A visit to Queensland’s tropical north city of Port Douglas is an absolute “must do” if you have never been there, or better still if you are returning once again to enjoy all its beauty and splendours because it is one of the world’s most diverse holiday destinations.
I must admit that as we were driving along Port Douglas Road just a few kilometres from the town centre I thought I was back in Sarawak, Borneo with all the beautiful jungle greenery and overhanging Curtain Fig Trees. The multiple resorts, villas and superb Golf Course as you approach the town gives a very good indication of what will be coming up, and then driving along Macrossan Street through the main shopping centre gives you outstanding views of multiple and different shops, restaurants and more accommodation resorts – and street car parking is free!
Our accommodation at the Ramada Resort Port Douglas using our Wyndham credits for my 74th birthday celebration was just wonderful and the staff friendliness and helpfulness from arrival to departure and all through our eight-day stay were the finest and most helpful ever. This included taking our luggage to our room – and not forgetting the bottle of wine on arrival and more throughout our stay.
Although the resort is a little older in a few ways, its advantages of beauty and facilities are wonderful, which include the most beautiful swimming pool area overshadowed by amazing trees and sitting on the very edge of the outdoor food area. Here you can order from the pool for your drinks etc, or at anytime roll up for a wonderful breakfast, lunch or dinner and the menus are delicious. The complete resort area is just covered in greenery so it’s more like staying in a tropical rainforest.
Want a walk to the beach? Well what about a short stroll out the back entrance of the resort to the 4-mile beach where you can walk, swim or just relax on the sand and unwind – lets face it you are in ‘PPPD’ – Picture Perfect Port Douglas.
Your drive into town must include a stop off at ANZAC Park and Rex Smeal Park before driving up Island Point Road to the lookout overlooking Four Mile Beach is next, but one of the very best stop-off spots is the Reef Marina where there are literally hundreds of small, large and extremely large sailing and motor vessels which sail into the Coral Sea to visit the Great Barrier Reef Islands such as the Low Isles just 15 minutes away.
But what about an enchanting river cruise? So off we went on our first “must do” boating trips all aboard the Lady Douglas River Cruise.
This is a relaxing and comfortable trip from the marina with complementary beverages and nibbles on-board an historical older “paddle steamer” style of boat. The skipper gave a very informative and entertaining commentary as we chugged along the calm waters and inlets to view multiple vessels, a few very older shipwrecks, wildlife, birdlife and of course keeping a lookout for those salt water crocodiles just resting on the banks.
The next “must do” event we did was a ride on the Ballyhooley Steam Railway. This is a very different and short railway trip on an old Sugar Cane track – onboard an open style set of carriages and pulled by either an old steam train or diesel locomotive. It’s a leisurely return trip and fully commentated from the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina Station to St Crispins Station, taking around 30 minutes each way.
The stop off is at St Crispins Station and Choo Choos Café where you can enjoy a refreshing drink or take lunch while the train is turned around in preparation for returning to the city. The beauty of this trip is that you can board at either end and take your time enjoying lunch and the scenery.
One of the nicest way to get to this picture-perfect location is to fly into Cairns and then drive north up the Great Barrier Reef Drive with the rainforests on one side and the sparkling outstanding beach and Coral Sea coastal views on the other. The road is extremely winding in parts so follow the speed limits with care, but it only takes an hour.
Further wonderful places we visited included a short 20-minute drive to Mossman and the Mossman George with its beautiful walks and views and the suspension bridge right on the edge of the flourishing rainforests of the Daintree National Park area.
And of course, on your return towards Cairns you must visit Kuranda, either by taking the enchanting Skyrail to the top, or simply driving to the town centre. A visit to the Kuranda Scenic Railway Station is another experience in this boutique village with its easy going friendly atmosphere of craft stores, markets, quaint shops, cafes, artists and wildlife sanctuaries – you will want to stay longer.
For more information on the Wyndham Ramada Resort go to:
For the Ballyhooley Steam Railway information go to www.ballyhoolyrail.com.au
Wyndham Timeshare Owner
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