“Welcome to paradise!” said a painted fence on the way into Port Douglas, which passing endless gaudy hotels I was somewhat sceptical about. Heading along Wharf Street by the yacht club and railway the place started to warm on me though.
And by the time I got to the northern end I understood.
Even though I’d spent the morning in the majestic Daintree Rainforest, I enjoyed Port Douglas more to be honest, some stunning photo opportunities.
Dating from 1911 St Mary’s By The Sea was a rather lovely wooden church, in a stunningly beautiful spot near the water, seen through the large window behind the alter.
The church was surrounded by Anzac and Rex Smeal Parks, lined with palm trees and bays, and home to fancy public toilets, a war memorial, the old court house, and more wonderful trees.
Near the church was the photogenic Sugar Wharf, which offered views over one of the most appealing seas I’ve seen (and I’m pretty spoiled living in New Zealand), with the Daintree National Park in the distance.
The wharf had been decorated with lanterns, blowing in a welcome sea breeze.
Up the road from the waterfront, down a little path between houses, can be found the historic Flaffstaff Hill Lighthouse and more wonderful views.
Even further up the hill is the Trinity Bay Lookout, unfortunately spoiled by housing directly underneath it.
Further round the headland Four Mile Beach is a popular spot, with a lookout up the hillside looking down over it, a fitting place to finish my time in Port Douglas, an hour and a half very well spent.