Port Douglas, AU

Mossman Gorge
Jumping on a plane in Brisbane, we flew up to Cairns and then snagged another rental car to move up the road to the small community of Port Douglas.  Known as the departing point for tours out to the Great Barrier Reef, the economy of the area is heavily dependent on tourism.  A trip out to the reef was the reason we were in the area, but we started with a day trip to Mossman Gorge, within Daintree National Park.  This is considered to be the oldest rainforest in the world, at around 135 million years old.   Cultural tours with the aboriginal tribe, Kuku yalanji, can be arranged through the visitor center in the park, if desired, but since that entailed lengthy hiking on more challenging terrain, we opted to just enjoy a trail through the beautiful park.

Wanting to see saltwater crocodiles, we made our way to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.
Offering a wildlife park featuring local wildlife, in addition to the crocodiles, we had an opportunity to visit with kangaroos, wallabies and koalas again.  But the main attraction for the day was Samson, a “saltie.”  During the feeding show, Samson lunged to grab the chicken from the show host’s hand.  At 15 feet, the host was dwarfed by the huge croc.  You would not want to meet one of these guys in the water!

Overview of Four Mile Beach
Staying in an apartment just a block from Four Mile Beach, we spent a couple afternoon relaxing along the beachfront, but on low tide the beach is perfect for a bike ride.  Each morning and evening we were entertained by the calls and loud chattering of birds as we sat on our balcony.  Typically, the show was led by a number of parrots hiding in the palm trees around the property.  Located just off the main strip, Macrossan St., we had easy access to the nicely laid out town with shops and restaurants close at hand.  Sugar cane fields and palm trees, with the rocky mountains meeting the shore, reminded us of our visit to Hawaii.

Aussie savory pies became one of Alan’s favorite new snacks.  Throughout the continent, mini
pies are widely available.  His favorite has been chicken and vegetable but he couldn’t be in Australia without trying some kangaroo, so he even ordered a kangaroo pie. (Doesn’t taste like chicken, tastes like kangaroo.)  Mocka’s Bakery, in the center of town, has won multiple awards and became a daily stopping point for Alan for pie and a flat white (coffee with hot milk.)

Having traveled halfway around the world to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity, broken bone or not.  Creating a splint with a flip flop and a couple of ace bandages, I was ready for the water, but that’s another story.

Dickinson Inlet at Port Douglas

Port Douglas Marina

Overview on drive to Port Douglas

Southern Cassowary

Our morning alarm clock

Low tide- overview on drive to Port Douglas

Church and park at Port Douglas waterfront

Australian Brush Turkey
In Mossman Gorge

On suspension bridge in Mossman Gorge

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