Lovely people, we had the most idyllic seven days in Port Douglas. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere and need a bit of mid-winter sun I really can’t recommend it enough. The town is small enough to be easy to stroll around (particularly if your accommodation is only a couple of blocks away from the main street, as ours was), but big enough to have plenty of nice cafes and restaurants, and some interesting shops. Everybody seemed to be very pleasant and good humoured, and the whole place just had a lovely, relaxed vibe, as if the locals are so accustomed to people visiting them for a chilled out time that they’ve become permanently chilled out themselves. Everything was really nice, without being stuffy or too formal.
(Most people would now share some holiday photos, but Tristan and I are the world’s worst tourists and never take holidays snaps, so all of the shots in this post have been lifted from various websites and accredited where necessary)
The weather was delightful, ranging from 24C to 27C while we were there, and because it was winter there were no flies or mosquitos to annoy us, and it wasn’t humid. Returning to unusually cold 10C weather in Auckland was a rude shock last night, but we’re hoping that spring will be on its way soon.
We stayed at the Meridian Port Douglas (and these photos come from the property’s website). Our room looked like this:
Thankfully, our room didn’t have those bright colours on the bed. My eyes!
We also had this bathroom:
Aside from a few big resorts (which are all a fair way out of town, requiring a hire car, which we didn’t want to have to have), most of the accommodation in Port Douglas seems to be serviced apartments. Our building was adults only, which meant that the pool was blissfully free of screaming children. Of course, whenever we return for another visit we will have two screaming children of our own to consider, but it was nice to have a ‘grown up’ place to stay this time round (and we actually booked the whole holiday just before we found out that I was pregnant, so it was pure coincidence that we went for the child-free option this time). The rooms were lovely and airy, and although they weren’t serviced every single day, this actually suited us quite well because it meant that we could laze around for the entire morning if we fancied it, rather than having to scuttle out and make way for a maid. And we’re not particularly grubby, so our room didn’t turn into a cess pit or anything.
We spent a fair bit of time in, and beside, this pool (and this shot is from a Port Douglas tourism website):
It was lovely. God, I love pools, and warm weather!
We really didn’t get up to much at all while we were away: we slept, ate, lay in the sun, swam, and read. It was blissful – exactly what we both wanted out of a holiday. I have suddenly started feeling very pregnant indeed, both physically and in terms of being knackered almost all of the time, so I wasn’t really up to doing too much else.
One thing we had wanted to do was to go out to the Great Barrier Reef for some snorkelling. However, we were a bit wary because it involves 2.5 hours on a boat each way, and the water can be pretty choppy, forcing most people to take seasickness tablets as a precautionary measure. Obviously, this wasn’t an option for me at the moment, so we compromised on this occasion and just visited the Low Isles instead, which are the part of the Reef closest to the mainland (and only involve an hour’s trip each way). This still gave us a chance to snorkel and see some lovely coral and fish – and lots of people saw turtles, although neither of us did, sadly. However, we did see a snoozing stingray and managed to avoid it stinging us in the heart, Steve Irwin style. We were really lucky with the weather – there was no breeze at all that day, and the sea was so calm. And as I’m a very novice snorkeller, it was actually quite nice to be doing it in reasonably shallow water – we’ll head out to the Reef proper on our next visit.
This is where we went:
We sailed with Sailaway, which was great (and the following photos come from their website) – some of the companies have huge boats, with hordes of tourists making a racket, but we only had 30 or so people on our catamaran, and only a couple of annoying people. Here’s the catamaran upon which I lazed around, reading in the sun, while Tristan went for a second snorkel after lunch (I was too tired):
What else did we do on holiday? Eat and eat and eat. There was a fantastic gelati place that we visited at least once a day, in order to sample as many different gelatos and sorbets as possible. And there were some great places for dinner. After being slightly revolted by the sight of food in recent weeks, it was such a treat to not have to prepare dinner myself.
We’re already planning another trip to Port Douglas for next winter, although we’ve had to suss out alternative acccommodation to take into account the two littlies…
To read more about pregnancy stuff on holiday, check out this Knocked Up Jacq post.
To find out about my dream dress shop, inconveniently located in Port Douglas, visit Another Frock.