Melbourne Airport Car Park
We set off early to allow plenty of time to get to Tullamarine airport. Got to the long term car park and made our way to the terminal. It was a chilli 5 degrees and we were dressed lightly for our warmer weather later on in the day. Happy to be a bit cold and not have to carry a jacket that we wouldnt be needing in Port Douglas! Travelling with a backpack each we didn’t have to checkin. Before too long we were on our way to Cairns, a 3 hour flight north of Melbourne
Keeping busy on the plane
I spent my time on the flight finishing off a few iMovie on my iPhone from our Pilbara trip. I love what you can do with a few images and videos taken on your iPhone. I learnt a few new editing tricks and had a lot of fun.
We arrived at Cairns airport and had to wait for our shuttle us to take us to Port Douglas. I had booked a return trip a week before our departure from Melbourne. We had some lunch at the airport and then got on the bus. Unless you are hiring a car, or going by taxi or limousine these shuttle buses are the only way to get from the airport to Port Douglas.
Shuttle bus from Cairns airport to Port Douglas
If you are wondering what the road is like from Cairns to Port Douglas you can check out this video below. Whether you choose to hire a car or catch a shuttle bus you can get an idea of what the roads are like. By the way the bus driver is not speeding – I sped up the video so that it wasn’t too long and boring to watch….
The bus trip goes along the coast from Cairns to Port Douglas and along the way we dropped off and picked up a couple of other holiday makers. We ended up driving along the esplanade at Palm Cove which was great because we had heard some great reviews about it but never been there. It reminded me of Lorne which we drive through to get to on the way to Apollo Bay. Both have trendy bars and restaurants in the open air overlooking the ocean.
Shantara Resort – no kids allowed – love it
We checked into Shantara Resort and made our way to the room. We had stayed on the second level overlooking the pool on our last visit to Port Douglas ( which was exactly a year ago!) however this time we booked a smaller room with direct access to the pool.
With direct access to the pool it was easy to go for a quick dip whenever we wanted. The pool was heated to a nice warm 30 degrees so was very inviting.
Birthday Surprise from Dave
Opening the door of the room I could see on the bench was a beautiful tropical flower arrangement with a box of chocolates.
I was confused at first but the attached card said it all.
We had spent the day traveling on my Birthday and David had organised this during the week.
I enjoyed eating the chocolates throughout our stay.
We unpacked our stuff put some bathers on and went straight in the pool!
After a swim and a shower we walked a few blocks away to the main strip of shops on Macrossan Street – our main purpose was to stock up on some bread, milk, butter, snacks and of course beer and wine.
Chill at Barbados
We headed off before Sunset to the marina and ended up at a place called Barbados. Beautiful outlook with lounge chairs and a relaxed atmosphere. I had a Mojito and David had a Japanese beer. We had some lovely Prawns for a snack.
Hemingway’s Brewery for beer and dinner
Not far from Barbados is Hemingway’s.
Hemingway’s Brewery is a microbrewery, bar and restaurant situated on the beautiful Reef Marina in Port Douglas. We liked the look of their American style slow cooked items on their menu and decided to try it it. David had some slow coked beef ribs served with coleslaw and I ordered some coffee and bourbon pork belly snacks. Of course we tried a couple of their beers too!
Blue lit pool- Shantara at night
We talked about walking to the main strip of Port Douglas however decided we didn’t have enough energy so meandered back to Shantara and ended up sitting on the edge of the pool with our feet dangling in.
The pool looks magnificent at night with blue lights underwater highlighting the curves of the edge of the pool and at the same time giving the palm trees and other tropical plant a soft look.