Advice and Questions - Port Douglas

Oct 7th, 2008, 10:49 AM
  #1  
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Advice and Questions - Port Douglas

We leave for our long awaited trip in 37 days! I would love input on our itinerary as well as suggestions on places to eat in Port Douglas.

We arrive in Cairns on November 16, we will be staying at the Coral Tree Inn - explore the Esplanade and Night Market, dinner at the Night Market.

November 17 19 Spirit of Freedom Dive Cruise

November 20 Mandalay & Shalimar Apartments - Grocery shop, explore Port Douglas

November 21 Drive to Kuranda: Birdworld, Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens, markets, Barron Falls and nature walks

November 22 Saturday - Daintree and Cape Tribulation - Boardwalks, Exotic Fruit Farm Fruit Tasting and Jungle Surfing

November 23 Mossman Gorge

Since we will have an apartment in Port Douglas, I would love recommendations for takeaway places for lunch and dinner. Any place that serves family style takeaway food that is wonderful and affordable? Thanks!
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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There is a wholesale fish place in PD which may be worth a trip for you where you could perhaps get some whole fresh fish to cook and some nice fruit to finish off with. I think its in the street behind the Supermarket if I remember correctly. Just ask someone and they can tell you.
LizzyF is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Thanks Lizzy - I'll have to check it out.

I was also wondering if there were discount coupons, perhaps in tourist information brochures, for Kuranda, Jungle Surfing or Fruit Tasting? Thanks!
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 03:29 PM
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To do Kuranda etc., I would be doing it from Cairns via rail trip and back on gondola.

Otherwise you're driving up to PD only to drive back just about as far again to get to Kuranda.

You're going to find it getting very tropically humid and possibility of rain (at least not cold), so be prepared with loose light cottons.
Bushranger is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Actually on your day in Kuranda you could drive first north towards Mossman and take the Rex Highway up to Mareeba. Visit one of the coffee/chocolate/fruit wine places before Kuranda and then drive down the range form there. On second thougths do it the other way around as they roll up the footpath in Kuranda at 3 pm.

This would take you through some different looking country, dryer and more typical of Australian landscapes.
Saltuarius is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 06:10 PM
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The Combined Club in PD is popular with both locals and tourists. The food is good and reasonably priced and the location is great because you can watch the boats come back from the reef and the sunset.
If you like Mexican food, try Tortillas. We always eat there a couple of times when we visit PD (as you might guess from my screen name!)
For lunches, I'd suggest stopping by a supermarket and get goodies for a picnic lunch and then eat in the park.
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Oct 7th, 2008, 08:07 PM
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Bushranger - Unfortunately, we don't arrive in Cairns early enough to do Kuranda from Cairns. Thanks for the tips on dressing light!

Saltuarius - I like the idea of driving through the Tablelands, but I'm not sure everyone would be up for the extra driving (there will be 7 of us in a van). Can you give me an estimate of the time involved in adding a stop in Mareeba?

longhorn55 - Thanks for the suggestions. I looked up the Combined Club online and it looks like a really fun place.
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 08:37 PM
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Was also going to suggest Combined Services Club in PD for a reasonably priced meal but longhorn beat me to it. Good pub meals at Courthouse Hotel, as well. Pubs and RSL Clubs especially seem to be an under-utilised resource here on Fodors, most Australian towns have at least one RSL Club and some are surprisingly good, the closest to you in Cairns would be Cairns RSL Club on Cairns Esplanade, a short walk from Coral Tree Inn. I just tried to check their website for you, but their new one is still under construction.

Cairns Night Market meals are just typical food court as you'd find in any shopping mall and usually jam packed with tourists.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 09:30 PM
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Just thought Barbara:
That if you're already in Cairns to do your dive cruise, if that leaves from Cairns and you get deposited back there, then if you have option, it'll be less driving, and possibly one days car hire less to stay in Cairns the night the cruise returns and then do Kuranda the next day, heading up to PD end of the day - make sense now?

And even if you have accomodation/car booking already, you should be able to make an adjustment to dates.

If you have not booked accomodation yet, www.capetribbeach.com.au gets you right amongst the rainforest if it's the experience you want, and quite a few more upmarket ones like that in Daintree Village area.
Bushranger is offline  
Oct 7th, 2008, 11:43 PM
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The total for the round trip would be 192 km about 2 hours 57 mins according to google as opposed to 2 hours 20 minutes for the 137 km for the up and back the same route.
Saltuarius is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 05:57 AM
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Pat - Thanks for the restaurant suggestions. I'll plan on the RSL Club for dinner the night we arrive. Are you aware of any discount coupons in visitors guides?

Bushranger - I see the logical in your suggestion and would love to have spent the night at Cape Trib, but if we stayed one night in Cairns, two night at Cape Trib and another night in Cairns before our flight to Sydney, that is 3 different hotels in 4 days - not easy with seven people. With seven, I decided an apartment was the way to go and they require a 3 day minimum stay. So although we will have to do some backtracking, for us it seems the better choice.

Saltuarius - thanks for looking up the info for me. Is there a particular coffee/chocolate/fruit wine place that would be better to visit?

Any suggestions for favorite pizza, oriental food in Port Douglas?
Thanks!
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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Hi Barbara, have seen the odd discount coupon in "Welcome to Cairns and Tropical North" publication available free at Cairns Airport and all over town. Also some rental car companies supply a booklet of discount vouchers of about 10% to some attractions such as Tjapukai, Hartley's Creek crocs, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Rainforest Habitat at PD, and for Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld and Koala Gardens.

For pizza in Port Douglas there's plenty of choice, just walk around and see what appeals. Not a huge choice of Asian eateries in Port Douglas, Cairns city has a lot more. There's a Coles supermarket right in Macrossan St, the main street of PD, and an IGA (I think)just after the PD turnoff from Capt Cook Highway.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 08:12 PM
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Thanks Pat! We're so excited to visit!
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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Hi Barbara,

Ohhh..I wish I was coming with you! I absolutely loved PD! I spent a week up there in August and it was amazing. The whole-food fish place is in the roundabout (rotary) just before the grocery store and makes the best seafood in town! Another great place was the only mexican place in town, I can't remember the name but they were delicious (Lynchee Tree apartments gave us several coupons for places). If you get a chance, go to the Discover Rainforest exhibit right in PD, its quite lovely and your pass is good for 3 consective days (please say hello to Manley, the bird for us). You can also have breakfast/lunch with the birds, which we did not do but looks like fun Enjoy!
Vivid01 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Hi barbara
I notice in your itinerary that you plan to visit Cape Tribulation Saturday November 22nd. Just to let you know that Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm will not be operating fruit tasting tours on Saturday and Sundays during November.

also you asked about vouchers. If you book the exotic fruit tasting online via the farm website at www.capetrib.com.au you receive a discount on the price of each ticket.
capetribber is offline  
Oct 9th, 2008, 05:15 AM
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Thanks for the great information! This is why I love Fodors!

vivid - the Discover Rainforest exhibit wasn't on my radar, maybe we could check it our the day we get into PD. Thanks for the restaurant suggestions!

capetribber - thank you so much! That definitely calls for a change of plans. So I'll change Cape Trib to Friday and go to Kuranda on Saturday or Sunday.

Is Saturday or Sunday a better day to go to Kuranda?

I'm loving all the great suggestions, ideas and comments. Keep them coming!
BarbaraS is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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I also recommend the Combined Club in Port Douglas.

Our favorite late afternoon place is On The Inlet for happy happy hour. The snacks are great, and the view is terrific.

If I recall, there are not too many take-aways in PD apart from the fish and chip place in McCrossan Street - which also sells burgers and roast chickens etc.

Mitch04 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2008, 06:03 PM
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Roast chicken sounds good - thanks Mitch04
BarbaraS is offline  
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