Published on November 5th, 2014 | by Ann Rickard0
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
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.
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.
Don’t leave Port Douglas without a drive to The Lookout.