Road trip…Port Douglas…Lots to share after a perfect day…Photos shown in progression…

Every beach along the way has its own personality. They may all look like sand, rock, and water, but we find each one to have its own unique scenery.

Since arriving in Trinity Beach on June 11th, it’s been in our minds after many recommendations from Aussies we met on the most recent cruise that a visit to Port Douglas was definitely worthwhile.

We had traveled part of the way toward Port Douglas several weeks ago, posting photos. Thus, we began taking photos after that point to avoid repeats.

We couldn’t agree more. After uploading yesterday’s post I was particularly interested in heading out on this must-do outing. On a whim, I suggested to Tom that we make the trip at long last.

Some beaches have massive expanses of sand and others have less sand and more rocky shorelines.

In minutes, we were heading out the door with a container of iced tea,  our mugs, extra camera batteries which we always keep charged, binoculars, the hot spot and unlocked phone ready to use for navigation if we needed it in a pinch which we never did.

Up until yesterday, we’d only seen a few people on the beach such as in this photo. However, in the days to come, we’ll be sharing surprising photos of a packed beach.

We always take along our small insulated bag just in case we stop for perishable items we may find along the way. Although we didn’t purchase a thing other than fuel, we came home to leftovers and time for a quick few hands of GIN before dinner.

We saw Double Island in the background.

It was a perfect day, returning with almost 200 photos most of which I’ve already perused, deleting those we didn’t need to keep. It’s always challenging determining which photos we’ll choose to post. As usual, we’ll decide as we post over the next several days.

This beach was covered with rock and wild vegetation.

The coastline drive from Trinity Beach to Port Douglas consists of many areas of very steep winding mountain roads. If rushing, one could make the trip in a period of shortly over an hour moving as fast as the posted kilometer signs or, as we did over a considerably longer period by often stopping to admire the scenery and take endless photos.

We had to travel quite a distance to no longer see Double Island, which we can see from our veranda with Scout Island to the far right.

We were in no rush. Our goal was to see as much as we could and return on the steep winding highway before dark. When we returned home before dark we were pleased for a great day out and also for one more desirable experience in visiting this area of Queensland. 

The sand is so fine on the beaches that after taking a few photos, I have to gently wipe the miniature grains off of the lens.

The drive along the Coral Sea was beautiful on a mostly sunny day. As typical in this ocean climate, the sun was in and out all day long. We’ve yet to experience a day that remains sunny without an intermittent cloud cover throughout the day.

Today’s and future day’s photos will be posted in the order we took them.

Here’s some information we borrowed from this online site about Port Douglas:

“Port Douglas is a town in Far North Queensland, Australia, approximately 70 km (40 mi) north of Cairns. Its permanent population was 3,205 at the time of the 2011 census.  The town’s population can often double, however, with the influx of tourists during the peak tourism season May–September. The town is named in honour of former Premier of Queensland, John Douglas. Port Douglas developed quickly based on the mining industry. Other parts of the area were established with timber cutting occurring in the area surrounding the Daintree River and with settlement starting to occur on lots around the Mossman River by 1880.

Previous names for the town included Terrigal, Island Point, Port Owen, and Salisbury. The town is situated adjacent to two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

The Port Douglas township was established in 1877 after the discovery of gold at Hodgkinson River by James Venture Mulligan. Port Douglas Post Office opened on 1 September 1877.  It grew quickly, and at its peak Port Douglas had a population of 12,000 and 27 hotels. With the construction of the Mulligan Highway, it serviced towns as far away as Herberton.

When the Kuranda Railway from Cairns to Kuranda was completed in 1891, the importance of Port Douglas dwindled along with its population. A cyclone in 1911 which demolished all but two buildings in the town also had a significant impact. At its nadir in 1960 the town, by then little more than a fishing village had a population of 100.

On 4 September 2006, entertainer a.k.a. “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin died at Batt Reef, off Port Douglas, after a stingray barb went through his chest into his heart while Irwin and his crew were filming a documentary called The Ocean’s Deadliest.[10] Irwin was filmed snorkeling directly above the stingray when it lashed him with its tail, embedding its toxic barb. Irwin died almost immediately. This event was widely reported both in Australia and overseas.[11]

In 2012, Port Douglas was the pole position for a Total Solar Eclipse. This phenomenon took place at 6:38 am on 14 November 2012. The total eclipse was visible from approximately Innisfail in the south to Cedar Bay National Park in the North. Port Douglas was right in its path. Thousands traveled to Port Douglas to see the event.”

Many beaches offer shady spots for those preferring to be out of the sun. And yet, we seldom see people on the beaches as in this case of this pristine Ellis Beach.

Unquestionably, Port Douglas is an ideal tourist town. We drove past numerous fabulous resort, hotels including some which were quaint and tucked away in the forest while others were lined up along the main roads for quick and easy access to restaurants, shops and attractions.

We were looking forward to seeing the renowned Four Mile Beach, a major attraction in Port Douglas.

The downtown area which we’ll share in photos over the next several days was lined with shops, dining establishments, tourist planning centers and travel agencies many of which were on Macrossan Street and Wharf Street. A shopping enthusiast could easily spend days wandering up and down the main street in downtown Port Douglas.

When we spotted the sign for this resort, we decided to drive in off of the highway to see it.

The waterfront, pier and marina were stops we thoroughly enjoyed stopping and easily parking to get out and explore. Most likely, we parked no less than a dozen times to get out of the car to check out the scenery. We saw as much in one day as many tourists may have seen over a period of days. 

The grounds at the entrance to Thula Beach Nature Reserve weren’t used for any purpose, only kept up for viewing

We decided against visiting any of the fee-based tourist attractions. The crowds, the queues, the waiting, and the cost kept our interests focused on perusing the naturally beautiful scenery that Port Douglas has to offer which as you’ll see are many. 

We couldn’t resist this view as we entered the grounds of Thula Nature Reserve to check it out.

We’d researched online as we always do to ensure we’d hit the highlights that appealed to us which you’ll see here beginning today. There wasn’t a single venue we wanted to see that we hadn’t.

Back on the highway, we were close to entering the Port Douglas area.

We have a few more road trips in mind over our remaining time in Trinity Beach. Currently, on day 48 of 88 days, we’re beyond halfway of our time in this area. With many booked upcoming cruises sailing the perimeter of the continent, we’ll have plenty of additional opportunities to visit many of the highlights of Australia we’ll surely have missed along the way.

Through the car’s windshield, we spotted one of the first resorts in Port Douglas. We had arrived! We’ll be back tomorrow with lots more.

Please stop back tomorrow for more photos from our road trip to Port Douglas, its wonderful town, and more.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 29, 2014:

We’d made an error in posting the correct one-year-ago-date a few days ago. Please click here for the correct post from one year ago today as we wrapped up our time in Madeira.