Back to the past as Port icons link again
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.”
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