Cairns/Port Douglas

Posted by jay on Dec 10, 2007 in married life |

November 20-23

We flew up to Cairns to be near the Great Barrier Reef. We actually stayed in Port Douglas, which is about an hour drive up the coast from Cairns. Being adventurous, we rented a car and Jay took the driving plunge in the right side of the car on the wrong (or the right, depending on perspective) side of the road. Both of us were pretty nervous the entire ride there… mostly because the road was barely big enough for 1 car and had falling rocks to the left and a cliff leading to the ocean on the other. Yeah, fun times.

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Port Douglas itself is an old fishing town. It’s become somewhat popular lately because of the Barrier Reef tours, but is still very, very small. The main strip is less than a mile long and is filled with cheesy touristy stops, random boutiques, and some pretty neat restaurants. We had fish and chips a couples times and even had the chance to watch local toads race. Yeah, we passed on that.

The hotel was super nice. I had read mixed reviews about the service, but I really think they fixed things up. The room could have used updated, but we looked out onto part of 5 acres of man-made lagoons outside of our room.
The hotel itself was situated on 4-mile beach, but we literally spent 30 seconds out there because it was the start of jellyfish (aka “stinger”) mating season. That meant they could have been hanging out in the water near the beach, which meant we were nowhere to be found. We spent most of our outdoor time at the hotel pools.

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The hotel was so big that they had a little shopping village. Luckily, that included a couple spas (Suellen got a massage) as well as a bottle shop. Beer was still $17 per 6 pack, but it still saved us a bit of money, especially since the room had a pretty large fridge.

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A quick note about the sun up in Port Douglas. If you recall, the highest UV we see here in the US is usually 9 or 10. I think 8 is the highest I’ve seen in Ohio. In any case, the first morning we had breakfast at the hotel, we noticed a sign highlighting various facts - hotel activities for the day, weather outside, waves in the ocean, and daily UV. We thought there was a typo when we saw 17 listed. Holy sunscreen, Batman! Yeah, we used SPF 30 while up there, and Jay still managed to get a couple burn spots.

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