Port Douglas

Trip Start Apr 07, 2007
Trip End Sep 20, 2007

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Port Douglas, Queensland, AUSTRALIA 7th - 15th June 2007

Arrived in Sydney at lunch time and had a 5 hour layover which was fine as we had to collect the bags to put them through security for the domestic flight to Cairns, so there was time to look in book shops and eat and drink latte's and read (trachy magazines in my case). Qantas flight (service better in International) to Cairns after no sleep for 30 hours would've been better without a load of American spring breakers majoring in loudness but the movie was 'Picture Perfect' ??? which was grand (E Norton, N Watts). Finally got to Cairns at 11pm and my sister had arranged a limo to come get us for the hour long drive to Port Douglas which seemed to take forever. So stayed up for another few hours with welcoming commitee that was my sister, her husband and her brother-in-law at Peppers Beach Club a lovely 5* resort. Had sleep of the dead but had to check out at 10am next day (uncilivised or what) so recuperation had to wait.

Around 11am I was playing with my nieces at the hotel pool when low and behold my mother walks in (from Ireland) as a surprise. Flabbergasted we were. Then we had wedding rehersals (my brother-in-laws sister) and lunches to go to and we had to check into our next accom. and apartment in town called Regal Wentworth which is nice with a jacuzzi on the balcony (but not 5*) and later we had a cocktail party with the brides side of the wedding party and then it was Saturday and hair do's and churches and many G&T's and dinner (but only vegetables for us as we forgot to tell them we were veges and so we were more than a bit well oiled by the end) and dancing at the beautiful Thala lodge for the wedding reception etc etc.

Anyway Port Douglas is small beach town (with great shops) 70km up the coast of Queensland from Cairns they call 'far north Queensland' and is good enough for the likes of Bill Clinton and Kiefer Sutherland and other such celebs to go to. The church itself (St Mary's by the sea) is a bit of a highlight as it was blown down on a hill by a hurricane in 1911 and was later rebuilt on the port in the town and is now a non-denominational church, it's made of white wood (like a one in Wicklow) but at the back of the altar is picture window with a view onto the sea, really gorgeous.

Obviously PD is well situated for Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation (one gets the feeling Captain Cook didn't have a good time here other names are Misery Bay etc.) but the one place we hadn't been before was Mossman gorge which is in a very nice national park complete with suspension bridge. Other highlights were the beach and seeing a 200kg groper called George being fed (big eel). So apart from socialising, brunching, shopping and trying to not eat any more curries (mainly Italian and Mexican for us here) we were mostly hanging with family which was the whole point of the trip. Weather wasn't brilliant - was warm but overcast mostly. (Best films this week Being Human (Robin Williams good) and Broken flowers (Bill Murray v.g.)).

Drive back to Cairns airport on Capt. Cook highway was all coastal and with good views. Flew back to Sydney (couldn't see the movie as no individual screens this time) on the 15th for one night, arrived at 4.10pm so had to make mad dash in a taxi to avoid Friday evening rush hour and reached my sisters place in Northern suburbs in a hour flat which is apparently good going. Spent a wine soaked evening en-famille.

So next up, Fiji here we come...
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