The morning welcomed us with rain but it was not surprising at all. After all we were in Daintree National Park. It was never a pleasant feeling when the fabric parts of our trailer were soaked with water like a sponge. It was very warm so we did not complain at all.
Fortunately, we did not have to drive far. It was only 65 km from Lync Haven to Port Douglas, our next stop.
Port Douglas luxurious holiday town
Port Douglas is a small town, full of restaurants and luxurious hotels. There is also a famous Four Mile Beach that is great for any beach activity. The only problem are saltwater crocodiles that sometimes roam in the area especially in summer months or toxic jellyfish that can hurt you pretty bad (also in summer months).
Also, there is a Sunday Market in Port Douglas that runs between 8 am and 2 pm. It is a good opportunity to taste some local food or fruits or buy locally crafted items.
Port Douglas has a unique charm that always appeals to me and it is one our favorite places to relax.
We stopped at Tropic Breeze Caravan Park that is located 200 meters from the 4 Mile Beach and a walking distance from the town centre. Perfect. This is what we wanted.
Interestingly, when we got there, the weather improved significantly and the sun started to break through. We set up quickly and went straight away to see what had changed since we visited Port Douglas 2 years ago.
Life must be going here very slowly because we found everything exactly as it was. Even my favorite roasted coconut ice creams tasted exactly the same.
Four Mile Beach Sunset
At sunset, we went to Four Mile Beach and climbed to the lookout to admire the sun hiding behind the mountains. Around us, on the hill, there were several million dollar mansions with a great view of the Four Mile Beach. Nice, we can live here. But what to do in Port Douglas when you get bored of resting or it is a rain season?
Four Mile Beach is one of the greatest beaches in Australia. It is very wide on a low tide, the sand is pretty hard but 4WD driving is not permitted. There are many people walking on Four Mile Beach every day and dogs are permitted too.
Port Douglas holiday mood
Next day, the weather was good, so we agreed to go to Harley’s Crocodile Adventure.
However, we were gathering so long that it was too late for the first attractions starting at nine in the morning. In addition, it turned out that some of our watches were still set to a different time zone and it is even later than we thought.
I think we quickly soaked the Port Douglas holiday atmosphere and that’s why our moving was so slow. Hopefully, the crocodiles will not run away and we will do a second attempt in a few days.
Mossman Gorge walks
We spent our first day relaxing and then the next day we drove to Mossman Gorge. Mossman Gorge walks are probably the destination for many tourists as we had trouble finding a parking spot.
Mossman Gorge features Mossman River that is beautifully located among dense rainforest vegetation, with some sharp gorge edges and round boulders all around the place.
Swimming in Mossman River is permitted but you are doing it at your own risk as the water condition can change any time.
There are a few Mossman Gorge walks along Mossman River where you can stop at the lookout to relax.
Rainforest Circuit Track
We decided to get lost in the rainforest by walking the Rainforest Circuit Track that is a 2.4 km loop. While walking we also passed more people than usual. The trail we walked was recently restored and we could admire both the river and the forest from many viewing platforms.
Various colored butterflies were flying around us. Unfortunately, they did not want to sit anywhere, and I couldn’t take a picture when they were flying.
Marius, on the other hand, had a close encounter with a dark-colored snake that was basking on a patch of sunny path. Fortunately, when Marius withdrew his footsteps, the snake also ran away… phew. I think it was a red-bellied black snake, but we were not sure as it was very quick.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures
Next day, at 9 am sharp, we were at the gate of Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. Yes, we can do it on time!
We purchased our tickets, got a map and started exploring the place. It happened that Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is not only a crocodile place.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures have a 10 hectares of land that is divided to four different zones:
- Harley’s Lagoon where they have a boat cruise featured with feeding saltwater crocodiles
- Wildlife Discovery Trail that has crocodiles and alligators, snakes, goannas and koalas
- Cassowary Walk featured with predatory bird aviary and cassowaries
- Gondwana Gateway with all australian animals including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, emus, snakes and quolls
Kids can feed kangaroos and wallabies from the pre-purchased food from the reception. Nell was delighted because whenever she saw an animal she wanted to pat it (good thing not a crocodile). We spent the whole day walking along the paths and learning a lot.
For example we found out how to breed crocodiles and make it profitable. Interestingly, males are preferred because they give more skin.
Crocodile bags can cost up to $ 30,000, so this is a very profitable business.
Koalas own fans
The koala, which has its own private fan, made us laugh the most. You can see that it fully appreciates the achievements of technology and positions himself so that the fur is properly ventilated.
We returned to Port Douglas exhausted, on our last legs. But only us. Nell was still full of energy. She also found herself a friend just a couple of trailers from us, that gave us a few minutes of so needed freedom.
Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures was a great experience for us where we learned a lot about crocodiles and other animals.
Fishing in Four Mile Beach
Next day in the morning, we went fishing. There was a favorable high tide and almost the entire beach was flooded with water.
Everyone got to their fishing rods and it started. We were standing next to each other, but the fish only approached my hook. It was weird and it got Marius irritated. I was excited, and Nell was running crazily around us.
Fish may have a small brain, but they know our hardware. My fishing rod had a weak line and I don’t know if it was brittle or more suited to smaller fish. I was able to hook a large snapper twice and the line did not last. Bummer!
But, I easily pulled small fish ashore, and then released them. As a result, in the afternoon we bought a new line so we will make the second attempt tomorrow.
Next day situation repeated itself. Snapper splashed his tail around, so I had time to watch him and in seconds it was gone.
Then, without hesitation, Nell told Marius that he has to go to the pier in the evening and fetch the big fish, as he had done in Derby.
In the evening Marius tried to catch something from Port Douglas pier but fish was not interested. At least he enjoyed the view. And you must know the view from the pier is very beautiful and relaxing and boats docked in the marina look amazing..
On the way back from the beach, I found a nice-sized fresh coconut. I picked it up and checked if something was splashing inside. Unfortunately it might have fallen and probably became unsealed, because the juice was already fermented.
Strong sun in Port Douglas
In the evening I noticed that during our fishing I burnt myself a bit. My hands were tan up to the elbows and my whole face was red.
I don’t know how it happened, there wasn’t much sun when we were fishing. I was wearing sunglasses all day, so now I look like I’ve sunbath with goggles on.
UV rays can be reflected off of open water because of this you can get a sunburn in the shade.
Port Douglas Market
Next day was Sunday so we went to Port Douglas market. When you visit northern Australia places like this are a must to visit. Sunday market is a great place to spend some time enjoying the tropical vibe and try some exotic fruit or delicious stall food.
The market is located in Port Douglas, Rex Smeal Park, close to the pier and little St Mary’s by The Sea church and runs between 8 am and 2pm.
When we arrived, we just purchased some fresh pineapple juice and walked among the stalls. There was a variety of unique items to purchase: arts, innovative crafts, tropical clothing, hats, and obviously many different exiotic fruits and foods.
In the background we could hear a local musician playing the instrument making this place even more magical.
We purchased some small souvenirs to keep our memory fresh and later went to the pier again to enjoy the views.
Cyclone season preparation
Next day, we bought a local newspaper, and on the front page it was that poor dog that was taken by a crocodile (check the final part of our previous post). A tourist managed to take a picture of a crocodile pulling a dog ashore in order to eat it. I have shivers thinking about it.
I kept reading the local newspaper, and there was a huge article on preparation for the coming wet season and possibility of cyclones.
Before cyclone checklist
In summary, in preparation for the incoming cyclone you should:
- Check and secure all items that may fly
- Fill rubbish bins with water
- Flood the garden furniture in the pool or put it inside
- Refuel the car
- Check the first aid kit
- Fill water canisters
- Inform the family which part of the home is the most durable and what to do in the event of a cyclone or evacuation.
- Check the batteries in the portable radio,
- Go to your neighbours and check if they are prepared for the incoming cyclone – older people may need some help.
- When the cyclone warning is issued: put on decent shoes (not thongs) – Australian love their thongs and wear them even in the most extreme conditions
- Turn off electricity and gas.
- If there is an evacuation outside the city, take basic things and pets with you
- If the evacuation takes place to a municipal shelter, you have to take mattresses with you and leave food and water to the animals.
What to do during the cyclone
If cyclone hits and you are in the house be mindful of the following:
- Hide in the basement, hall or bathroom
- If the house begins to crack (!) you can enter a bathtub and cover yourself with a mattress or stay under a solid table
- If the wind weakens, do not assume that the cyclone has already passed. You could be actually sitting in the middle of the cyclone eye that is a very calm place and there is no wind there. You may think the cyclone is over but you could be standing right in the cyclone eye that will move soon and strong wind and rain returns.
What to do after the cyclone
- Please wait for the official information to confirm that the cyclone has passed your area. Before you turn on the electricity or gas installation, check if it is not damaged.
- Don’t go to see the damage, but instead go to your neighbours first and ask if they need any help.
- Finally, don’t make unnecessary phone calls. Remember many people may be calling for help and you don’t want to block the line.
Gosh, you can get the goosebumps reading this but this is the reality for people living up north. They have to be prepared for anything. At least they have good weather all year round (except cyclone season).