GBR Drive a brand finding its way
THE long appreciated Great Barrier Reef Drive is beginning to receive local, national and international recognition.
The project to have the 140km stretch of the Captain Cook Hwy rebranded as the Great Barrier Reef has long been a project of the team at Tourism Port Douglas Daintree (TPDD) – with the road rebranded last year in a significant step forward.
There’s still work to do though – according to Tara Bennett of TPDD now is the time for local operators to get on board and promote the drive between Cairns and Port Douglas as an asset. “Its about developing a visitor experience – it’s not owned by TPDD it’s owned by everybody, and a big part will be getting local people on board.”
Steps taken in the past few months to raise the profile of the rebranded road include TPDD putting together a 5-day itinerary for travellers to the region, highlighting activities and opportunities along the road.
The itinerary which was released last month has been sent abroad to tourism officers in New Zealand and Europe in a bid to promote the drive.
“It adds an experience – the majority of first-time visitors have no knowledge of the incredible scenic drive we have,” said Ms Bennett.
One of the challenges now is solidifying the stretch of road between Cairns and Cape Tribulation as the Great Barrier Reef Drive – and staking the region’s claim on the branding to prevent the name being diluted by other regions.
Ms Bennett hoped there would be signage at either end of the road promoting the drive. Leaving Cairns behind, head north past the northern beaches of Clifton Beach, Trinity Beach and Palm Cove. With its long sandy beach lapped by the Coral Sea and a backdrop of rainforestclad mountains, Palm Cove has the perfect setting for an intimate getaway.
Driving north you pass through pretty Ellis Beach before the road hugs the coastline as it winds between rainforest-clad mountains and the waters of the Great barrier reef. Stop at a deserted beach along the way and linger at the Rex Looking where an incredible 180-degree view of the Coral Sea and its coastline begs a photograph.
The road leaves the blue of the ocean for the green of sugar cane fields just before the palm lined entrance to Port Douglas.
Known as the place where A-list celebrities escape, Port Douglas has an incredibly array of restaurants, great boutique shopping and the iconic Four Mile Beach. It is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef and only a short drive to the rainforest at Daintree and Cape Tribulation.
Settle into your exclusive resort or spacious boutique apartment where everything is in close proximity. A measure 26km to the Outer Barrier Reef from Port Douglas makes the world’s largest living structure incredibly accessible.
Pristine islands, secluded cays, flamboyant coral gardens and schools of exotic fish life can be discovered in a multitude of ways. Choose from a relaxed luxury catamaran, multi-activity pontoon, dedicated dive and snorkel vessel or hop aboard a helicopter for a bird’s eye view. Return to Port Douglas to be delighted by the diverse range of easier from local pub fare to extravagant seafood restaurants and innovative alfresco dining. The short drive from Port Douglas to Daintree Village offers the opportunity to learn about the aboriginal people who have called the Daintree rainforest home for thousands of years. This is the country of the Kuku Yalanji aboriginal people