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Previous Blogs: Day 1 Portland & Honolulu | Day 2 Oahu | Day 3+4 Melbourne | Day 5 Williamstown | Day 6 Launceston | Day 7 Cradle Mountain | Day 8 Road to Hobart | Day 9 Port Arthur | Day 10 Apollo Beach | Day 11 Port Fairy | Day12+13 Southern Ports | Day 14 Kangaroo Island | Day 15 Kangaroo Island | Day 16 Kangaroo Island | Day 17 Adelaide | Day 18 Adelaide | Day 19 Adelaide Hills | Day 20+21 Uluru | Day 22+23 Alice Springs | Day 24 Darwin | Day 25 Darwin | Day 26+27 Port Douglas | Day 28 Daintree | Day 29+30 Gold Coast | Day 31+32 Brisbane | Day 33 Brisbane | Day 34-36 Hawaii

Click photos for a larger image...

We arrived in Port Douglas somewhat after midnight. This was after a 3 hour flight from Darwin and a 1 hour shuttle bus transfer from Cairns. Thus we made the decision to sleep in and relax the next day. We just walked around town (such as it is) cute and very small (population 3,200).

Really nice hotel room, basically a 1 bed apartment with full size fridge, dishwasher, microwave, stove and washer and dryer.

So we spent Day 26 walking around, buying groceries and hanging out at the hotel pool. We met (for the first time in the entire trip) other American tourists who were fun talking to (they were well traveled). Not a lot of Yank Tourists in Oz. Then we met two British tourist couples which was also fun. Most tourists we have met have been either Australians seeing their own country or Asians so far. Oz is a HUGE tourist destination for primarily Japanese and Chinese tourists.

Then we decided to have a BBQ. This was a BIG MISTAKE! I honestly thought Aussies had BBQs DOWN,  like us South Africans and,  I will say grudgingly, even a few Americans I know.

But.... I would be wrong!

I mean, what the F%$#@*& is this?

This is NOT a BBQ! It's not even close to a BBQ! This is a propane powered frying pan!

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. This is the THIRD time I have come across this strange apparatus while in Oz.

Who designed this piece of crap? What were they thinking? On a good day all you can do on this thing is fry some burgers and dogs. Might as well use a regular frying pan or your electric stove, it would be quicker, less messy and just as tasteless.


In disgust, I retreated to my hotel room and cooked my carefully marinated chicken in the convection microwave  oven the hotel had thoughtfully provided.

It came out perfectly, but... it was not BBQ!!!!

I mean, really! Aussies provide these types of BBQs all over the country in picnic spots free of charge. WHY? it would be easier to just provide a freakin' power plug and people can bring their own microwaves!



Oh and on a different tangent..... Wendy found a bug to play with in our room. She's a freak.


The reason people bypass Cairns (like us) is because this is the jump off point to the Great Barrier Reef.

As some of you might know, we have been chasing the 7 wonders.  

There are 22 Seven Wonders collectively, and we have thus far been to 15 of them (68%), well, guess what? The Great Barrier Reef is gonna be #16 bringing us to 72%.

This was the boat we traveled on. Holds  up to 400 passengers, which sucks, but it does have a bar on board!

The trip out to the reef was comfortable, took about an hour and 15 minutes and the boat was fast doing a bout 35 knots (40mph).

But once we got there things changed, unlike all the other companies who run boats out, this one has a HUGE platform mooring right next to the reef 4 times the size of the boat!

So you step off the boat onto a floating two storey pontoon with all kinds  of features:

Top deck for hanging out

Snorkel deck for easy getting into the water

Buffet deck where lunch is served

Scuba diving area

Having lunch (which was included), seafood and various other options

And of course, the Great Barrier Reef itself!

We then went for a ride on their submarine with windows looking out on the reef.



They have their own helicopters, so for an extra $175 you can have a 10 minute helicopter ride over the reef.

They also have a facility that allows you to put basically a fishbowl with oxygen over your head and go for a walk close to the ocean floor.

Then it was time for us to go snorkeling. They suck you into paying $5 for a lycra suit just in case there are jelly fish, this is the season for them and while we did not see any, it was probably a good safe guard - although it was  a little like "men in tights"!

So was it the best snorkeling ever? Nope. I have done far better snorkeling in Hawaii, British Virgin Islands and Mauritius. BUT... this is nevertheless a 7th wonder of the world, and I am very, very happy we came. The Great Barrier Reef is 1,400 miles long and I am sure there are probably a million other places where the snorkeling is fantastic - just got to get away from us damn tourists! I am sure that 300 visitors a day does not help this spot stay pristine!

And finally...


Our opposition in OZ... another boat rental company!

Prices seem reasonable but their pontoons are pretty hard core, no comfortable seats and only 9.9 HP compared to our 50-70HP on the same size boat.

Owner told us it was a licensing thing, if the boat does 6.5 knots or less then it is a different license.

Also, see how they stow their anchors in milk crates just like we do!! Too funny, I thought that was my idea!

Needless to say...our clients like the total luxury Windsong provides.  Personally....I would NEVER rent this boat.

A sign we found in Port Douglas...


Very sorry for the guys who were expecting something more for their money...