As with any journey, one or two surprises usually pop up. Our trip from Cairns to Port Douglas was no exception. We finally got away from Cairns at about 11am on Wednesday after calling into the ‘gold mining’ shop to ensure Dearne was well equipped with maps etcetera for her fossicking on our travels. The Mine Lab Gold Mining detector has yet to be used in anger but I am sure it will sometime in the future.
On our way north we stopped for lunch at Ellis Beach. We were on a road siding above the beach and were the only ones there. As we opened the slide out we notice two couples on the beach pointing at us. ‘Nek minit’ the two men in the group started to climb the rocks towards us. As it turned out, both couples were from Blenheim and they recognised the motorhome’s Traillite brand. They were in Australia for a couple of months and caravanning at the Ellis Beach Park. It was great to catch up with a couple of Kiwi’s and swap notes on our respective travels.
Our booking at Port Douglas turned into a bit of a nightmare. When we made the booking we were told there were no powered sites available. We were fine with that as we have plenty of power on board and did not need to be plugged in. However when we got to the site we found that it was under some very large trees and we were not going to get any sun either. No sun means the solar panels cannot do their job i.e. dead batteries after a while. We went back to reception to politely raise the issue with them and to see if there was an alternative site. Their response was “did you request any sun when you made your booking? If you did not, no refund”. Unfortunately for them Rod was getting a little weary by this stage of the day and they had definitely picked on the wrong person to try it on with. Two very quick minutes later we had a full refund and were on our way!!!! We were lucky and found an alternative site about 7km out of town – nice and quiet with ‘free’ Wi-Fi.
Our day concluded by driving into Port Douglas and having a fish and chip dinner (accompanied by a lively savy blanc of course) at the local marina.
On Thursday we headed 25km south and spent much of the day at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. It goes without saying there were plenty of crocs (fresh and salt water) but there was also a great variety of other Australian species. We initially thought we would be there for about an hour or so but we found plenty to do and see and four hours passed quite quickly. Click HERE for their website if you are interested in having a look around the Park.
Today (Friday) is our last day in Port Douglas so we spent most of it exploring the local area. I know many of you have been here before and must agree it is a stunning coastline. It’s a shame about the crocs and the box jellyfish that prevent you from getting into the water. We went for a walk last night from the camp to the bush line about 2km away. We crossed a number of bridges with small creeks running below. On each bridge there was a sign saying not to go near the water as crocs reside in the area. While we did not see any, we heeded the advice. More photographs of Port Douglas HERE .
We drive north to Cooktown tomorrow. It is some 300km so we plan to be on the road by about 7.30am. As usual our journey is never a direct one. We normally stop off here and there to see the sights so we are looking to take most of the day to arrive at our destination. We intend being there for about three or four days then start heading south and across to Mt Isa. Our plan is be in Isa by the end of August.