The Pig Yard

Pig Yard @ Port Douglas - November 2005

After a three hour flight from Sydney we landed in Cairns only to find we'd lost an hour because New South Wales have daylight saving whereas Queensland don't. We then faced an hour long race along the Captain Cook highway to Port Douglas, arriving at our luxury hotel at eight o'clock in the evening. We had a complimentary drink at the bar and then retired for the evening.

A short walk from the rear of the hotel and we were standing on 4 mile beach.

The sea looks deceptively - November is the start of the jelly fish season and therefore it is inadvisable to swim unless in designated protected areas.

We walked two or three miles into Port Douglas town for a wander round and to grab some shopping.


Wherever we went Jane made friends. The Habitat was effectively an open plan zoo. We were well protected from the crocodiles but most of the other creatures were approachable and some were more shy than others. Jane got very close to this wallaby or potteroo until the moorhen in the foreground chased it off.

The highlight of the weekend was our snorkelling expedition out to Low Isle which forms a part of the inner Barrier Reef. Neither of us had snorkelled before  therefore we approached this with some trepidation. The swimming wasn't going to be a problem but wearing full face masks gave some concerns.

We were advised to book with Sailaway III because it was a small boat and it proved to be very good advice. There were only 25 people on board which meant we had a personalised service compared with some of the boats that had over 200 who were herded around like cattle.


Jane took to the experience quite quickly but because of Steve's moustache he had problems with the mask fitting without leaking and he soon started breathing in salt water. A thick layer of Vaseline soon had him sorted and we were swimming with the fish looking down on shapes and colours that were out of this world. Our guide dived down to bring up sea cucumbers and pointed out the various types of coral. Later when we were swimming off the back of the boat we both saw a ray beneath us - great. We were also fortunate to see turtles totally oblivious of our presence. At lunchtime leftover food attracted some really large fish around the boat.

Whilst walking along the beach of Low Isle we came across this giant clam in the shallows as the tide was going out. We tried to make it close but it ignored all efforts.
Our hotel was in a wonderful setting with a long pool complete with a cascading waterfall at one end and a breakfast area right next to the pool. It was unfortunate that breakfast was so expensive that we decided not to partake after the first morning. Overall we were not impressed with the service we experienced.

Melbourne & Tasmania

Hunter Valley

Port Douglas