Port Douglas – Another Gateway to the Great Barrier Reef

November 6, 2017

On the last day of Daniel’s diving course, while he was working hard to pass his certification exam, I spent the day in the very pretty beach town of Port Douglas, about 70 km north of Cairns. Port Douglas is mostly known as an alternative to Cairns for tourists going out to the Great Barrier Reef. It’s actually closer to the outer reef, so boat rides don’t take quite as long, but it’s much smaller than Cairns and, in a sense, has less to offer tourists than Cairns does.

But that doesn’t tell the whole story. In contrast to Cairns, which to me seemed somewhat characterless in its desperate quest to attract and please reef tourists, Port Douglas has maintained its character and is a resort town in every sense: it’s quiet and relaxed, its streets are lined with palm trees, it’s full of nice little cafes and restaurants (but no chains and no fast food places). Just outside of town are many picture-perfect resorts. On the streets, you see relaxed and happy people. Starting just by the town center and running south from there is the famous Four-Mile Beach, called like that because, well, that’s how long it is.

I spent the day here walking on the beach and through the streets of the town, browsing through shops, having good food and coffee. It was a super relaxed day and a nice end to the time we’ve spent on Australia’s east coast in the various beach towns. Tomorrow we’re flying to Sydney, then Melbourne, and then New Zealand. The weather in Sydney and Melbourne is not that hot yet, so I don’t think we’ll do many beach-related activities there.

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