Ann's Blog

Published on November 5th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard


Tropics a Treat to Remember

A long weekend in Port Douglas and the Daintree will feel like an annual holiday if you plan ahead.

An hour’s drive north from Cairns along a picturesque coastal road with forest on one side and the Coral Sea on the other, Port Douglas is home to two World Heritage-listed jewels: the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest of Daintree and Cape Tribulation.

The topical climate will have you thinking of endless summer. Especially good to visit from June through August.

ACCOMMODATION :    Options are as many as they are varied at resorts with lush gardens, meandering pools and always, martini and a massage not far away.

We loved Mandalay Apartments, right on the famous Four Mile Beach for its family friendly spaciousness and its short walk to famous Macrossan St.   Mandalay Apartments

Port Douglas. 1

EAT AND DRINK:    The tropics call for a menu brimming with seafood and no one does it better than 2 Fish Restaurant in Macrossan St.

The oysters come with a number of lively accessories (lime and gin…yes please), the blue swimmer crab is served Singapore style, and the baby barramundi is crispy fried with blackened lime and a Thai caramel dressing.

The crocodile sausages are a must to try (go on) and the shared platters get you off to a good start with barramundi spring rolls and reef fish morsels.   –     2Fish Restaurant

ACTIVITIES:    Take a guided walk in Mossman Gorge through lush rainforest estimated at 60,000 years old. The walking tracks and bird life are fascinating, as is the information at the Mossman Gorge Centre, but it’s the swim in the freshwater lagoon that will linger in the memory. (Mossman Gorge)

Pop in just down the road to Janbal Gallery where owner Brian “Binna” Swindley will help you paint an authentic Aboriginal art work. You’ll be ridiculously pleased with yourself when you leave with your homework.    Janbal Gallery.

ATTRACTIONS:    The Saturday Mossman markets are a must-do for their exotic fruits and vegetables, and the crafts made by passionate locals.

The colourful markets are spread under the shading umbrella branches of giant rain trees.

A day at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures – about 25 minutes south of Port Douglas – will prove the late Steve Irwin did not exaggerate when he said “crocs rule.

Port Douglas. 3

You’ll never have another chance to get so personal to such enormous saltwater crocs without risking a limb. A boat ride in the lagoon where these big brutes live gives more thrills you’d expect in one lifetime.

It’s not all about crocs; the cassowary gets a good look-in, as do koalas and roos and reptiles.

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures

Don’t leave Port Douglas without a drive to The Lookout.


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About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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