In Australia, the more north you go, the hotter and more humid it gets. Getting off the plane in Carins, we were immediately hit by a wave of thick hot air that just stuck to your skin and soaked your shirt. Our destination was a sleepy beach town near Cairns with a local population of less than 5,000 people. Port Douglas has long been considered one the best towns in Australia, with it’s proximity to the Daintree rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. When we were there in December, it was during the off-season and the town was empty, so it was a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.
After four relaxing days on Hamilton Island, we headed up the Queensland coast towards Cairns. The further north we went, the hotter and more humid it got, temperatures can easily hit 38 C / 100 F in the summer. We rented a car and headed towards Port Douglas, a sleepy little beach town right on the coast. This region is a unique blend of sandy beaches and tropical rainforest. The lush green forest gives way to to clear blue water, both only separated by a winding road. As we were driving on the road to Port Douglas, we could not help but admire this distinctive landscape.
Today we finally made it out to the Great Barrier Reef for some scuba diving and snorkeling. The Great Barrier Reef is massive, stretching almost the entire East coast of Australia. We only visited a few sites near Port Douglas. The day was beautiful and the water was calm; it was the perfect condition for diving. Even if you don’t dive, there is plenty to see as you snorkel around the shallower reefs.
Today we left the Whitsundays behind and headed up north to Cairns. Upon leaving the airport, the first thing we noticed is how unbearably hot it is with the sun beating down on you relentlessly. Driving towards Port Douglas, the landscape was a mix of rainforest and sandy beaches, separated by a road in the middle. With the mountain ranges in the distance, it made me feel like I was in Hawaii again.
We spent the afternoon hiking around the Daintree rainforest. This is my favorite picture of the day because of the soft glow created by the afternoon sun filtering through the forest canopy. The ferns growing on the vine almost looks like hairs standing on end.
A few weeks ago we had a big burst of energy and made some serious progress on planning our itinerary for Australia. In this post I’ll try to cover some of the main planning considerations and tools we used to make our itinerary.