We were guests on board the Lady Douglas, a purpose built riverboat, reminiscent of the smaller of the Murray River paddle steamers in Victoria and New South Wales. But we’d swapped the muddy Murray for the tropical mangroves of Dickson Inlet in Port Douglas, North Queensland.
Dickson Inlet looking out to sea.
Water is our element and we jumped at the chance to see Port Douglas from a watery vantage point. Owners Kate and Lucas were away during our trip but we were safe in the welcoming hands of Anne and Skipper John.
The early afternoon tides were conducive to croc spotting but we were chasing photographs so decided on the late afternoon trip when the light would be mellowing. Unfortunately the tide would be high then and the mud banks where crocs love to laze would be submerged. If you want to Spot a Croc, a little forward planning with a tide chart can help make it happen.
Lady Douglas’ Marina.
Lady Douglas cuteness.
The Lady Douglas Bar is Open and the first one is on the
There was a friendly vibe onboard, with people milling around, choosing a seat, grabbing a drink and those nibbles were a crowd pleaser.
From the food serving area at the front of the bar, there were views through the wheelhouse to the river.
With the bow pointing upstream we nosed around the different branches of the inlet, getting oh so close to the banks while listening to stories of cyclones and modern day shipwrecks. Everyone, especially the kids, were on croc alert, but instead we were dazzled by brilliant flashes of yellow from the sunbirds flitting about in the trees. Talking about the kids on board – they adored steering the boat under the watchful eye of the skipper while Mum snapped some shots.
Leaving the Marina.
We sat in the bow (my favourite place on any boat) cooled by the breeze, hats firmly on and cameras to the ready.
I’m sure I was first to spot this Brahminy Kite – I know I yelled the loudest anyway! Another good thing about the seat in the bow was we could chat with the skipper through the open window.
Looking toward the peaks that surround the Mossman Gorge.
Above. The Sugar Wharf is currently used as a function venue and photogenic St. Mary’s Chapel is a favourite for weddings. The park surrounding the chapel is where the famous Sunday market is held.
Below a newly returned fishing trawler shows a sample of their catch of Red Emperor.
People gather at Rex Smeal Park at Sundown.
Before returning to the Marina, Lady cruises around the outer harbour where Marty captured yet another photo of Thorton Peak in the Daintree National Park. This peak was to be a perpetual photo bomber on our road trip north to the Daintree River.
Capturing the peak in a dreamy mood.
Another trip I would like to do on the Lady Douglas is the one hour Friday Night cruise. With live music and the usual free drink and nibbles I can’t think of a better way to wind down the week, or celebrate being on holidays.
Lady Douglas was recently awarded Best Rainforest River Cruise for 2015.
The words and photographs in this post are an honest interpretation of our cruise experience. You can find out more about Lady Douglas River Cruises here.
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