Port Douglas - Part I
We arrived off the entrance to
Marina Mirage and the shopping arcade behind
It is hard to believe that in 1877, this town was the centre of the Australian Gold Rush. Supporting some 30,000 miners and prospectors. There were allegedly over 100 brothels in town and innumerable bars and other diversions for the hard working “digger”. After the gold fields failed, the town fell into steep decline and at one time the population had dwindled down to a mere 300 souls, The industry at the turn of the last century (around 1904) was transportation of sugar cane, from the wharf near the mouth of the Douglas creek. The storage sheds on the quay were then used to store the sugar cane, brought here by narrow gauge steam trains from the surrounding farms. What remains of these sheds is now used by the “combined clubs”, which is a great spot for a value for money lunch whilst watching the activities on the water.
In 1911 disaster struck Port Douglas in the form of a
Cyclone. This wiped out most of the buildings in the town and surrounding area.
One of the very few surviving buildings (originally constructed n 1880), was
St Mary’s by the Sea
This was “relocated” to its current site after the natural disaster and is now a very popular venue for weddings for out of town folk’s.
Today, Port Douglas is a thriving tourist resort. Aimed mostly at the more well healed Aussie. The marina itself boosts an up market shopping arcade with what must be around 40 plus retail and F& B outlets. Part of which is the old train station. There are fashion shops galore, and restaurants to cater for every taste on the planet. Just loads of “therapy” outlets from Acupuncture to aromatherapy massage, and all manner of other treatments and pampering available for those in need of de-stressing. Not to mention the obligatory Didgeridoo boutiques and Australian and Oceanic art shops.
As mentioned earlier there are many charter boats based on
the creek. This is because of the fact that Port Douglas is an ideal stepping
off point for the
The Lady Douglas
This converted river paddle steamer (the paddles are now strictly
for decoration), plies the creeks inland from the town. In search of Salt water
Crocodiles and other Flora and Fauna unique to
One of the advantages for the visiting yachtie of all these
charter boats, is a very well stocked
The following day we rented a car to tour the area and visit some of the more interesting tourist attractions in the region…………………
At this point I will leave you with another Aussie gem we saw in a lunchtime restaurant. Next to the till, where you paid for your “grub”, in advance, was a glass jar with coins in it. Attached to this ornament, was a hand written notice that said, and I quote “Big tippers make the best lovers”. How could you resist? Even if the lady behind the counter weighed in at around 20+ stones……….