The Great Barrier Reef

After our time on the Sunshine coast, we flew from Brisbane to Cairns and drove north from there to Port Douglas.  We stayed in a condo in town that was walking distance to the beach, the harbor, and main street. Port Douglas was quite hot and steamy as the town is positioned on the north coast of Australia just outside of the rain forest area.  We explored the town, shopped a little, and hung out on the beach.  Justin even managed to catch the Cowboy's game on a patio overlooking the water.

Little church in Port Douglas near the beach
View from the beach in Port Douglas

We took a day trip to the Daintree rain forest.  It was interesting to walk through the rain forest with its giant trees and plant life.  We didn't see much wildlife but that didn't stop me from looking for it!  We followed the road through the Daintree all the way to Cape Tribulation.  We took a few walks through the forest along the way and had a picnic on the beach.

Watch out for crocs!  These signs were at every beach and we were told a sign is required to be put up at any spot a croc has been spotted.
Walk through the rainforest next to giant palm like plants

Lookout over the Daintree rain forest to the ocean

Huge tree at Mossman Gorge

I was trying to capture the vines growing up the tree.  The rainforest had things growing everywhere, on every surface

Bridge in Mossman Gorge

The highlight of our time in Port Douglas was our day trip out onto the Great Barrier Reef.  We sailed on a catamaran with 8 other people to part of the outer reef.  Justin took one look in the water when we jumped off the boat for the first time and proclaimed it was the coolest thing he had ever seen.  We saw tons of colorful fish and coral and we were even lucky enough to see a Silvertip Reef Shark.  The shark was probably about my size but he didn't seem to care that we were there.  Our guide also picked up a sea cucumber and let us hold it. In between snorkeling, we enjoyed a freshly cooked meal of fresh fish that our captain had just caught and thrown on the grill.  It was a wonderful day of sailing and snorkeling!

View from our catamaran

Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef

Sailing back to Port Douglas

One evening we took a sunset trip on the Lady Douglas.  The Lady Douglas is an old riverboat that takes you on a cruise through the mangroves searching for crocodiles. It was a nice cruise and we spotted a few crocodiles out in the wild.  One of the lady crocs even got out of the water and "modeled" for us!

Ready for our sunset cruise

Roots of the mangrove trees, perfect hiding spot for a croc

Beautiful path through the mangrove trees

Female croc posing in front of the tumbled down croc warning sign

We fed this guy some fish...I can't remember exactly but he is some type of rare bird

One afternoon we visited a nearby winery, Shannonvale Tropical Winery, that makes wine from many local fruits.  We did a full tasting and were surprised that none of the wines were "sticky sweet".  We quite enjoyed the tasting and we bought a bottle of the mango wine to pair with our dinner at the house.

Shannonvale Winery tasting area

Cheers from our room in Port Douglas

I found my beach