Port Douglas is one of Queensland’s great winter hideaways and an ‘Enzo Top Spot’. The beautiful winter weather makes it ideal for walks, [which I love]. The town has many quality restaurants [which the folks love], many are dog friendly outdoors. It is also a popular jumping off point for Great Barrier Reef trips.
We stayed at the Tropic Breeze Caravan Park, within easy walking range of most things. Dogs welcome [of course], a bit squeezy but very friendly. It is very popular, so bookings are recommended. Just out back is a park that is great for chasing a ball and beyond it the patrolled swimming beach, Four Mile Beach. Out the front is an easy walk to the main restaurant and shopping strip of Macrossan St. There are tennis courts next door. On my late night and early morning ablution walks I managed to find four tennis balls in the bushes. Not a bad week’s work!
We visited four dog friendly eateries. Sadly, I had been to the vet’s a week earlier and been told I was a kilo overweight, so I was on a strict ‘no titbits’ diet. I still managed to get a couple of slivers of chef cooked meat here and there; all of which were excellent. In order of attendance, the folks and I really enjoyed the following:
- A beer and live music at the Central Hotel.
- Dinner with friends at Zinc.
- Tapas and paella at Seabean [The week’s favourite].
- Classic Italian at Sassi La Cucina.
The weather made for excellent walking. All of these walks start in the caravan park and take about one and a half hours. They are easily identifiable from the map available on check-in.
Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail
Through the park [Jalunbu] behind Tropic Breeze to Four Mile Beach, then north to the start of Flagstaff Hill Walking Trail. This walking track runs around the headland. This is steep in places and not suitable for angina patients or folk with Zimmer frames! It passes excellent lookouts and ends at Rex Smeal Park on Wharf st, near where the Sunday Markets are held. From there go back along Macrossan st, stopping for coffee or shopping if you wish.
Out the front of the caravan park turn right, then left along Macrossan St to the waterfront, turn left at Wharf St and go around the piers to look at the boats. along the river and in the Marina. Here you can catch a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef or a steam train on the Bally Hooley Railway Walk down the road past the marina and back into town through the Port Douglas Sporting Complex and parklands to Mowbray St. Turn right to the caravan park or stop at the shops.
Four Mile Beach walk
Four Mile Beach is a great walk at low tide, and there are crabs to chase along the way. The north end near the patrolled swimming area is strictly ‘dogs on lead’ but further south a bit of free running is OK. There’s a nice cafe at the North end.
Flagstaff Lookout Walk
Head into town and along Murphy St past some of the ‘big end of town’ houses. Veer right up the hill [Island Point road] to the Flagstaff Hill Lookout. On the way back ,go down Wharf St and check out the lighthouse, then back into town. Again, there are some very steep bits of this walk.
Out the front of the caravan park, turn left and go south down Davidson St, past all the resort accommodation. Pass the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort and then, opposite the cemetery, take the path that runs through the golf course until you reach its south end and come out on Four Mile Beach [make sure you stick to the path and don’t disturb the golfers while they are taking their shots]. Then back to the park along the beach, again stopping at the beachside cafe if you wish.
So, now you know why Port Douglas is an Enzo Top Spot!
Footnote: The folks didn’t go to the Barrier Reef this time, so no dog minding required, [the park managers had provided a list of dog sitters on check in]. Trips and cruises can be booked through the park or at the Marina.