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The Rock-itt : February 2011
Queensland is currently in the news for all the wrong reasons, the massive floods are taking a terrible toll on the people and infra- structure of the State. Received wisdom is telling us that the current weather system is going to run until the end of April so on the face of it tourism up North is probably off most peoples agenda for the foreseeable future. When the La Nina sisters finally clear off and the weather gets back to some semblance of normality Queensland will need tourist dollars to get itself back into reasonable financial state. We visit the area around Port Douglas quite often and it gen- erally escapes the worst effects of regular cyclones and appears to be coming through the recent extremes of weather relatively unscathed. Port Douglas itself is about an hour's drive North of Cairns on the Captain Cook Highway. This is an excellent road that runs for a large part alongside the ocean giving a picturesque introduction to Far North Queensland. Our progress north is usually truncated, on orders from my wife, with a stop off at Palm Cove - an ex- cellent little beach resort opposite Double Island. It's particularly good for clothes shopping but it also has good bars and res- taurants. In fact Palm Cove is a far north as some folks get since a couple of luxury re- sorts have sprung up there in the last few years. This whole area of FNQ has grown enor- mously as a tourist destination in the 10 years we have been visiting it. Many travel- lers come down from Asia to the area and don't feel the need to visit any further South as sun, sea and relaxation are all they are really bothered about. We stay in a modest but completely adequate self catering resort called Freestyle which is well into Port Douglas but just before the main road, (Macrossan St.) into the town. A self cater- ing unit for 2-3 people will cost you around $200 a night at this time of year. Peak sea- son in Port Douglas is from 1st July to the 31st October and you can expect to pay around $295 for the same accommodation then. The Freestyle has a smallish but very good pool with outdoor barbecue facilities. It's a great place to stay. www.freestyleportdouglas.com.au/ You can get an airport bus up to PD from Cairns and if all you want to do is lounge by the pool and base yourself in the town With the hills of the Daintee Rain Forest in the distanc e Anzac Park in Port Douglas is a great plac e to be. The Iron Bar pub, home to Cane Toad racing!