If we had left Darwin in mid-August with the Troopy, we were expecting to be in Port Douglas in time for our birthdays. However, we decided to stick around in Darwin and experience the Wet Season, so we flew over to Queensland for a week-long getaway in with family and friends.
Day 1 : Wednesday
We woke up at 4:30am to be picked up by a cab at 5am. Our flight at 6:20am got us to Cairns at 9:30am. We caught a cab into the city for some coffee before realising that we had 4 hours to waste… so we decide to have a pub crawl.
Dave’s folks arrived in Cairns at about 3pm, picked us up outside The Union Jack and we headed for Port Douglas. They dropped us off at our accommodation, where we freshened up and got ready to meet our mates who had arrived a few days earlier.
Everyone was at the Rattle and Hum – we drank a little more to prevent a hangover from the pub crawl, had some dinner and caught up with some general chit chat. Juz was exhausted and went home to sleep while Dave stayed out until midnight (lest he turn into a pumpkin).
Day 2 : Thursday
We got up nice and early and joined the family group to head to Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Forest.
Cape Tribulation was gorgeous. We had a nice walk on the beach, saw some mangroves and stingrays before having lunch at Mason’s Café and explore the water hole nearby. We stopped at the Daintree Ice Creamery on the way back and tried some tropical flavours like yellow sapote, wattleseed and coconut.
We got back in the late afternoon, rested our weary legs before preparing for the evening celebrations. Everyone met at Anzac Park with BYO booze and meat and we had a feast and cut the amazing cake that Dave’s mum made before the real shenanigans started – climbing things was the theme of the evening. After making a 10-person human pyramid, the boys climbed the picnic shelter, and the playground, and the playground shade cloth to check out the full moon over the water.
Once we were done with the park, we packed up and headed to the Iron Bar for some more drinks and dancing. This is when things start getting a bit blurry. Dave and I left with Cyn, Matty and Chris and we went back to their hotel. We did some skinny dipping in the pool, Juz scrapped her hip on the bottom of the pool and Dave ripped his nipple open trying to pole dance on a flag pole.
The night manager told us to scram so we fled and headed home, but not before Matty poured Dave a full glass of Chivas Regal. It goes without saying that Dave doesn’t remember much from that point on.
Day 3 : Friday
A tough morning – but no rest for the wicked.
We peeled Chris off our motel couch, got cleaned up, checked out of our studio room and went to Mossman Gorge with Chris and Dave’s folks and new arrivals, Kieran and Maria. Stupidly, we didn’t bring our swimmers so we couldn’t refresh ourselves in the cool waters, but there was a lovely 2km track through the forest to enjoy.
Once again, we had to pretty ourselves up for the evening, but instead of doing it at our hostel, we cleaned up in comfort and Dave’s parental unit. It was probably for the best because Dave’s ripped nipple needed some serious attention and Juz was too squirmish to finish the job so Dave’s mum stepped in. Once we were all bandaged up and smelling sweet, we headed to On The Inlet – the location for Juz’s special 30th birthday dinner.
Everyone was there – we took up two tables and were taken care of by an awesome waiter who had a great sense of humour and perfectly pronounced Gewurztraminer (and made us look silly). Dave ordered the whole baby barramundi while Juz and Cyn shared a bunch of entrees. Everyone’s meals were incredible and the drinks kept on coming, but because Juz had burnt herself out the night before, it was an early night for her and Dave, but some of the others partied on until the wee hours.
Day 4 : Saturday
Attempted recovery – we woke up just in time to meet Jess and Trav at Mocka’s Pies for breakfast before a total faff day wandering around town and sunbaking on the beach. When we got back to the parental unit, Dave took the plunge and shaved some of his beard off, leaving a long purple goatee.
We went downstairs to the Rattle and Hum for happy hour drinks while we watched the Sydney– Fremantle game before heading down the street for a delicious Thai dinner. The plan after that was to go to the Full Moon Party at the marina but it was full of teenagers dancing to terribly mixed music so we spent the rest of the evening on the beach. Juz bowed out at midnight while Dave partied on with Glenn.
When Dave and Glenn got back to the hostel at some ungodly hour, there were some people sitting on chairs in a line on the side of the road. They assumed that some sort of show was about to start, so they pulled up a couple of chairs. It turned out there wasn’t a show, but they met a cool Italian backpacker, caught (and released) a bird and found a bunch of glow sticks before eventually crawling into bed somewhere around 5am.
Day 5 : Sunday
It was Parksy’s last day in Port Douglas and Juz woke up just in time to meet up with him at Mocka’s for a final breakfast pie. When she got back to the hostel, Dave was still in a coma on his bunk, but she had to rouse him so that we could get cleaned up at the parental unit before heading to Cyn and Matty’s exotic accommodation, the Sea Temple.
We spent the afternoon sitting by the pool and drinking cocktails before the girls dolled themselves up for dinner at a secret location. We were picked up by a shuttle bus and taken into the forest for the most magical experience in Port Douglas – Flames of the Forest.
Our dinner was perfect – romantic live music sung by a girl surrounded by guitars and ukuleles, dream-like lighting, candles, red velvet and knives and forks that were lined up for miles. Each course that came out was a taste sensation, and the wine was free-flowing. After a quick dance at the end of the night, we were shuttled back to town and passed out when our heads hit the pillow.
Day 6 : Monday
Breakfast with Juz’s mum before another day of faffing. Drinks at the Rattle and Hum started after Cyn, Matty, Glenn, Liz and Chris left for Cairns at around 4pm before whoever was left headed over to the packed-out Tin Shed for a pub style meal.
Day 7 : Tuesday
Our last day in Port Douglas. We checked out of the hostel and walked down to Origin Espresso for the best coffee in town before cleaning ourselves up at Juz’s parental unit. We packed the car up and headed to Cairns for a pho lunch with Kieran and Maria.
We checked into our motel room and waved goodbye to Juz’s mum, Kieran and Maria before stripping down to our underpants and watching TV all night long.
Day 8 : Wednesday
We woke up relatively early to have breakfast at Paleo Café before catching the shuttle bus to the airport and coming home to Darwin for some well-deserved rest!
We want to extend a massive thank you to our friends and family who were able to get to Port Douglas for the festivities. We had a fantastic time seeing the sights and catching up with you all. Where should we have our birthday party next year….?