Global Travel Media » Blog Archive » JOHN ROZENTALS finds an attractive accommodation alternative in the Far North Queensland holiday haven of Port Douglas,

Home » Headline News »Travel Feature » Currently Reading:

JOHN ROZENTALS finds an attractive accommodation alternative in the Far North Queensland holiday haven of Port Douglas,

April 14, 2018 Headline News, Travel Feature No Comments Email Email

The Captain Cook Highway north from Cairns to Port Douglas runs very close to coast for much of the hour-long drive.

It doesn’t really have much choice. The hills and mountains come just about right to the water and they’re pretty rugged and covered in dense vegetation that’s seemingly impenetrable.

These days a modern, scenically spectacular road carries mainly tourist traffic but it wasn’t always like that.

The road in may have been just as scenic when Port Douglas had its beginnings in the 1870s as a gold-mining town, but I bet it wasn’t anywhere near today’s version in comfort.

The town grew quickly and had a peak population of more than 12,000 serviced by 27 pubs.

Four Mile Beach … Within walking distance of town.

Decline set in when the mining boom finished and by the early 1960s the town had decayed into little more than a fishing village, but it has well and truly been resurrected by an influx of visitors, who love the climate, the laid-back beachiness, and the proximity to the World-Heritage-listed jewels of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef.

One estimate reckons that there are times when the permanent population of just over 3000 is virtually doubled by tourists.

Captain Cook Highway … Topography make it coastal by necessity.

As with most tourist towns, Port Douglas is seemingly overwhelmed by accommodation and restaurant choice.


Among the latter I found Hi Tide by the Beach ( especially good, but that was six months ago and it’s a fickle game in which things can change very quickly.

The accommodation scene covers many types of digs, from genuine resort and international hotel, through motels and B&Bs, down to caravan parks and camping grounds.

Pure class … The entry hall at Shantara.

An interesting option is provided by Shantara Resort Port Douglas (, which seems to consist of privately owned apartments, some permanently occupied, some let on a holiday basis.

It offers five apartment options, from studio pool-view rooms to honeymoon suites featuring private pool decks and jacuzzis.

It’s an adults-only resort, so chances are that you won’t be dive-bombed in the pool or have to share the public spaces — and the lifts — with a couple of noisy grubs.

The pool at Shantara … no kids dive-bombing the guests or each other.

The location — just a couple of blocks from the main street and copious cafés and restaurants, and within walking distance of the town’s beach — is near ideal.

The level of appointment is extremely high and I think that the adults-only environment will ensure that it remains so for quite a while.

I could spot only a couple of weaknesses in the set-up.

Firstly, the reception desk seemed to close quite early, creating problems with after-hours enquiries and, presumably, with late check-ins and early check-outs.

One of Shantara’s guest rooms … A high level of appointment.

And secondly, the absence of an on-premise bar or dining facility — including breakfast room — meant that guests automatically had to find alternatives in these areas, but heck, there is a plethora of drinking and eating venues just up the street.

For general information visit

Disclosure: John Rozentals was a guest of Port Douglas Daintree Tourism.

Wharf Street, Port Douglas … A very lad-back feel.

Written by John Rozentals 

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication




11 12