Port Douglas

Trip Start Jun 16, 2012
Trip End Oct 14, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, September 6, 2012

We woke up early, rolled over and went back to sleep. Surprisingly all the sight-seeing, touring & travelling has made us quite tired and cooking our own dinner was the last straw – we were exhausted and need a couple of days of taking it easy.
After breakfast we collected beach chairs and towels from the pool and walked the two blocks to the beach, set up our spot, took our books out and chilled until about 15h30. It was just glorious, and the beach is lovely. Not the perfect white soft Llandudno sand, but quite acceptable. Sadly the girls on the beach are nowhere near like the Llandudno babes. In Al's opinion both the boys and the girls on the beach shouldn’t be let out of a dark back room, never mind into bikinis and boardies. There was one exception, Deb looked great in her new bikini and was the hot babe on the beach judging by the stares from the guys walking past. This is also in Al’s opinion!!!

The beach is four miles long, but only has a small swimming area about 100m wide with most of the sunbathers and swimmers around the swimming area apart from those at the big resort hotels about 3km along the beach. The small swimming area is due to the danger and annoyance of box jellyfish and crocodiles in the sea and waterways What’s really nice is there is a quad bike with a trailer that patrols the long beach selling cold drinks, ice-creams and other snacks. Deb had a Smartie "push-up" ice-cream that was the neatest thing we have seen and even has Smarties in the stick. We had a good long walk on along the beach and saw small crabs burrowing holes and rolling out lots of small sand balls. Apparently there are no box jellies at this time of the year, but the water has lots of twigs and seaweed, so swimming wasn’t much fun.

When we got back from the beach we chatted to Tim & Michelle, who run/part own our apartment block, and they suggested we do the Lady Douglas river cruise. This is a touristy 1,5 hour cruise on the Dixon Inlet run by friends of theirs. We had 45mins to shower and walk to the marina which is 2 blocks away from our flat on the opposite side to the beach. Port Douglas is like a finger pointing up, less than 1 km across and four miles long with Four Mile Beach on one side of the finger & the Dixon Inlet/estuary/river & marina on the other and the shopping & commercial area as the fingernail pointing out to sea.

The river cruise is run by two middle aged ladies, Nikki serving drinks and snacks and Jenny the skipper, helmsman, tour-guide and croc spotter. We thoroughly enjoyed it and saw a couple of huge salt water crocs & the mangroves are fascinating. The cruise ended with us heading out the river mouth into the sea and turning around – there are no waves, it’s just a big pond. This was lovely as they timed it to coincide with sunset.

The yacht club and small boat marina is in the river with lots of boats also moored up the river for a few km. The Port Douglas peninsula protrudes into the sea past the river mouth where fishing boats are moored. They have cyclones and have a couple of cyclone shelters as you go upriver, but there are also a few boats that sunk in the last couple of cyclones that have not been salvaged.

As we came out of the mouth there were a couple of river front restaurants between the fishing boats that were busy & looked good, so after the cruise we walked to one of them for dinner. Deb couldn’t cook two nights in a row! You order your meal at the till, get a number and your order is then delivered to your table, and then get your drinks at the pub. The place was packed so while Al was buying drinks Deb chatted to a group of people that had been on the cruise and they invited us to join them at their table and we had an interesting evening chatting to them.

After dinner we walked along the shopping street, which is very similar to Plett’s main road with lots of trendy & expensive shops and restaurants. There was a lovely atmosphere and we ambled along enjoying the vibe.  The shops only close at 8pm which keeps the village area alive.
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