Port Douglas, high up on the Queensland coast, has gone through three cycles of entrepreneurship.
Firstly, in 1876, it was gold fever that brought European settlers here for the first time. Then secondly, in the early 1900’s, sugar cane plantations with their Chinese workers powered the local economy. That was until the 1950’s when Townsville took over as the main port, and Port Douglas lapsed into a backwater. And thirdly, the current cycle is tourism to the Barrier Reef that started up in the 1980’s. Today, the town has expensive yachts in the marina, sumptuous seafood restaurants, and extensive designer holiday apartments. It’s Palm Springs-by-Sea.
We enjoyed our walk up the headland and visit to the small volunteer-run museum, but this is a town for the tourist not the traveller.
We got back in our campervan, which our son compares to the one in Scooby-Do, and headed inland.