Towards a better Port Douglas
I would like to bring up some points that I have reflected on while living in town and see if your readers share my vision or at least start a debate. It is important to remember Port Douglas’s attraction is its natural beauty. Hence we should do everything we can to make that beauty evident. Like all great tourist regions, from the esplanades in southern France to the great walkways of the world, people love walking on holidays. Although we have a magnificent and unique beach it would be great if we had a walkway from the Combineds Club around the point connecting to Four Mile Beach. It would be part river edge, part elevated walkway looking over the ocean. The views would be spectacular. We would introduce an experience that is beautiful and attracts thousands of people. At present, the only people who see that area are those going out on boats or a select few who stay in houses on the hill. Most of the tourists walk up and down Macrossan Street with its vacant shops and Coles. That is not a great viewpoint or a great experience or a great reason to come back. The Point area of the hill is completely underutilised. A walkway, elevated over the sea, would be an unique attraction and worldwide photo opportunity. It would create a magnet for people to enjoy the area and therefore increase commerce. It would help get those shops rented. It would enrich our community financially and environmentally. This would create a flow on effect and connect Macrossan Street to the river on to Four Mile Beach and therefore complete the circle . Perhaps the waterfront land around Rex Smeal Park can be turned into a tropical botanical garden where people can marvel at out natural plant and fauna abundance. This could be done in conjunction with the relevant departments of James Cook University. What about an amphitheatre facing the sea down at Rex Smeal Park? What about an aquarium with a great cafe restaurant overlooking the bay? Not everybody can or wants to go to the reef on a boat, so why not bring the reef to the people? How many people realise Port Douglas is facing a river and bay? We need to polish what we have. Why don’t we have a permanent structure on Four Mile Beach to provide year-round swimming? Something like the Brighton Baths in Melbourne? It would be aesthetically pleasing and much safer. The scenic drive from Palm Cove to Port Douglas should be an attraction in and of itself. Just as the Great Ocean Road is. Why aren’t we more aware of the world standard beauty? Let’s get people on that road, and stop them getting stuck in Palm Cove or Cairns.