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Port Douglas And The Daintree
port douglasThe very mention of Port Douglas is usually accompanied with visions of palm tree beaches, lush rainforests and colourful sarongs. As one of the most visited parts of the country, Far North Queensland offers so much to see and do that this is definitely for good reason. The temperature here is perfectly tropical, which means that any time of the year is suitable for visiting.This region is so beautiful that you really don't need to plan ahead as all you need to do is soak up the beauty of this premier location.

The drive is as equally enjoyable as the destination. If you embark on your journey from Brisbane, you will be rewarded with a coastal stretch that is dominant with major tourist attractions and picturesque towns and cities such as Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville. Upon arrival in Cairns you will probably choose to stay a while just to soak it all up. If you do, be sure to take a day trip to pretty Green Island or one of the Quicksilver cruises to the outer reefs. Driving here really is the best way to go as it will give you complete freedom to come and go as you please, with so many picture perfect spots along the way you will want to take your time.

Port Douglas is a mere sixty kilometres from Cairns and can be accessed by journeying along the Captain Cook Highway. This is a stunning coastal drive that every minute of can be enjoyed. Once you have arrived you simply won’t want to leave. Your backyard will consist of the Great Barrier Reef and the world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest is just a little beyond that. There are plenty of accommodation choices, such as Pinnacle Village Holiday Park which offers excellent facilities, ensuring that your stay here will be pleasant and memorable.

Once you are settled, you can enjoy your tropical home away from home. Port Douglas is thriving with culinary delights, such as those that can be found at the Zany Zinc Restaurant. This restaurant offers delicious meals at affordable prices, with an aquarium ensuring this dining experience is one you will remember forever.

If outdoor adventure is what you are after, you can jump on a guided tour that will take you into the depths of the Daintree, or onto the brilliant colourful waters of the reef. Both choices could take up the majority of your holiday with so much to do in each direction. There is also the option of heading out to the outback on a train, or spending time on the famous white beaches soaking up the sun.

Swimming is a popular option all year round, but between April and October you are less likely to encounter the box jellyfish known to visit these waters between November and March. Nets are still in place so you can enjoy the warm waters any time of the year, but be sure to always keep an eye out for them. Four Mile Beach is one of the most famous here and for good reason. With palm trees, perfect weather and crystal clear waters it will keep you coming back for more.

For a wildlife experience (without the danger) a visit to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is in order. Located in the MacAlister Range in between Port Douglas and Palm Cove it is very easy to get to. You will see all types of natural habitats and local wildlife which is informative and interactive, and ideal for a family day out.

The award winning Rainforest Habitat is situated right in the centre of Port Douglas and is a ‘must see’. It is home to almost two thousand animals which are displayed in four different environments prevalent in far north Queensland. This attraction is fantastic for the whole family and don’t forget your camera!

A visit to Port Douglas simply isn't complete without a visit to the breathtaking Daintree. Once you reach the heart of the stunning area, you will find the Discovery Centre, which houses interactive displays, theatre, scenic views and plenty of information on the surrounding area. Stop for a while here for a coffee and relax before you set off to explore. The Daintree treetop walk will give you a fantastic aerial view of the rainforest canopy, and back on the ground the Bush Tucker trail is an easy walk which will take you through the beauty of the rainforest.

Ultimately the Daintree can be divided into three main sections. Mossman Gorge is popular and located on the banks of the Daintree River. It is great for bird watching but unfortunately does not allow camping. Daintree National Park is the most well known for its lush rainforest and crocodiles. Cape Tribulation allows camping north of the Daintree River. With more swamps, beaches and mangroves it is a completely different experience. As the Daintree is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, there is incredible natural beauty and scenery in every direction.

Port Douglas and the Daintree can be enjoyed at any time of the year, so why not plan a few days to do nothing but enjoy the sunshine and the chance to unwind in one of the worlds most beautiful locations. The world heritage listed attractions right on your doorstep add to the wonder of the place and make it the ultimate holiday destination for all.

Christine Barton

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