I can’t believe that after all my years growing up and living in Australia that I have never been to tropical North Queensland. Every Aussie who lives in the Southern parts of Australia knows the names of all the places, but to experience it is something else. So when my wife said, “let’s leave the boy with his grandparents and go for a trip up to Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest” I was there!

With work being so busy of late, I decided not to put in a half effort to research our destinations but trust in my travel agent – my wife. The first destination on the trip was Port DouglasTo get to Port Douglas from Sydney, you either drive for 2 days or fly to Cairns. Cairns was our choice as we were time poor for this short 5 day trip. I am not sure what expectations I had, but they were very quickly dismissed. Port Douglas itself is over 100 years old, built off the back of the mining and timber industries. But it is now very much a holiday resort town at the foot of the Daintree. I knew it would be green, being in the tropics with almost daily rainfall. So these photos were no surprise.

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This is Four Mile Beach, which has a large amount of detritus at this time of year. This is all part of the natural cycle where the old plant life is washed down into the ocean, churned by the waves, washed back again, and then feeds itself back into the ecosystem.

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What I didn’t expect was such an eclectic mix of buildings housing hotels, cafes, restaurants, and pubs. The place we stayed out, the QT Hotel, was a couple kilometres outside of the main street in town – Macrossan Street. It was pretty cool, and for this time of year empty!

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When do you ever see the hotel pool this void of guests? BTW – don’t be confused by the grey skies, it was 28 degrees Celsius and quite humid.

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The town itself is a cool mix of old an new with some vibrantly coloured buildings which very much reflect the artists who are resident in these parts.

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Turquoise brightens up Macrossan Street, but not in a tacky way.

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An old steam train still runs through into the town, which is more of a novelty ride than serving a proper industrial purpose.

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This railway station is adjacent to the Port Douglas Marina, which is an impressive collection of expensive maritime hardware. A couple of the Great Barrier Reef tourist catamarans / trimarans could be painted grey and commissioned in the navy.

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And the town is very cycle friendly, my sort of place. I rode one of these two bikes (the salmon coloured one) the morning after we arrived, and it was quite possibly the worst bike I have ever ridden. But it was two wheels without an engine, so I had to give it a go – and it was fun!

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The older buildings have quite a history themselves, and look like your typical tropical North Queensland buildings. This pub dates back to the time when the town was founded.

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And this church dates back to the same time period. No doubt both structures have been ravaged multiple times by cyclones.

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The local shopkeepers are quite expressive with their quirky shop signs. The jewelry and art shops are probably the most impressive here.

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The colour continued through to the tropical fauna, which was only a taste of what was to come up in the Daintree. Macro photographers would have a field day up here.

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And unique views are presented by zooming the lens in on some of the tropical plants.

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The best bit of our trip up to Port Douglas was being able to rendezvous with old friends of the family on my wife’s side – Nori and BM. If it wasn’t for Nori, my in-laws wouldn’t have got together and my wife would not be here. BM’s brother and his wife were also up in Port Douglas and we had a splendid meal at the Sea Temple hotel.

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This was a great start to the trip, and it got better when we crossed the Daintree River.