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What to do with half day (afternoon) in Port Douglas Area?

What to do with half day (afternoon) in Port Douglas Area?

Mar 25th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 333
What to do with half day (afternoon) in Port Douglas Area?

We fly into Cairns at 1:15 (on a Friday). Given that we can't go on a snorkeling trip that afternoon and it seems as if many other organized trips depart in the morning, are there any recommendations for what to do with those remaining hours of daylight that afternoon? I'm still debating whether or not to rent a car, we are staying in PortDouglas and will be in the whole area for 5 nights. (this is next month) thanks, Julie
jck4 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2004, 08:55 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
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>>>>>>are there any recommendations for what to do with those remaining hours of daylight that afternoon?<<<<<<

Keep in mind that, while Cairns has quite a small airport, it still will take you a good hour and a half to retrieve your luggage, drive to Port Douglas, and check into your hotel. I'd be surprised if you were in a position to do any sight seeing before 3.00 p.m.

If I were you I would spend the time getting oriented and just enjoying Port Douglas itself. You could walk down the main street.

You could go for a swim on Four Mile Beach on the east side of the town.

From Four Mile Beach you could walk up Flagstaff Hill to see the views from up there.

Then cross over to the west side of town and look at the war memorial in the little park. It's a small war memorial, but then consider what the size of Port Douglas was in WW I. The losses at Gallipoli were staggering.

Then go into the little Catholic church, St. Mary's by the Sea, and look at the view of the sea through the back window. We were lucky enough to see the Quicksilver boat returning from Agincourt Reef just as we were standing there. For a few seconds it was framed in the window, making for a postcard-worthy shot.

Go outside again, and as daylight gives way to dusk, look up at the hundreds of rainbow lorikeets flying around, getting ready for night.

There are numerous debates about whether or not one needs a car in Port Douglas. We didn't have one, we travelled from and to the airport by shuttle, we went on day tours that picked us up from our hotel, and we were perfectly happy.

But that was way before my days of posting at Fodors. If we'd known then what we know now, we probably would have rented a car and undertaken some of those activities independently. (But I still say that seeing the rainforest in the company of an experienced guide adds to the fascination.)

Another thing that we had going for us was that we stayed in a hotel that was located in downtown Port Douglas (if the village centre of Port Douglas can be called "downtown"). There were properties that were scattered some distance from the village centre, far enough away that the village centre would not have been comfortably accessible on foot. If you're staying somewhere like that, you really do need wheels, in my opinion.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 25th, 2004, 08:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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jck4 - by the time you get collect your luggage (assuming the flight is on time) and allowing a hour to get to PD it'll be around 3pm - you could spend a couple of hours easily at Rainforest Habitat, an eco accredited native animal reserve, which is on the road into PD from the Captain Cook highway. If you have your own car you could stop at one of the many beaches between Cairns and PD. Only swim if there are stinger nets, as it's still box jelly fish season.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 26th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 333
Excellent! Thanks so much. The day after we arrive we will probably snorkel, the following day we spend with David, then the next we will need a car to get to the Silky Oaks lodge. Anyone know about if you can rent a car in PD and drop it off in Cairns?
jck4 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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Having now returned from our fantastic trip, I can reaffirm that Judy's ideas were all splendid!! We also went by the restaurant "At the Inlet" in the harbour at 5 to see them feed the giant grouper. The walk up the hill was fantastic, we actually did that another day, as after we arrived intown, we spend the afternoon gathering info about various snorkeling trips for the next day. And no, you don't need a car in PD.
jck4 is offline  
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