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PORT DOUGLAS - CAPE TRIBULATION  
  HOME :: VIEW GALLERY :: 17 August - 26 August
   
 
The Boy Who Cried Crocodile...

A short stop over in Cairns finds us at a 5 star caravan park.  Kids paradise.  Mini fire engine rides, jumping pillows, huge water park, three-wheeler bikes, outdoor cinema…and the list goes on.  Harrison’s heaven, and naturally he doesn’t want to leave.  A spot of shopping here and a barbeque with our caravaning neighbours, then we’re off to Port Douglas.

Port Douglas, once a sleepy fishing village, was transformed in the 80's when Skase built the Sheraton Mirage resort.  Many more would soon follow, perhaps too many for the demand.  The main street is filled with cafes and restaurants, with a large hill that separates any views.  My old man’s comment comes to mind; “You might as well be in Brunswick Street” and, in part, I have to agree.

We stay a few kilometres out of town and Garry finds a neat little fishing spot, near a bridge on the Mowbray river.  Here he also finds a fishing hazard.  Originally mistaken for a floating log, is a local 3 metre crocodile.  Naturally, with his excitement of seeing one in the wild, he brings the family down for look.  I reluctantly get out of the car with Harrison strapped to hip.  We walked to the end of the concrete embankment, where the old bridge once was, and there it was, sunning itself on the bank.  To indulge Garry, I paused momentarily, and then promptly said; “That’s great Garry, let’s get back in the car now”.

A day trip from Port Douglas takes us into the Daintree Rainforest, up to Cape Tribulation.  To get there, you take your car on a barge to cross the very large and scenic, Daintree River.  As we embark, Garry tells me to wind the window up so a crocodile doesn’t jump in the car.  It becomes clear I have a serious case of paranoia, when I wind it up just in case.

The Daintree, whilst spectacular, is very wild and rugged.  I wouldn’t exactly build a summer home here.  The rainforest is so thick and consuming, quite claustrophobic really.  Along the way we were stopped by road workers, pruning the forest to clear the road.  The stop sign man said, “It grows so fast you wouldn’t know we’d been here in a couple of weeks.”

Cape Tribulation was named so by James Cook, as this is where his ship struck the reef and came very close to sinking. Cook was not in his cheeriest mood when he named the nearby features; Mount Sorrow and Weary Bay. Cape Tribulation is now a back packers haven.  The beach is donned with semi-naked 20 something’s; girls scrawling messages in the sand; boys outperforming one another with hand-stands.

Myall Beach, at Cape Trib, is accessible via a low-lying boardwalk through some swamp like vegetation.  We pass some European tourists on the boardwalk and Harrison’s points into the swamp and yells ‘Look Mum, a crocodile!’.  Of course there wasn’t, but the passing women scrambles backwards scanning the swamp where Harrison was pointing.  I internalised my belly laugh until round the next bend.

Port Douglas was originally our northern most destination, but on the advice from my Uncle Geoff, we have decided to head up as far as Cooktown.  The inland road is now sealed all the way and he tells us it’s what Port Douglas was once like.

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