That feeling when you’re somewhere new

Arriving in Port Douglas, north Queensland has awaken in me the familiar yet unsettling feeling of arriving somewhere new. It’s such an unusual feeling because it’s both positive and negative at the same time. The new town holds such promise, I hope it will be a bounty of discovery and fun. But feelings of trepidation and the big question that slinks beneath every experience is there: Will Dad Like It?

The problem is the heat and humidity. Whereas for me, the atmosphere echoes amazing times in Vietnam, Thailand and here, North Queensland (though I never saw Port D during my first visit in 2003), my dad has never experienced anything like this. So, like Hong Kong, it takes a while to physically get used to. Especially for a 76 year old.

It’s also a change from Melbourne and Sydney where we were surrounded by the care of friends and family. That was easy street and lovely, but I do also love the unknown, figuring it all out and meeting local people. Today I bought a luminous pink sports bra (with removable padding – hilarious! Just so you know, there wasn’t a choice on that) and tonight I plan to check out the local body pump class. Hopefully it’ll be as funny as the body combat class in Queenstown where I laughed at my malco-self for a full hour.

When I’ve adjusted to life in Port Douglas I’ll report back with photos. At the moment it reminds me a little of a rich man’s Byron Bay. The main streets have a similar layout and both end in ocean, but Port Douglas is a lot smarter with gorgeous clothes shops and a plethora of expensive restaurants, while Byron Bay simply has by far and away better beaches. Another BB plus is no stingers. The only part of the sea you can only swim in at Port Douglas is a tiny jelly fish-proof netted section. But we have a pool, and the soundtrack of water features, refreshing rain showers and lush rainforest with giant leaves, and the Great Barrier Reef. Yeah, it’s not too bad here. This is where we’re staying:

Our pool, small yet beautifully formed. At Martinique on Macrossan, Port Douglas