The second age of Port
It didn’t take a weird excursion by an alleged bunch of would-be jihadists to put us on the map.
Port Douglas is right back on the map anyway, as increasing evidence about the place reaffirms.
The major renovations/development at the Sheraton Mirage, Mirage Country Club and hopefully the Reef Marina will soon be complete and the whole town’s tourism offering will be recharged as a result.
Tourism assets like these need regular renovation and updates, around the 20-year mark or even a bit less, and in line with what’s already happened at the QT Resort (formerly Rydges) and the Ramada, along with recent work on many other third tier properties, the town has passed that major need-toupdate period.
I’m starting to think of the current time as the Second Age of Port Douglas. I wasn’t here for the first one, the Skase era, but have been fortunate enough to exactly coincide with the recovery so far of Port Douglas from the global financial crisis.
This second age, if I’m not too optimistic, will be more mature than the first and will link Port Douglas and Mossman in the tourism industry much more than before. The Mossman Gorge Centre and the Botanic Garden will be a potent tourism drawcard for Port Douglas’s visitors.
There’s an awareness and willingness among some business and community leaders in Port Douglas and Mossman to carry this vision through.
Meanwhile, as new investment in Port Douglas shows up in exciting additions such as the boutique brewery Hemingway’s, new restaurants and bars, and the increased capacity for large superyachts at the marina, we can begin to be ambitious about the the revival of the area as a high end tourist destination.