On the 27th of August 2017, my family travelled just north of Cairns in order to visit Port Douglas and experience the wonderful Great Barrier Reef and spectacular Daintree Rainforest. From these theoretical outlooks, I can confirm this small coastal town lived up to our high placed expectations due to its beautiful mountainous terrain and natural wonders of the world.
After an easy three-hour flight from Sydney, Cairns graced us with lovely weather and after a short scenic drive to Port Douglas in a car we had hired, arriving at our hotel was definitely a relief. Our stunning pool side room at the Mantra Aqueous, provided with a roomy environment and outdoor spa, heightened our expectations of the luxurious experience. A definite recommendation due to its close vicinity to main street, shops and dining.
Travelling to the Great Barrier Reef was definitely the highlight of the trip! A quick boat ride out to the Low Isles, located on the outskirts of the reef, showcased Australia’s stunning marine and coral life. Our guides were incredibly informative, with my family learning so much about the oceans inhabitants in the perfect half day experience, especially for those younger families who struggle to commit to all day activities. Definitely the highlight of the trip!
Another highlight of our trip was the Daintree rainforest where we travelled to, experiencing mountainous terrain and the small town of Mossman on the way. We visited Mossman gorge and hiked a total of 5km, experiencing beautiful natural waterways and rock structures through an elevated walkway, experiencing the environment to its full potential. We then travelled further north to some lookouts (and even saw a crocodile in the river along the way) where we continued to one of the oldest rainforests in the world from a spectacular high-rise level, as opposed to the ground. We were provided with speakers that guided us throughout the hike and educated us on the history, nature and wildlife of the rainforest. Furthermore, the dinosaur exhibit was informative of the giants that roamed the very spots we were walking – definitely a memorable part of our holiday! The part that definitely tops all is the view of the rainforest from its treetops, there’s something about the angle that’s just breathtaking and rare to experience. One tip when visiting the Daintree Rainforest – keep your eyes OPEN! Cassowary’s are everywhere…
Located a street away from our hotel was the Port Douglas wildlife habitat where my family got to experience many Australian natives, all out in the open in an interactive setting. My daughters enjoyed the aviary the most, where multitudes of native birds were out in the open along with kangaroos and wallabies. The crocodiles were, gladly, caged behind fences as opposed to koalas, sleeping just nearby. The setting of the habitat definitely differs to anything we had seen before, feeling as if we were placed into the animals’ natural habitat – a comfortable and humane environment for both us and all species.
Overall, our short Port Douglas experience was definitely one to remember and a positive recommendation from the breathless lookouts, marine and wildlife, natural structures and accommodation. I definitely encourage those thinking of going to leap on the opportunity for a small holiday packed full of fun adventures to last a lifetime.