Port Douglas QLD

About Port Douglas

Port Douglas is primarily a popular holiday destination (an upmarket alternative to Cairns characterised by a proliferation of resorts) which offers a wide range of activities including trips out to the Great Barrier Reef’s Outer Reef (often the vessels go to both Port Douglas and Cairns before heading for the reef); sailing excursions to nearby coral atolls; excellent golf courses; boutique shopping in the chic shopping centre; a huge range of holiday apartments and holiday accommodation options; and the tropical relaxation at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort with its golf course, neat rows of palm trees and huge upmarket apartments.

Port Douglas was once a wild frontier town filled with itinerant seamen and gold prospectors. Very little of that wild frontier town is left. The village of Port Douglas is now a major tourist resort centre with fashionable arcades, well-heeled shoppers, and the tangy aroma of urban luxury (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

It was about 12 years ago that we last visited this icon of tourism in Far North Queensland. Last time we flew up and stayed in fancy accommodation; this time we’ve driven over 6,000kms and reckon our accommodation is even fancier (in our Bailey caravan).

Pandanus Caravan Park

We’ve booked in for 5 nights at Pandanus Caravan Park which is not far from the town centre (maplink). A nice park with lots of trees and spaced out sites as well.

Some car trouble

About 3 weeks ago we were travelling from Karumba to Georgetown in outback FNQ and received a large chip in the windscreen of our car. It stayed the same 1cm star for this amount of time and I was thinking “cool – I will get it fixed after we have finished our trip“. Well that did’nt happen; 5 minutes after arriving in Port Douglas the chip grew and grew and grew. The car is now booked in for a new windscreen during our stay here – something we did not want!

Around Port Douglas

After we had set up camp we had a quick look around town with a drive up to the wonderful Flagstaff Hill Lookout. Magnificent views down the coast from this location. We will definitely be doing the walking trail from here to the beach. (more photos to come)

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is part of the Daintree National Park and definitely worth a visit. To truly experience this beautiful location you must do the 2.4km walk through the gorge (if you have a good level of mobility and fitness). There is a bus which leaves every 15minutes from the information centre to the beginning of the walk – no cars allowed and good walking shoes are a must.

Your experience begins with a boardwalk along Baral Marrjanga track which ends with views over the Mossman River; truly beautiful. There’s a great swimming hole here, which made us regret we’d left our bathers behind.

Moving along we got to Rex Creek bridge, a real swinging bridge had Merrisa holding on with both hands as it really did swing a lot. This is the beginning of the Rainforest Circuit Track which, in places, is a bit rough and ready. The walk takes you through a thick rainforest with massive strangler figs along the way which is truly beautiful.

Once we completed the walk we just wanted to go for a dip in that swimming hole – next time we will bring the bathers and towel!

Summing up…

  • Accommodation Pandanus Caravan Park was a bushy type of park with heaps of trees and plenty of room for each site
    • Cost per night$55.20 (@ 14-Sep-2020) – a bit high but it’s a “premium town”
    • Facilitiesbasic and clean
    • CP Location about 2kms from town (maplink)
    • Our rating/score7/10
  • Was it a nice town to visit? it’s always a great place to visit
    • Activities & places of interest we had already been to Port Douglas before and done a lot of activities, so Mossman Gorge was the only really important thing to visit – loved it
    • Tourist info centre?23 Macrossan St, Port Douglas
    • Would we return?probably not, only because we’ve been before
    • Overall Score7/10
  • Summing up – as mentioned, we’ve visited before but if you haven’t then make sure you put Port Douglas on your itinerary. It’s a “pricey” place to visit. Make sure you visit Mossman Gorge and take the trip up to Cape Tribulation too.

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