in Port Douglas. Accommodation to suit all budgets, restaurants, cafes, hotels and hotels with entertainment each evening. For the ladies there are many upmarket speciality stores.
Travel agent selling day tours to the outer reef, Daintree River and Rainforest, etc etc can find the tour for you.
At one end of Macrossan Street is the beach and Surf Club, whilst at the other end is Anzac Park, the old Sugar Wharf and the Combined services Club.
Our visit was for Breakfast With The Birds which includes a buffet breakfast within an extremely large enclosure, similar to a circuis tent, but larger.
All varieties of local birds free fly within the enclosure. You can get real close and often they land on your head, if your lucky they might land on your arm. Guides are there to answer your questions.
After breakfast we took the tour through the 3 unique enviroments: Wetlands,Rainforest and Grasslands which included, kangaroos, fresh water crockodiles, salt water crocodiles, lorikeets, emu, owls, water fowl,tree kangaroos, snakes etc etc.
For overseas visitors wishing to see a variety of native animals this is the place to visit.
Open 7 days: 8am to 5pm.
The Church was originally built in 1880 and destroyed by a cyclone in 1911. Over the years it became the last remaining Church in Port Douglas.
The Catholic Church gave the building to several resident who organised its restorarion and moved it to its present location November, 1988.
The Church is beautifully restored by the local Restoration Society and is open to visitors daily.
Open for Community Worship 11am Sundays'.
We were lucky our resort was less than 5 minutes walk from the beach. We like the beach much better than any swimming pool.
The beach changes daily, usually due to the weather conditions, however human activity on the beach is always there to grab your attention. In this instance it was Kite Surfing, on the next day it was a topless woman doing her daily 4 mile run.
Who knows what tomorrow may bring?
We spent a fantastic day (noon to 6.30pm) on the Shaolin chinese sail boat which takes you out to the Low Isles for an afternoon of snorkelling or checking out the corel on the glass bottom boat. As max numbers are 23 the experience is very personal and laid back - a pleasant change from the more touristy Reef trips like the Quiksilver that take large numbers.
The cost is AUD140 and well worth it.
One of the most beautiful sights on land around Port Douglas would have to be Mossman Gorge located just a little north of the city. Mossman Gorge is a popular place for locals and tourists to take a dip in the water and enjoy some slow moving rapids. There are also a few walking tracks near the gorge, which include a nice little suspension bridge that hangs over the river.
Mossman is located in the middle of Daintree National Park, this is also consider the traditional home of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. Although we did not get the chance, we also found out that there are specific track talks and tours put on by Aboriginal culture guides.
It's not really a submarine, but a vessel with looking windows to explore the corals. Well it give you the feeling that you are in a submarine though. You embark via a opening in the top and you sit on benches two by two short to each other.
And when we are fully loaded, they close the hatch and they take off for an viewing experience to another part of the Reef around the floating platform. This is for people who don't like to get wet and to give them also a snorkel experience without the salty water.
It's a nice alternative when you can't swim or don't want to snorkel. But why not do both, because this is free when you are on the Quicksilver platform.
A helicopter flight over the Reef opens another perspective for me. Where I just looked at the Reef with the eyes of a fish, you now see it from the bird's perspective.
I can tell you that you see the colours of the Reef beautiful from the sky. I never thought that it was so diverse. When you see the different colours of the Reef from the air a whole new world opens up for you.
Where one says Ireland has hundred shades of Green, well the reef has dozen colours of Bleu mixed with a lot of others. It's amazing.
Complimentary morning tea/coffee on boarding. For your safety, hot drinks are not served once the vessel is underway. Passengers are required to be onboard the vessel 15 minutes before departure.
9.45 am An informative Marine Biologist presentation is shown in the main cabin.
10.00am Wavedancer departs Marina Mirage for Low Isles.
A snorkelling demonstration is conducted during the journey to Low Isles.
Wavedancer arrives at Low Isles and your activities commence. The coral viewer and shuttle vessels leave for the island, and continue to run throuout the day. Your snorkelling equipment is available form the storage containers on the foredeck of Wavedancer. We recomend that you conduct all snokelling from the island. The guided snorkelling tour operates form the island. Introductory dives operate from the back of Wavedancer.
Lunch is served. Enjoy your tropical buffet. Bar operates throughout the day.
A Beach Walk is conducted by a Marine Biologist from the shuttle boarding area on the beach.
2.45pm Last shuttle leaves the island to return passengers to the vessel. Afternoon tea is served.
Depart Low Isles for Port Douglas. Enjoy light entertainment during the return journey.
Arrival at Marina Mirage, Port Douglas.
Built on the estuary, Morey Reef and the Coral Sea, the historic Sugar Wharf, the new marina and a tiny beach form the town end of Dicksons Inlet, with mangrove-lined swamps to be found further inland - a boat trip here will provide plenty of opportunities to spot crocodiles basking in the sun.
Approximately 12 kilometres to the north west of Port Douglas is Mossman Gorge and the southern boundaries of the Daintree National Park – the oldest living rainforest on earth, approximately 140 Million years old.
Mossman is something of a tourist run, although it tends to be popular with self-drivers. Group bookings tend to head further north to the town of Daintree further north and the coastal Cape Tribulation.
It's a strange experience, knowing that only a few kilometres away from this extraordinary rainforest are the palm-fringed beaches and coral reef of the ocean.
Mossman is not an overly spectacular gorge, but water collects in the gorge from two or three mountain streams, forming deep rock pools popular with swimmers. There's also a number of different tracks that take you through the forest, all fairly short (the longest being a circular 2 kilometres) and of medium difficulty (some short but steep climbs).
It's not up to much really, but it is one of the historic buildings in Port Douglas and at least you know the $A2 entry donation is contributing to its upkeep.
This small timber building was erected in 1879 and is the only structure to survive the 1911 cyclone. It ceased to be used by the courts in 1957 and was due to be demolished in the early 1960s, but local action prevented the destruction of the building, although it was moved to a different site further down Wharf St. But, new awareness of history resulted in the Court House being returned to its original (and current) location next to the police station at the Dickson Inlet end of Macrossan St. in 1993.
Today, staffed by volunteers, the court house is set up for the trial of Ellen Thomson and her young lover, John Harrison, for the murder of Thomson's husband, William, in 1887. Ellen is the only woman legally hanged in the State of Queensland. Mannikins of Thomson, Harrison and the residing judge are placed in situ and the jury's bench is there for you to sit and ponder. The story of the trial and history of the Thomson family are to be found on the walls, but its hardly the most riveting exhibition - especially as the walls also hold information about other aspects of Port Douglas life and history.
Not much to keep you unless you are particularly interested in the case.
Open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am-3pm.
Overlooking the open sea and Dickson Inlet, the park is the perfect spot for a picnic, bbq (facilities provided), sunbaking without the sand, watching the boats go out to sea and one of the key sunset points. On Sundays, there's also the market - crafts, fruit, vegetables and locally made produce.
Sadly, we never caught a sunset - every afternoon around 3pm the clouds would role in. But photos still show dramatic skies.
One of the main attractions of Port Douglas - a palm tree fringed, golden-sanded beach sweeping out of Port south towards Cairns with a stunning backdrop of rainforested hills. Julan (Aboriginal for ocean or sea) Park runs along the beach at the town end, providing shade, toilets and bbq facilities. This part of the beach, with facilities and a stinger net in the summer, is inevitably the most popular part of the beach. But with a beach that is predominantly 'compacted' sand, hire a bike and cycle the four miles to get away from the crowds – or simply to experience the beach in a different way.
A greta day out - we caught the gondolas up to Kuranda adn had a nice pub lunch there.
Ont eh wat back we went on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Upgrade to Gold Class, it really is very enjoyable and you are basically assured of getting a window seat, along with endless refreshments and a souvenir pack (pen, pin & postcard).
The views are great.