With a permanent population of just over 3,000, the town of Port Douglas and its surrounding area is a quiet holiday seeker's paradise — but not because it doesn't have anything to offer. Beautiful beaches perfect for sunning, swimming and snorkeling, nearby Daintree National Park and its offerings of bird watching, canoeing and hiking, world-class restaurants that aim to please — Port Douglas really does want you to have your cake and eat it, too.
Far from the amusement park and nightclub set, a holiday taken in Port Douglas is a holiday where you won’t have to do without any world-class amenities but where you can embark on a simpler life for as long as you visit. Leave your cell phone in your hotel room and put your watch in a drawer, life in Port Douglas doesn’t need a schedule or a reason. Here are some of the highlights of this well-stocked town.
Kite SurfingKite surfing — or kite boarding as it’s also called — is a recreational sport that combines wakeboarding, surfing, kite sailing and paragliding into one experience. Utilizing the wind’s power in a broad sail, or “kite”, a kite surfer can be pulled along the surface of the water on a kite board at amazing speeds, and some boarders are incredibly acrobatic, too. While it’s a sport that can take some practice to master, it’s always a pleasure to watch. At the southern point of Four Mile Beach — especially during the winter when the trade winds are really kicking — kite surfers abound. Pack a lunch, your binoculars and some sunscreen, and enjoy a day with the kite surfers at Four Mile Beach.
Daintree National ParkA World Heritage List site, Daintree National Park is an area of remarkable biodiversity. With significant birdlife and plenty of rare species, a visit to this park is guaranteed to be unlike any other. Much of the park is rainforest, and it has been in continuous existence for over 110 million years, which makes it a contender for the world’s oldest existing rainforest. Tree species that had long been believed to be extinct have actually been recently re-discovered in Daintree, and the number and variety of animal, reptile and bird species in the park boggles the mind: over 400 different species of bird call this national park home, including the cassowary and the buff-breasted paradise kingfisher. The swamp wallaby, platypus, Bennett’s tree kangaroo and brown bandicoot all reside in the park, and there are at least 23 reptile species and 13 amphibian species present, including the eastern water dragon, chameleon gecko, amethystine python and the white-lipped treefrog. In short, if you want to see what part of the world was like millions of years before humans ventured out onto it, spend some time in Daintree.
Great Barrier ReefThe Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system, comprised of almost 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands. They cover an area of over 2,600 kilometers across a stretch of ocean that is almost 350,000 kilometers square. Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Australia, the reef is the largest structure in the world that was made by living organisms. In fact, the coral polyps’ handiwork can be seen from outer space. It is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and in Port Douglas, you can see and experience the Great Barrier Reef and the sea creatures it supports by snorkeling or scuba diving.
Great RestaurantsWho doesn’t want an excellent meal after a long day at the beach or in the water? Port Douglas, for being home to only about 3,000 people, has food fit for a king. Three of the most popular restaurants, that not only prepare exciting dishes, but also source their food locally, are:
- Salsa Bar & Grill. Simple ingredients and excellent Australian cuisine that changes with the season’s offerings.
- Bucci. Innovative, Italian cuisine that specializes in “paddock to plate” preparations.
- Harrisons. Internationally regarded, this restaurant also has an extensive wine list.
If you need a trip to get away from it all, there’s no reason to suffer in the process. Port Douglas has stunning beachfront, perfect water, an amazing forest, world-recognized restaurants and a host of other offerings that make any trip a memorable and relaxing one.
NOTE: This is a post from one of our contributors. Any views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views on www.pinoyadventurista.com.
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