Port Douglas

Trip Start Dec 23, 2007
Trip End May 30, 2008

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Where I stayed
Port O'Call Lodge

Flag of Australia  ,
Thursday, April 17, 2008

Port Douglas

Finally, I had reached the pinnacle of this journey. I have desperately wanted to get to Port Douglas, and now, here I was, in paradise. The scenery on the one hour drive from Cairns to Port Douglas was fantastic. Its windy roads followed the pristine ocean's many sandy beaches and at times, rocky coastline.

I had booked in to stay 4 nights at the Port O'Call Lodge, but after just 2 days, booked for an additional 4 nights. I knew that paradise was going to be hard to leave.

The 'Port' as everyone calls the town, is relatively small, but is the home to some of the most exclusive restaurants, galleries and shops. The town features one main street which runs from the Inlet to the Coral Sea. At the Inlet end of the street is Anzac Park where I went to the Sunday Market. There were many colourful stalls offering food, fruit, flowers, art, crafts and much jewellery. I was good and only bought one anklet!

The Port also has the best massage lady in all of Australia! I was desperate for a massage as I had serious ongoing headaches and my back, shoulders and neck were giving me grief. That's what you get from sitting in a car for hours on end. I couldn't take one more second of it, so headed down the main street to find a masseur. That wasn't hard as there were so many day spas to choose from, each boasting absolute luxury. I was after a remedial massage, not the relaxing kind, however, was fortunate to jag a woman who combined both. I came out of there $90 and one hour later, floating. She had worked some magic all right, and the next day I felt the results.

Just like in Cairns, the weather hadn't been kind to me in Port Douglas. The days had been windy and overcast, although still averaging 30 degrees. I didn't come all the way up here to sit in a motel room so headed to the beach each day to relax, albeit a little windy, listen to music on my iPod and read. There was no swimming in the waters up here because of the stingers, although a net was provided for swimmers. Due to the weather there weren't many people around so it was nice to have part of the 4 mile beach to myself. After a few hours laying on the beach I would head back to the Lodge, take a dip in the pool and lay back in a pool chair to relax just a little more. Tough life for some I know.

One day I headed out on the 'Quicksilver' to the outer Agincourt Reef which is part of the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkelling. It was an hour and a half trip in semi rough weather and a fairly large swell. Fortunately I'd taken some motion sickness tablets so felt okay. The boat was huge so I stayed on the upper level out in the breeze, or perhaps I should say wind! It poured with rain a couple of time but what the heck, it didn't matter, I was going to get wet anyway. Upon finally arriving at the pontoon at the Agincourt Reef, people scattered off everywhere, some to the semi submersible boat, others to collect their SCUBA gear, many going straight for the wonderful blue suits you needed to wear to avoid getting stung by stingers while snorkelling. There would have been close to 350 people on board the 'Quicksilver' so as you can imagine, it was quite the production line. A buffet lunch was served with plenty of fresh fruit which was brilliant. After a quick lunch I headed for the water. I would have spent over 2 hours in the water, drifting around the reef, viewing the beautiful array of coral and fish going on with their daily routine, oblivious to my presence. Despite the crappy weather, the snorkelling was simply wonderful.

The morning I had to leave Port Douglas was a sad day. It was really the first day the weather was 'perfect'. It felt in a strange sort of way like my holiday was over. Maybe I didn't think it could get better than this .... paradise.
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