Port Douglas Journals

A Week In Pardise

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A May 2003 trip to Port Douglas by Happy Cappy

Fishing the Daintree River Photo, Port Douglas, Australia More Photos
Quote: A week in tropical North Queensland . . . fishing, snorkeling, and bush walking.

Peppers Links Resort

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Hotel | "Peppers Links Resort Port Douglas"

Peppers Links Resort Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
This is an RCI Rental property - so contact you local office to book. RCI rates are about one third of the rate you'd get if you book directly. RCI has about 10 fully self contained apartments over looking the swimming pool. The resort is about two years old and built adjacent to a Links Golf Course (the major attraction) The apartment configuration is a single entry, and double door – one leads to a fully self contained one-bedroom apartment (Junior suite), the other leads to a hotel style room (Links room). The style of buildings and décor is modern plantation. Both rooms have balconies overlooking the swimming pool area, and an outdoor setting. The Junior suite features a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2003

Peppers Links Resort
NAUTILUS STREET
Port Douglas, Australia 4871
61-7-4099-1511

Royal Harbour Resort

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Hotel

Royal Harbour Resort Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
This resort offers 5-star comfort in the heart of Cairns City. Centrally located above the Night Markets on the esplanade, opposite the new public swimming pool. Having stayed in Cairns before and found it rather noisy at night, due to late night revellers, this resort has been throughtfully built to expunge the street noises from below -- the rooms are very quiet indeed. Each apartment is a one-bedroom (king bed) with a fully self-contained kitchen, laundry, open plan dining and living room, and a balcony with a view of the harbour. The bathroom offers a real treat with a spa bath that affords the view from the balcony. The spa is, according to the staff, a favoured feature prompting ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 13, 2003

Royal Harbour Resort
73-75 The Esplanade
Port Douglas, Australia

Portsea Resort

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Hotel

Portsea Resort Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Standing in the expansive foyer of the Portsea one has the feeling of being in a truly exotic location, A blend of Bali and the Greek Islands the resort design is open and airy, with cool tiled floors and white washed walls. Rattan hunkers woosh gently above, and waterfalls trickle through a myriad of swimming pools and water features, threading their way through lush tropical gardens. The swimming pools are a very attractive feature of this resort. The main lagoon wends its way from one end of the complex to the other, incorporating two (cold) spas (one at either end) and a fabulous pool bar - a very pleasant spot to while away the afternoon sipping on cocktails! At the rear if t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Portsea Resort
Davidson Street
Port Douglas, Australia
61 7 4087 2000

The Reef Club

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Hotel

The Reef Club Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Offers 60 two bedroom and 14 one bedroom apartments. All rooms are fully self contained, although there is no dishwasher so you’ll have to get your hands a bit dirty. The apartments are dark and cool and have a Mediterranean feel. On-site there is a decent swimming pool, cold spa (there are no hot spas in far north Queensland due to health risks), and barbeque area. The two-bedroom apartments feature a King size bed in the main room and another king-size bed that splits in to two singles. Bathrooms are a reasonable size and have a bath/shower. All rooms have cable TV, are air-conditioned, and have ceiling fans and balconies. Do not drink the tap water anywhere in Far North Queensland as i...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

The Reef Club
Davidson Street
Port Douglas, Australia

Splash Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
Splash Fish Café, located on the esplanade in Cairns.

Open for lunch and dinner, this delightful café offers views of the new boardwalk and the harbour.

I chose a Barramundi and Chips (daily special for $14.90). The fish, deep fried in a beer batter, arrived on a massive plate alongside a mound of golden fries and fresh garden salad, with homemade tartare sauce – I was in seventh heaven. Stuart meanwhile chose a more exotic and totally delightful dish - Tandoori style Coral Trout served with pilaf rice, chutney, and raiata.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Splash Cafe
Esplanade
Port Douglas, Australia

Goodies Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
If you feel like coffee and homemade brownies after hiking Mossman Gorge, this is the place to come. While you're here you can pick up some organic produce or exotic ingredients to whip up a gourmet feast.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Goodies Cafe
Main Road
Port Douglas, Australia

Cookies at the Cove

Restaurant | "Cockies at the Cove"

Quote:
Palm Cove offers a variety of eating establishments to choose from: up market silver service dining to burgers and chips from the corner store.

We chose to have lunch at "Cockies at the Cove". We had a turkey bagel, freezaccino (ice coffee), gourmet hot dog, and banana smoothie for $19. Their service was very efficient, the portions were generous and the food was very tasty! They also serve Lavazza coffee.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Cookies at the Cove
Esplanade
Port Douglas, Australia

Mango Jam

Restaurant

Quote:
Mango Jam on Macrossan Street. Offers modern casual dining at reasonable (for Port Douglas) prices. For an entree we selected Japanese style Crispy Chicken on wasabi sauce, and barramundi spring rolls served with mango dipping sauce – scrummo! For mains we shared a medium size Bushman’s Pizza, a woodfired Italian style pizza (thin and crispy base) topped with strips of kangaroo meat, onion, cheese, and capsicum chutney – very tasty.

For dessert I chose a sublime crème caramel served with double cream and raspberry coulis. Stuart chose a sticky date pudding with ice cream and caramel sauce – the serving was so huge it was more than enough for two people. All up with drinks it cost us AUD$69.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Mango Jam
Macrossan Street
Port Douglas, Australia

Inlet

Restaurant

Quote:
The Inlet, on the inlet at Port Douglas, offers a sunset special for $15 -- you get a bucket of prawns and a beer or champers, while watching the sun go down behind the Great Dividing Range.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Inlet

Port Douglas, Australia

Star of Siam

Restaurant

Quote:
Star of Siam. 2/12 Marcossan St Port Douglas. Offers authentic Thai cuisine and efficient service. Very popular – get there before 7pm if you want to have a quick meal. We had Toon Ngon (Money Bags) for entrée – fried pork dumplings. Tom kha gai (chicken soup), and Ganga Mussaman Nue – beef curry. Very nice flavours and generous servings. Including 2 soft drinks this set us back AUD$50. BYO.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Star of Siam
2 /12 Macrossan Street
Port Douglas, Australia

Hoggs Breath Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
Hogg’s Breath Café. Marina Mirage Port Douglas. For a franchise restaurant it has a nice location, right on the marina boardwalk with a view of the marina and the mountain ranges. They serve up good burgers and fries around AUD$10-12.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Hoggs Breath Cafe
Marina
Port Douglas, Australia

Bakery

Restaurant

Quote:
We couldn't find the name of this bakery anywhere, but it is located on Owen Street in Port Douglas. Aside from fresh bread, pastries, and pies, they serve up excellent Lavazza coffee, jelly donuts to die for, and sublime match sticks. The have a bar area where you can sit and watch the world go by or you can sit outside at tables. This bakery is very popular with the locals and they make fresh sandwiches.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Bakery
Owen Street
Port Douglas, Australia

Vege Out

Restaurant

Quote:
Located next to the Spanish Galleon that houses aboriginal artwork, is a hare krishna Cafe called "Vege Out". For those of you who have never braved a hare krishna cafe before, you needn't worry about been brain washed into joining a "cult". The people who run these cafes are gentle and respectful. Best of all, at any hare krishna cafe that you go to, you can be guaranteed the best Indian-style vegetarian meals around and a cheap price! Vege Out offers casual dining on a balcony with views over the rainforest. The service is excellent and the food totally scrummy! Light meals cost around A$5 and a medium size meal around A$7.90. You most try their lemon-mint refesher it is very thrist quenching,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 13, 2003

Vege Out
Main Street
Port Douglas, Australia

Fishing the Daintree River

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Attraction

Fishing the Daintree River Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
We booked a half day Daintree fishing tour with Jamie Bietzel, cost AUD$70 per person. You can hire him for the whole day for only $250 (which we'll do next time). Departing at 8am, the water is still and the early morning light creates perfect mirror reflections of the mangroves. It is beautiful, rugged, and serene. Jamie took us down river to first catch sardines which we'd use for live bait. He motored in close to the mangroves looking for the tell tale signs of sardines activity. Expertly casting his net Jamie drew us a writhing bundle of silver fish, and dropped them on the floor of the boat. We scrambled about the deck collecting the fish and depositing them in a bucket of river ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2003

Fishing the Daintree River
Ferry Crossing
Port Douglas, Australia

MV Norseman

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Attraction

MV Norseman Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Cost AUD$150 per person - must book in advance. My partner Stuart had been out on the Norsmean seven years aso and knew what to expect. It is still the most recommended fishing charter from Port Douglas. The MV Norseman is a comfortable 52 ft cruiser, capable of carrying 18 patrons, has an air-conditioned cabin and is able to sleep eight people on extended trips. The crew consists of the Captain Steve and mate James. Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea is provided. Drinks are available for purchase (soda pop, water, beer). All bait, rods and handlines are provided. The crew will also assist you with baiting and fishing techniques, and hauling in the fish. The cr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 17, 2003

MV Norseman
Yacht Club Morrings
Port Douglas, Australia

Palm Cove Beach Community

Attraction | "Palm Cove"

Palm Cove Beach Community Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
About a half hour drive south of Port Douglas along the coast road to Cairns is Palm Cove. A delightful seaside village surrounded by luxurious resorts, this is a mini version of Port Douglas. Aptly named Palm Cove, this pretty beach is lined with tropical palm trees. There are plenty of water activities available. Here you can hire sea kayaks, catamarans and jet skis. There is a cute little jetty off which you can fish, and you can rent a rod from the kiosk for $15 (including bait). The kiosk manager informed us that the fishing is quite good off the jetty. Many of the reef operators also pickup at Palm Cove from the jetty, ferrying tourists to the outer reef for snorkeling day trips, or to Green Is...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 24, 2003

Palm Cove Beach Community
Far North Queensland
Cairns, Australia

Kuranda A Rainforest Village

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Story/Tip

A rainforest village Photo, Cairns, Australia
Quote:
A 25 minute drive from Cairns heading inland towards Mareeba lies the township of Kuranda. Centered around tourist activities, the township offers a cool respite to the tropical heat of Cairns. Here you can visit the Butterfly Sanctuary and see the famous Blue Ulysess, and also see some of the local wildlife. Many of the shops offer high quality souvenirs and Australiana gift lines as well as collectable paintings and phototographs from well-known local artists. The Kuranda markets are open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sundays from 9am-3pm and are a bargain hunter's mecca. For the sweet tooth, the Honey House offers a huge range of unique Australian bush honeys –- with free tastings....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 13, 2003

Mossman Gorge

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Attraction

Mossman Gorge Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
A 10 minute drive north of Port Douglas along the highway lies the small town of Mossman (blink and you miss it). Following the Mossman gorge signs we headed inland for about another 10 minutes. The landscape changing from sugarcane farmland to lush rainforest. Passing through an Aboriginal community, here there is an opportunity to stop and learn about traditional Aboriginal life in the region and be guided through the forest by an Aboriginal elder. The windy forest road opens into a clearing, with plenty of parking for cars and tourist buses, an amenities block and picnic tables. There are direct tracks to the gorge with areas to place your gear while your swimming (always have someone ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 19, 2003

Mossman Gorge
20 Minutes North Of Port Douglas
Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 1 Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
We had a day spare with nothing to do and not being the type of people who laze around the pool all day, we decided that we would splurge and do an outer reef snorkelling adventure. After investigating our options, we decide upon the Quick Silver Outer Barrier Reef experience. Our reasons for selecting this were: 1) we weren’t experienced snorkellers and some of the alternatives cater for more experienced snorkellers and scuba divers, 2) their reputation for safety, 3) they go out to the outer reef which has clearer waters ad more spectacular reef formations. The cost for a day out on the reef with Quick Silver is AUD$175 per adult, which sounds expensive but is definitely worth it. We departed ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 19, 2003

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 1
Marina
Port Douglas, Australia

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 1

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Attraction | "Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 2"

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 1 Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Exiting from the boat to the pontoon, we decided to take advantage of the small queues for the submarine trip (this is free), climbing down in to a purpose built submersible, and sitting two abreast we travelled through an amazing underworld kingdom, with expert commentary about the coral and fish we could see. Do it early while it’s still dry and there are less queues. If you suffer from claustrophobia –- I advise you to skip this. Emerging from the sub we headed for the undersea viewing platform, from this vantage point we could watch the scuba divers and snarlers, see coral and fish. Collecting our body suits we squeezed into them, and donned our flippers, mask and snorkel (there are p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 19, 2003

Great Barrier Reef Snorkelling Adventure Part 1
Marina
Port Douglas, Australia

Cairns

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Story/Tip

Public Swimming  Pool Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
Somewhat reminiscent of Thailand’s numerous open air local markets, Rusty’s Market is a hive of activity. They start early (from 6am) on Saturday mornings in an abandoned lot on (76) Sheridan St, putting together makeshift stalls that are strung together with overhead tarpaulins to protect the shoppers and stallholders from the elements. Picking our way through the maze of stalls, we came across stallholders as colourful as their wares, giving cheek to the customers and their counterparts. Mountains of tropical fruit such as rambutan, mangoes, coconuts, and taro. Here you can buy everything from handmade leather sandals to second hand books, nuts, locally grown coffee beans, eggs, fresh herbs, cheap i...Read More

A trip up the Cape

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Story/Tip

Cable Ferry Photo, Port Douglas, Australia
Quote:
After our morning fishing on the Daintree, we decided to head north up to Cape Tribulation. We caught the cable ferry across the Daintree (A$7 each way per family vehicle) and crosses the river every 20 minutes. The main road takes you along a forest lined windy road that climbs a steep ridge and wends it’s way down the other side. At its peak, there is a fabulous spot to pull over and check out the most amazing view of the Daintree river feeding into the Coral Sea. At the base of the mountain is a small (blink and you miss it) town called "Cow". Here we stopped and filled our styrofoam box with ice to chill down our catch. Just down the road a little further we came across the "Daintree Ice Cr...Read More