Friday, July 6, 2018

The Queensland coast road trip

It's been two weeks since I returned home from my Queensland holiday.  I had better record my memories before they fade.

Photos from my first two days of adventures in Far North Queensland have been lost.  I had a memory card malfunction.   The only photos I've ever taken of crocodiles have gone!  I didn't find a solution to the problem until I reached Bundaberg so nearly all photos were taken on my cell phone. 

I don't need photos to recall the trouble I had remembering how to drive a manual car.  Luckily my first attempts with the little rental car were on a Sunday. I dread to think how bad it could have been in heavy traffic.  My sister had arrived from Brisbane and is accustomed to lots of traffic.  I'm not.  I can now report that I managed to drive from Cooktown in North Queensland to Brisbane, a distance of 2,017 kms (1,253 Miles), plus numerous side roads, without incident.  OK, there were two near incidents.  Once the undercarriage of the car came in contact with a gutter I hadn't noticed, no damage done.  And once we nearly ran out of petrol but I'll come to that because I got a great photo that day!

My sister and I met up at Cairns airport and, after picking up the rental car, headed north to Port Douglas.  I'd booked all the accommodation in advance and luck was on my side, with one exception I'd done a great job.  I'd aimed to find a mix of styles of accommodation from basic motel to posh hotels.  We were off to a good start at our first stay, an Airnbn in Port Douglas.  It felt so good to be back in the tropics and the outdoor living style.  Add to that great hosts who were only too happy to chat and share life experiences, make recommendations to add to the pleasure of our visit - what more could you ask for?

 Reef Paradise, Port Douglas.  Photo courtesy of our host, Andrew

But first we had to get there and sustain our bodies to do so.  It was Mother's Day, cafes and restaurants were doing a roaring trade in Cairns, so we headed out of town, pointed north.  It was windy and the sea was a choppy, murky brown at Palm Cove, the area was heaving with people so we kept going before giving in to hunger and finding somewhere to eat.  We were past being fussy and marched into the first place that was near an empty car park.  Our meal was delicious and beautifully presented but also more than a little expensive.  I was hoping everywhere in the north would not be that expensive.  And it wasn't, thank heavens!

To be honest I'm really annoyed about losing my crocodile photos.  I have no evidence of the lovely day Tricia and I had on Lady Douglas river cruise when we spotted three of them.  We were lucky that we were seated beside some lovely, chatty people from the Central Coast, NSW and then discovered they knew my dear old friend, Allan Carpenter.

I like Port Douglas, it's laid back style, wide streets with numerous tourist resorts well hidden behind luxuriant trees and shrubs.  It was easy to find our way around, people were very friendly.  It was an absolute delight to see the famous and very pretty St Mary's by the Sea.  Bucket List stuff.  Like so many buildings in the north it was built to replace another church that was destroyed by a cyclone (in 1911).  Behind the altar is an enormous window which captures glorious views of the Coral Sea.   

Photo couresy of Kgbo, Wikipedia

On our second evening we strolled along the waterfront waiting for sunset.  Many others, young and old, were doing the same but that evening was not destined to be one of the more spectacular ones for which the area is famed.  Instead we shared a soft, pretty evening with a big group of Brazillian young people who have flocked into the area to work recently.  Andrew told us they meet here every evening to catch the sunset and catch up with each other.     

A sunset cruise making its way past the waterfront

After the sun set we walked to the nearby Combined Clubs, known locally as the Tin Shed, for our evening meal. 

 photo courtest of Google Images

The following morning we set off for the Daintree and Cape Tribulation.  It still sounds mystical and magical to me.


  1. Sounds wonderful.
    Please Miss the crocodile ate my homework.

    1. Don't think the modern day crocs would settle for just the homework, Adrian.

  2. What a great adventure and such a lovely area. Perfect for summer walking.

    1. Shame it's the middle of winter.

    2. Perfect for any season walking. The day we arrived the temperature was 30C but with a lovely offshore breeze. Average days were 27/28C. That's not bad for winter!

  3. So much beauty, i am glad you got to go, and glad you are sharing what you have with us.

  4. Some of my old stomping areas of years past.

    Six years ago, at the end of this month, at the young age of 47 years, a lass who had been a member of my staff when I managed the then resort on Hinchinbrook Island, passed away. It was at that beautiful little church her funeral service was held. And on the day of Bronnie's funeral, Migaloo, the white whale was spotted offshore. Bronnie celebrated her 21st birthday on the island...we'd known each other from our Noosa Heads' days. She worked in shop in the same complex I had my greengrocery-healthfood store in Hastings Street. And when she learned I was going to Hinchinbrook, she begged me for a job. How could I refuse. :)

  5. Enjoyed your travel blog and we enjoyed a similar trip a few years ago. It was a pity your SD card failed but have you tried taking it to a camera shop? My SD card failed while on a trip to the Baltic (a once in a lifetime trip there) and when I returned home to Adelaide we took it to a large camera retailer who managed to get about 90% of my photos back for me, so it might be worth trying. Apparently they have a computer app (??) that does it. Good luck.

  6. It's good to see the start of your Australian adventure. I can well imagine how upset you are about the loss of photos - just as I would be.


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