Port Douglas and the Atherton Tablelands

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April 6th 2012
Published: May 13th 2012
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With today being Good Friday we had planned not to do very much. After our late arrival we slept in before going downstairs to complete our check-in. When we arrived last night we collected our keys from a drop box and received our instructions to report to the front desk in the morning.

After signing in officially we ventured down to the Chill Cafe (recommended by Jocelyn as she checked us in) for a late breakfast/brunch. We didn't have a very substantial meal on the flight from BRI to CNS so we were starving! We shared a bowl of fruit salad and then polished of a serve each of eggs benedict. Yum. Washed it down with fresh orange juice and I finished with a decaf cappuccino. We won't be eating out every morning though - it's too expensive!

After we had eaten we went back to the front dest at the Elysium Apartments and had Jocelyn book us onto a reef trip tomorrow. We figured that if the worst happens and the trip is cancelled due to bad weather we will still have a couple of days up our sleeve to reschedule. We should be fine though as the weather outlook is pretty good for the coming week.

With it being about midday at this stage we decided to take the car out for a drive up the coast to Port Douglas to check out where we need to meet the boat for the reef cruise on Saturday. Just after the turn off we found an IGA supermarket that was trading on Good Friday. We knew that none of the Coles or Woolworths stores were trading today so we thought that we would have to buy a few supplies from one of the convenience stores ... at convenience store prices!! It was great to be able to buy a few things - a bit of fruit and some cereal - from the supermarket.

After shopping we drove out to the Flagstaff Hill Lookout and then back down and around past the Marina. After finding out where we can park all day tomorrow we drove back towards Mowbray Street stopping at St Mary's By the Sea on the way. This quaint little historic church was marked on our map, but it was so small we didn't spot it until the third time we drove past!! We found some ice-creams on Mowbray Street and then headed back out to the Captain Cook Highway and continued heading north towards Mossman.

Just before Mossman we took the turn off on Route 44 and started climbing up into the hills towards Mount Molloy. From Mount Molloy we turned south onto Route 81 heading along the edge of the Atherton Tablelands and past Lake Mitchell to Mareeba. Along this stretch of road we disturbed a very large bird of prey feasting on some road kill. We saw it land in some trees near the road so turned around and stopped on the roadside near the road kill (not too close!) in case it came back. No luck though - there was just enough traffic coming along to keep it from returning to its dinner!! We both had to do with the glimpse that we had because it wasn't going to come out again to give us a better look.

From Mareeba we turned onto the Kennedy Highway to drive back down out of the hills to Palm Beach. We hadn't planned to be out quite so long as we were as we found ourselves venturing down the windy, mountain roads in the dark. Which was OK once Bernie managed to get the headlights turned on! Somehow, he managed to turn them on for the drive from Cairns Airport to Palm Beach last night, but couldn't remember how he did it when we needed them again for the drive down from the tablelands??!

Back at 'home' we parked the car in the underground garage and walked down the street to find some dinner. One of the first restaurants along the sea front was Portobello's. It looked busy - always a good sign - so we decided to go in. We had a lovely al fresco meal underneath an almost full moon, listening to the waves on the shoreline across the road. Does it get any better than that?!! After dinner we walked along the sea front checking out the rest of Palm Cove and resolving to come back tomorrow night to take some photos of the moon.

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