Back to the past as Port icons link again

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

LEAD­ING busi­ness­man John Mor­ris has part­nered with Kate and Lu­cas Agrums to rein­tro­duce a pack­age boat-and­train tour which used to op­er­ate years ago.

To op­er­ate twice on Sun­days, for a $60 pass that in­cludes lunch at Choo Choos Café at St Crispins, guests can ride ei­ther the his­toric Bally Hoo­ley train or the much loved Lady dou­glas pad­dle boat on a round trip be­tween the ma­rina and St Crispins.

A new pon­toon and land­ing area has been cre­ated in a small in­let at St Crispins, from where guests can hop aboard or leave the Lady Dou­glas.

It’s ex­actly how the Lady Dou­glas started out.

Built by John Mor­ris in the late ’80s amid the bustling goa­head days of young Port Dou­glas, the Lady Dou­glas was one of the first, if not the first, tour boat to ply Dick­son In­let.

The route in­cluded at stop at St Crispins to visit the train sta­tion – at first a kiosk and later up­graded to a café with kitchen – and if they wanted to, pas­sen­gers could take the train back to the Ma­rina.

“It was an amaz­ing time in Port Dou­glas, very ex­cit­ing,” John Mor­ris said yes­ter­day.

“And here we are bring­ing back the old Lady Dou­glas, and the Bally Hoo­ley, and with the new Choo Choos as well.

“The pack­age is great value at $60, in­clud­ing a great lunch.”

The new ser­vice is ex­pected to start within days.

“At the mo­ment there’ll be two runs on Sun­days but we might ex­pand that – I’m sure there’ll be great pub­lic ac­cep­tance of it, and we’re look­ing for­ward to that.

“There’s a great team at Choo Choos. They’re a young team and do­ing such an amaz­ing job.

“On the Lady Dou­glas, Kate and Lu­cas [Agrums] are do­ing a great job.

For Kate Agrums, one of the gen­er­a­tion that was born and bred around the gen­e­sis of mod­ern Port Dou­glas, it’s a poignant de­vel­op­ment.

She and hus­band Lu­cas have been run­ning the iconic lit­tle pad­dle boat for a cou­ple of years. She re­mem­bers it run­ning around the In­let when she was kid.

More than that, her father used to be a mu­si­cian on the boat.

“Grow­ing up in Port Dou­glas and Mow­bray Val­ley, I re­mem­ber the Lady Dou­glas and Bally Hoo­ley work­ing to­gether as a team,”Kate told the

“They have both al­ways been stand out icons in the Dou­glas Shire and they hold so much his­tory to­gether, so it is re­ally spe­cial to be bring­ing them back to­gether again af­ter all this time has passed.

“We are look­ing for­ward to shar­ing the his­tory as part of our new tour to ev­ery­one who comes along, it’s go­ing to be lot’s of fun.”

Pic: SHANE NI­CHOLS

John Mor­ris and Kate Agrums at the launch of the St Crispins run this week

The orig­i­nal Lady Dou­glas on the St Crispins run, un­load­ing dig­ni­taries back in the late ‘80s

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