Published on November 17th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Affection for Port Douglas
As much as we love Noosa and find it irreplaceable, we have a strong affection for Port Douglas, especially in the winter months.
Noosa can get cold from June through to September and if you are free and fancy, those months are glorious in Port (as it is called by locals.)
A long term stay is possible and within means at Reflections of Port Douglas, a small boutique complex of just eight two-bedroom apartments.
You are right in the heart of all the glitz of Macrossan St and just a few metres from the famous Four Mile Beach, yet you are secreted away in a verdant mini-hideaway.
Family-friendly and personal, the complex is owned and operated by Carmel Angelino, a long-time local who gives you individual attention and local knowledge.
Unlike many of Port Douglas’ luxe resorts with big prices to suit, Reflections of Port Douglas is affordable, and cooking for yourself (when you’ve had your fill of the myriad restaurants, clubs and bars in walking distance) makes a stay even more inexpensive.
We particularly loved the pool area, private and cool with its lush surrounds, and perfect if you have children (in our case, grandchildren) with its shallow area dipping over into the 15 metre heated pool.
“So many children have learnt to swim in this pool,” Carmel told us as our three year old built-up his confidence in the shallow area.
We chatted to a family by the pool who were on their second visit and loved it for the family-friendly vibe, and the not-too-big-not-too-small size of the resort.
Then there is that famous beach just metres away, with its famous palms fringing the sand and its long sweep backed by gorgeous moody mountains.
Whiling away the winter months for retirees is a dream with all of Port’s attractions and world-class golf courses.
Just a five minute drive away is the Wildlife Habitat where Breakfast with the Birds is a Port Douglas institution – as long as you don’t mind curious birds hopping on your plate, or for that matter, your head.
Beneath a massive canopy in a astonishingly realistic wetlands environment, you sit down to eat your fill of tropical fruits, eggs, bacon, pastries…the lot, while a variety of birds fly, swoop, roam and even talk around you.
Colourful lorikeets, chatty parrots, somnolent owls all keep you company at breakfast. They do the same later in the day for Lunch with the Lorikeets.
It is easy to spend a day in this cool and tropical milieu, a place that immerses you in three different interactive environments (rainforest, wetlands, grasslands).
You mingle freely with the animals and birds – apart from a few enormous crocs and a couple of haughty cassowaries – on elevated boardwalks and footpaths.
Getting close and personal takes on new meaning as a kangaroo bounds by you at extraordinary speed, as quacking ducks waddle up to you, multi-coloured lorikeets shriek at you, cautious turtles observe you, and those snooty cassowaries eye you up with more than a little disdain.
There are endangered species too – the Boyd’s Forest Dragon and the Eclectus Parrots – and it’s a privilege to see them in such a natural setting.
The experience is all the more joyful if you have children with you. Their innocent rapture is infectious and you find yourself as excited as they are – maybe not so much for the photographs with a python draped around the neck or a baby croc in your arms…but definitely holding a koala.