Part 2…Road trip…Port Douglas…Lots to share after a perfect day…Photos shown in progression…Cecil, the slaughtered lion…One of our lion photos..

A number of visitors were lounging in this beach park in Port Douglas.

As we toured the town of Port Douglas we were amazed at how easy is was to navigate the many points of interest. Although the downtown area was packed with tourists it had a laid back, unhurried feel uncommon in tourist beach towns.

The main street, Macrossan Street, in Port Douglas consisted of one store, shop, and restaurant after another.

Whether we wandered the quaint streets or walked the Four Mile Beach we always felt safe and comfortable.  The only fear was going into the water where stingers lurked in abundance awaiting their next brush against human skin to leave their indelible mark. 

Taking photos was easy on a sunny day.

We surmised that the possibility of being stung by one of many of a variety of stingers keeps swimmers out of the water at all of the pristine beaches we’ve visited over these many weeks. 

More shopping continued on Wharf Street.

We noticed that there are no vendors lining the beaches in Queensland scrambling in an attempt to sell their wares. Either there are laws regarding this or, we are in an area of less poverty than many other areas of the world we’ve visited in the past. 

There are almost 100 restaurants in Port Douglas.

Its become familiar to us to being approached by locals trying to encourage us to purchase their handmade crafts and local trinkets. With no room in our luggage and no home to eventually use or store such products, buying anything doesn’t fit into the realm of our lives. 

Many of the restaurants are huge and elaborate attracting the most finicky of diners.

Without question, we certainly appreciate the diligence and hard work of those vendors throughout the world.  But, for us, practicality must prevail.

As we wandered on foot a beach area, we spotted the historic Court House and museum. Unfortunately, it was closed or we’d have loved to go inside.

As we wandered the main streets in Port Douglas, we realized that no matter how much “sightseeing” we do, we don’t fit into the typical tourist category. Walking past the shops we chuckled over how unlikely it is that we’d purchase any of the clothing, bags, shoes, and household goods.

Tom was admiring the trees at the beach park.

And, the many charming beachfront restaurants didn’t appeal to our senses either when we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that dining in restaurants in Australia may not be possible for me. 

An unusual tree with a portion of its root system above ground.

Checking out every posted menu as we walked, we further confirmed this fact. Most of the meats offered on the menus are coated in sauces and battered in a manner that doesn’t work for me. The side dishes are starchy and often tinged with sugar. 

It’s winter in Australia and we don’t see as many of flowers as there are in the spring.

The thought of spending US $22, AUD $30 for a unseasoned slab of barramundi and a plain lettuce salad doesn’t appeal to me when we can go to our favorite fish market and purchase barramundi for under US $5, AUD $9 a serving, seasoned by us to perfection, with a side of sautéed veggies, a salad with homemade dressing and a coconut flour muffin slathered with grass-fed butter.

We wandered about this beautiful beach park.
When dining in restaurants we have the concern of the food having been cooked in the same pan as those items I cannot have. The risk of contamination is high. Nor do we expect restaurant cooks and chefs to make special accommodations for me with the use of their cookware.
The views from every direction were breathtaking.

Sure, we’d love to visit a fabulous beach area and sit down for meal.  But, we always remember that we wouldn’t be traveling the world if it weren’t for my strict low carb, grain free, starch free, sugar free and chemical free way of eating that brought me to exquisite good health after years of suffering. 

A buoy to mark low water.

If Tom would like to dine out, I’m happy to join him and order that plain steak or fish and plain salad with nary a complaint. Surprisingly, after all of this time, Tom doesn’t feel shortchanged. Perhaps, that is why he loves cruising. 

The tide was low giving us an entirely different perspective of the beach.

While on a cruise, Tom can order anything he wants without concern or worry when the ship’s chefs manage to make everything work for me as they do for many other passengers with special diets.

There are many beaches that are covered with rock but, overall the beaches we’ve seen are sandy.

Without shopping, without dining out, without spending on pricey tourist attractions we happily find an entire world of wonder that we easily appreciate and cherish for its natural and unique beauty. 

This enormous Banyan Tree reminded us of the tree across the street from our condo in Honolulu.

In our old lives of seldom traveling, we’d often spend considerable time at the hotel, the pool, the hotel’s beach, a wide array of local restaurants, and visiting a few choice attractions popular in the area. This gave us a limited perspective of the area.

Possibly, a memorial for a beloved individual lost to the sea in this location.

Now, we live in an area shopping in their shops, cooking their locally grown foods, meeting the locals, wandering through their farmer’s markets, and most of all visiting those special places that Mother Nature created for us to respect and, for us to appreciate with love and care.

For this, we are grateful and for this, Port Douglas never let us down. 

From this view, we were seated in white chairs facing the ocean, left from a recent wedding. It was a perfect spot for a wedding.
It was these rose petals on the ground that made us realize that a recent wedding had been held in this spot.

On Cecil the lion: We can’t avoid addressing the recent heartbreaking slaughter of Cecil, the lion, in Zimbabwe, Africa.  Rather than rant our personal views which our many worldwide readers can easily imagine, we share this well-written tribute by Simon Espley to Cecil on my personal favorite website, Africa Geographic:

“While that rich American dentist and the hunting industry at large, scramble for excuses and justifications for their actions, your rivals will already have killed your cubs and settled into your territory. Yes, those weak ones who could not challenge you now run your kingdom. See more at

You, Cecil, are the reason I am a proud African. Your spirit, your grace, and your courage epitomize my Africa. You are the reason my team and I do what we do. I am so sorry that you had to endure 40 painful hours with an arrow lodged in your body, that you were then shot, beheaded, and skinned – turned into a trophy for a man whose only understanding of Africa is that our laws cannot protect you from his money.

 I am sorry that more was not done to protect you and I am outraged that you and your kind are seen not as kings, but as commodities. On a selfish level, I am sorry because I will never see you with my own eyes.

RIP big guy, and know that many of us humans DO care, and we are trying, desperately, to fight for you and yours. A luta continua!”  (translated:  the fight goes on)

Last photograph of Cecil with his pack friend Jericho (standing) a month before he was killed
Last known photo of Cecil (lying down) and Jericho who both protected their 25 cubs. Now, with Cecil gone, Jericho may not be able to protect those cubs on his own, resulting in their death. (We borrowed this photo from the UK Telegraph).
We took this photo as one of many lion photos that we had the gift of seeing in the Masai Mara in October 2013 while on a photo safari. This experience forever changed our hearts and minds with love and appreciation of these magnificent beings. For more photos and details of our safari which we spread over many posts, please begin by clicking here and continuing on from there.

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2014:

Our last night in Madeira, Portugal as we’d begin the trip to Paris in the morning. It was a memorable two and a half months but, as always, we were ready to continue on.  For that final post with some of our favorite photos, please click here.

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.