Heading north from the Whitsundays, we had a long road trip, towards our final destination of Port Douglas.  The most notable stop was Mission Beach, a village with a bit of an “alternative” feel to it.  Our Airbnb there was an old wooden Queenslander house – a bit of luxury, especially when we were met by our host with a cup of tea and homemade cakes.

As we headed north the climate got hotter and more humid and the natural world around us became more interesting – with huge beautiful butterflies, lush forests, unusual birds (such as the endangered Cassowary) and mountains with streams and swimming holes.  The coast became more beautiful but the signs warning of the dangers from crocodiles and marine stingers became more insistent.

Skirting Cairns, we arrived in the small town of Port Douglas.  Apparently this was an even smaller town 20 years ago but has now been surrounded by posh resorts which support a vibrant bar and restaurant scene in the town centre.  It also has its own river or “inlet” that is the home of several abandoned yachts and some very large crocodiles.

The town attracts visitors for two main reasons, the Great Barrier Reef and the Rainforest.  Both are unique and highly important from a scientific point of view.  Visitors to both are carefully managed to ensure that tourism causes minimum damage.  Both are amazing to see and get close to.  With the reef I was fortunate enough to get above it ( in a helicopter) and down into it by scuba diving.

The rainforest meets the reef at Port Tribulation.  

This is also just about where roads finish and further progress north is by four wheel drive vehicles.  It is also just about where our Australian adventure ends.

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