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just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

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Melbourne, Australia
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just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

This was our second trip to PD and we had a truly excellent time.

we spent 9 nights at the Portsea Resort in PD- it was a nice place, clean, roomy and a good kitchen with everything in it you would need, but fairly noisy -lots and lots of kids having a wonderful time screaming in the pool (and it's not even school holiday time yet)

The breakfast 'tropical buffet' was included and we enjoyed it thoroughly every day.

some of the reception staff could be a bit friendlier though. some of them were just a bit too 'snooty' (very unnecessary I reckon)

All in all, we like this place and would stay there again.

The position of this resort is excellent- it has direct access to the beach and is a nice ten minute stroll into Maccrossan St to enjoy some of the lovely restaurants- our faves were Under Wraps for lunch. Cuccina for tapas and cappuccino with free biscotti. Absolutely the best is Salsa- but not to forget Mango Jam- oh, those amazing coctails in Mango Jam as well as really delicious food.

We went to Nautilus last visit but I wouldn't go again- absolutely gorgeous place but very expensive.

The Sunday market was a good as everyone says and we bought heaps of stuff including huge mangoes very cheap and really nice pearl earrings.

After the market, we had a rest and then walked back to the Courthouse Hotel where an absolutely brilliant NZ band played for hours - mostly hits with a reggae beat- they were so good we were hoping to catch them again last sunday, but they are not back until this sunday 19th November- I highly recommend them so if anyone reading this is in PD this sunday- go and have a drink and catch this absolutely brilliant band - what an amazing way to spend a lazy sunny sunday afternoon - I cannot think of anything better in the world.

we took a tour/transfer with Cape Trib Connections from PD to Cape Trib and the only great thing about that was the tour guide Dee- she was very informative and a lot of fun.

The Bus had no airconditioning and especially on the way back, it was too uncomfortable. The "tours" on the way there and back are a bit of a joke- especially one on the way back which is a boat ride down the daintree to 'spot' crocs- there was not a croc to be seen and I felt fairly embarassed that a whole boatload of overseas tourists (japanese in particular) were given a long running commentary about every leaf and tree to compensate for the fact that they were not going to see a crocodile at all. The guide steering the boat was very funny though and made the best of a bad situation.

We stayed at the Cape Trib Farmstay which was a lovely experience and I've written a review of that accommodation in the hotel review section.

From Cape Trib we went out to the reef on Rumrunner (it was so highly recommended on TA). We had a really lovely day but I would definitely choose to go out further to the outer reef preferably as there was not a huge amount of big/great fish to be seen and we only stayed at one spot for the day instead of moving on to a different site.

There were about 31 of us the day we went out and apparently they ran out of salads and the last eight missed out- they were not too happy about it.

I feel it is better to go out further to the Agincourt reef for example, where I know there are much better things to be seen.

But, even so, we had a lovely crowd on the boat that day and it was still lots of fun - how can any day out on the reef be bad???

We ate at two restaurants in Cape Trib - Casuowary and Dragonfly and the food was very good in both- although service in the casuowary restaurant was less than great and I did complain - they apologised saying they were short of staff but there is no excuse for rudeness and snootiness!

Whilst we were in Cape Trib some idiot tapped a croc with a stick and was 'tormenting' it - it bit him and now the locals are very upset that this croc (who has been living in the area for eight years and was well known) has to be moved- You'd think some people would have better sense.

The weather was fantastic - but unfortunately we've come home to the most horrible rain and cold and Melbourne is experiencing it's worst November I can ever remember.

Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

Great report Maz.

Where have all the crocs gone? I have seen more crocs in that river than in my travels in the Northern Territory!!

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

thanks surfoz-

well, i'm not sure where all the crocs were- we heard plenty about them- warnings not to go here and not to go there- we were even told they could be on the beaches in some areas but......

we didn't actually see any in the wild (only at an animal sanctuary type place)

and they most certainly were not on the banks or on the part of the daintree river where we were -

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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3. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

a great trip report maz1, where extactly are the markets ?. I am going to Port in two weeks time........

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

hi ellemay

it's at the end of macrossan street - you cannot miss it - opposite the courthouse hotel.

I've visited markets all over the world- I reckon this is one of the best- I'm not sure why but it could have something to do with the lovely relaxed atmosphere, and good quality stuff. We bought so much we had to take the bus back to the resort.

hope you have a great time

Australia
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5. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

Maz, thank you for a great report.

Shame you didn't get to see a croc on the Daintree. I guess they can't always be where they're expected to be. It is also croc.nesting season, so a few more female crocs. will be guarding their nests.

The weather is still great, winds have been down to as low as 2 knots on the water, great for guests visiting the reef and the temperature is a very warm 32. Paradise....

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

Aaaaaaaaaaah - travelport- you really know how to make a girl feel green with envy- we (my daughter and I) felt a real let-down the night before we were due to leave- quite depressed with the thoughts of the freezing temperatures and that horrid 'back to work' feeling.

We absolutely love Port Douglas and cannot wait to come back- but, sad to say I can't see that happening til some time next year (hopefully)

lucky you living in paradise!!!

Daintree, Australia
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7. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

What a shame you didn't see any crocs. But as Travelport says this is their breeding season and also the water is quite warm at this time of year so they don't have the same incentive to come out and warm up on the sandbanks (they are cold-blooded).

Also, as the Daintree River is tidal as far up as Daintree Village, if your cruise coincided with high water you would have had less chance of seeing them as the sandbanks would have been covered.

Probably the best time of year for seeing lots of them is during our winter months (roughly June-Sept) when the water is colder - you have a good chance of seeing them all year round but just make sure your cruise is at mid to low tide.

For more information on some of the wildlife-spotting Daintree River cruises you could have a look at the Activities page at www.daintreevillage.asn.au.

Our sympathies with your cold weather down south - it's beautifully warm and green here!

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

sunbird- thanks for the info- to be truthful, it was not a priority for us to see crocs- but I kinda feel gibbed at paying for a tour - I really think it is a bit of a cheek to take so many people out on a boat and say you are going to go croc spotting when they know darn well, there is little or no chance of seeing one- over and over the guide told us that it is breeding season so we may not see any - but they still took the money - well, actually, Cape Trib Connections should really do a different 'tour' at that time of year- substitute something more appropriate because it is them that took our money.

thank goodness our weather has at least cleared up today and the sun is shining albeit not very warmly

9. Re: just back from 11 days Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation

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