A bit of luxury in Port Douglas
Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
18Trip End Mar 28, 2009
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We had a busy morning sorting out the campervan ahead of us returning it to Britz and also repacking our suitcases so that they were ready for our flight from Brisbane to Cairns.
Having found the Britz office easily, we dropped the van off and got a taxi to the airport. We had allowed plenty of time to get everything done this morning but as everything had gone to plan, we arrived at the airport 3 hours before our flight!
The flight to Cairns took just over 2 hours and it was a further 1 hour by airport transfer minibus to Port Douglas. The drive took us up the coast road and the views were stunning - the area is a World Heritage Site as it has reef to one side and rain forest on the other. It is definitely hotter up here and humidity levels were a lot higher.
We arrive at our hotel/apartment and receive a very warm welcome from the owners. Having spent the last 9 days in a very nice but small campervan we were taken back by the size of our 1 bedroom apartment - pure luxury. We can't take the smile off our face as we take in the view from the balcony. This place definitely deserves the excellent reviews it gets on Trip Adviser!
After settling in and unpacking we take a short walk to look at the local beach - 4 mile beach - and then into Port Douglas itself. This town is very much an upmarket holiday resort but has a laid back atmosphere. On the main street, Macrossan Street, there are plenty of eateries and beach shops. We head towards the wharf and decide to eat at Iron Bar - famous for nightly Cane Toad racing!
From what we see we are really looking forward to spending time in Port Douglas and enjoying a bit of luxury!
Port Douglas Day 2
Today we had a very lazy day which mostly involved wandering around Port Douglas, visiting the beach and doing a bit of shopping - we both bought hats!
We were going to have lunch at a waterfront bar but after waiting over 20 minutes for our drinks to arrive we decided against ordering lunch but very much enjoyed a beer and a mango daiquiri (no need to spell out who had what!)
To celebrate 14 years since we first met, we treated ourselves to an evening meal at Salsa - Port Douglas' most popular and awarded restaurant. The location, environment and wonderful food meant that we heartily agreed with the hype around this place.
Port Douglas Day 3
An early start this morning as we were picked up to join a trip out on the Barrier Reef. As neither of us had done anything like this before we opted to snorkel rather than scuba dive. The boat took about 90 minutes to reach the Agincourt Reef and the first dive site during which time we were given full briefings, kitted out with masks & flippers ... and stinger suits as it is still stinger season in the north; unlikely that we will encounter any but better to be safe than sorry.
We were both apprehensive before getting in the water and it took a few minutes to get used to the kit but once we were in the views were fantastic. During the day we visited 3 separate sites and saw all sorts of marine life. Mark particularly enjoyed swimming with a Maori Wrasse - Claire couldn't get away fast enough! It was great seeing varieties of fish that we had seen in the Aquarium a few days earlier.
Unfortunately we do not have a waterproof camera so don't have any pictures of the reef; probably for the best as no one needs to see us in skin-tight blue all-in-one stinger suits - we looked like smurfs!
We arrived back in to Port Douglas at 4.30pm and back at the hotel Claire revealed quite a bit of sunburn despite wearing factor 30 sun cream - damn reef breeze!
After a long and tiring day, we made use of the kitchen in the apartment and had a lazy evening. Mark was most impressed that Fox Sports was showing live English Premiership football games so whilst Claire had an early night, Mark settled down to watch Liverpool thrash Man Utd 4-1!
Port Douglas Day 4
Another lazy day in Port! Sunday is market day by the wharf, so we wandered around the stalls of locally produced crafts and artwork and saw lots of things that would be great in the house, if only we didn't have a luggage allowance to adhere to!
We spent the afternoon relaxing by the pool back at the hotel.
After another nice meal at a bar called 'Rattle & Hum' it was back to the hotel to pack our cases in preparation for being picked up to go to the airport in the morning.
We have thoroughtly enjoyed Port Douglas and would recommend it as a destination for anyone wanting to chill out but also have the option of doing as much or as little as you want. We are quite sad to be leaving.
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