Queensland: A family vacation in perfect Port Douglas
Driving north from Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway is a spectacular introduction to what lies ahead at Port Douglas. The road hugs the coast with rainforest and mountains on one side, coconut palm fringed beaches on the other. There are so many “wow” moments on this stunning drive it’s impossible not to be in complete awe of the natural beauty of Far North Queensland.
Port Douglas is a one-hour drive north from Cairns International Airport. The town was lucky enough to be untouched by the recent Cyclone Yasi.
It was a sleepy little place until infamous entrepreneur Christopher Skase built the Mirage Resort in the heady days of the 1980s. These days the Sheraton Mirage isn’t the only luxurious resort and golf course. There are plenty of five star options to choose from as well as more moderately priced hotels, motels and a large number of apartment complexes.
Still Port Douglas retains a lovely, tropical “lazy days” feel but it also has plenty of facilities. There are shops and restaurants a plenty plus some excellent pubs and an incredible Sunday market.
The main hub is Macrossen Street. It straddles the tip of the Port Douglas peninsula, running from Four Mile Beach to the Dickson Inlet marina and wharf precinct.
Further south is the area known as Four Mile and this is a nice choice if you are looking for somewhere quieter. It’s only a five-minute drive or a ten-minute cycle along the beach to Macrossen Street.
For our holiday in Port Douglas during a school break we decided to rent a holiday house. As we were two families holidaying together pooling our resources meant we were able to rent Casa Blanca, a lovely house right across the road from Four Mile Beach.
Casa Blanca, The Tropical House feels more like a home than a vacation rental as the owners of the house have paid incredible attention to every detail. Everything is so thoughtfully considered that there was nothing we wanted for. From the well-stocked basics in the pantry to the DVDs, games, books and information packs; everything was provided. The four bedrooms are all sunny, bright and comfortable and gorgeously appointed. The magical garden was so wonderful that we enjoyed many an hour lying on the hammocks and sun lounges, sitting at the outdoor table and of course enjoying the pool. We had intentions to eat out at a number of recommended restaurants but instead cooked lovely meals and dined in most nights. Hanging in the house is art by local artists, which we loved. We visited one of the featured artists Anna Curtis at the Sunday markets and as a beautiful reminder of our holiday we now have her stunning lino prints hanging in our home.