No secrets.

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
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Trip End Nov 19, 2010


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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's no secret that Port Douglas is one of Australia's best holiday destinations and during our eight nights here we confirmed what we already knew and let the relaxed feeling of the place consume us. With a site secured at the well positioned Tropic Breeze Caravan Park everything the town has to offer was within walking distance allowing us easy access to the beach, surf club, marina and the towns many eateries.


Sixteen years ago as boyfriend and girlfriend Tan and I went on our first holiday together, to Port Douglas, where we took a snorkelling trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and were keen for the kids to experience the reef as well. We booked with the same company (Quicksilver, they have the biggest boat) as we did in 1994 and were lucky enough to get blue skies, sunshine and little wind which made for a great day exploring the reef with perfect visibility. The kids couldn't wait to board the massive tri hulled boat and enjoyed every minute of our trip out to the companies large pontoon on the outer Argincourt Reef. Snorkelling out on the reef is amazing and it was great to get all six of us in the water together to view the hundreds of different species of fish and coral. On top of the snorkeling if you didn't want to get wet you could take a ride in the glass bottom boat, visit the underwater viewing area or feast on the massive buffet which proved very popular with our clan. After a fantastic day snorkelling, on the boat trip back to Port Douglas I couldn't help but think how little the reef had changed since our last visit (maybe a little less colorful) but thought how much our lives had changed (definitely a lot more colorful) and realised how much of a kick we get out of showing the kids new things.


Last week we received news that friends Kylie Hayles and Adam Kelsall were heading up to Port Douglas for a wedding over the weekend and we had arranged to catch up with them. With their wedding on the Friday Night the first chance we had to catch up was on Saturday morning down on the beach at the start line of the Port Douglas Triathlon which I had somehow convinced myself  to enter. After a quick hello/goodbye I was off leaving Tan, Adam, Kylie and the kids to spend the day on the beach where they had a fantastic time on the picturesque four mile beach. As for me this was going to be a big ask but I was looking forward to just getting out there after a limited preparation ( we found out about the race on Thursday) and it went ok but I suffered on the 10 km run in the heat of the day (race started at 11 am) and was happy to see the finish line where I really appreciated the support of Tan, Adam, Kylie and the kids. That night we had a great meal with Adam and Kylie and caught up with all the news from home while Adam spent the night entertaining the kids with his many card and coin tricks, which Cohen now insists on performing each time we sit down for a meal, thanks Adam. Once again it was great to see some familiar faces and being able to relax with them in such a nice place was even better. A few days earlier whilst walking down the main street I ran into an old cricket mate in Dave Bowen who was also in town for a wedding (not the same one) and we were able to catch up for a beer which once again made us feel a little closer to home.


Apart from tourism the traditional industry in this part of the world is sugar cane and we were keen for the kids to learn as much about the process as they could. So Tan took Sum and Coop along to the Mossman Sugar Mill tour which walked them through the steps from harvesting through to the shipping of the sugar. The kids came back with a greater understanding of one of their favourite treats and a jar full of raw sugar which they now tell me is the only sugar they will eat, we'll wait and see on that one. While Tan was educating Sum and Coop I decided to do some educational work with Cohen and Jude and taught them how to upgrade their accommodation. The pool at our caravan park is no larger than your normal sized back yard pool but the pools at the Sheraton Mirage just down the road cover 4 acres of water set amongst some of the best manicured gardens I've ever seen and I was keen to treat the boys to a bit of luxury. A quick ride along the beach saw us arrive at the rear entry to the Sheraton where we camouflaged our bikes in the sand dunes then walked in and enjoyed how the other half live for a couple of hours. The boys didn't even know we were not supposed to be there and when the pool waitress came around and asked if we would like some drinks I had to decline but not before Cohen yelled out , " are we going back to the caravan park for a drink Dad", I'm not sure if the waitress understood but with Jude laying beside the pool with a smug look on his face like Christopher Skase in Majorca we soon departed.


Apart from a couple of day trips up to Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation, which was spectacular, our days in Port Douglas were spent on the beach, sitting in the surf club which had a happy hour from 3.00-5.30 each day or wandering the main street looking for food. Usually we know when our time is up in a particular place but after 8 nights we were still not ready to leave but forced ourselves to as we've still got a bit more to see.


SUMMERS CARAVAN PARK REPORT:

Tropic Breeze Caravan Park: 7/10

Pretty basic facilities here but as Dad says, location, location, location.
The beach and surf club were right out the back gate were we spent heaps of time.
We made some new friends Paul, Kirsten, Hannah, Sam and Sarah who have been on the road a year and a half but were heading home after Port Douglas and they have invited us to stay at their farm in Port Stephens (north of Newcastle) when we pass through there.

We had so much fun on the beach with the Ramke kids pretending we were on an island and playing Survivor.

COOPERS AMAZING FACT:

Cape Tribulation is the only place in the world where two World Heritage areas meet each other, The Great Barrier Reef and The Daintree Rain Forrest.

COHEN AND JUDES BIG THINGS:

We went on a BIG boat and swam in the BIGGEST pool ever.
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