Holiday Here This Year - Alternative Holiday Destinations

By Sharon Timms
Mar 20, 2020. Last updated Dec 21, 2020


Okay, okay. Let’s get the elephant in the room straight outta the way. Between bushfires and COVID-19, our travel and tourism industry is copping a little bit of a hard time lately. Overseas holidays have had to be cancelled and although we’re not sure when the strict overseas border controls will be lifted, what we DO know is that Australian getaways are the best way to cure that wanderlust wanting.

While we fully support social distancing and looking after yourselves and each other, we all need to band together to think about long-term solutions to support businesses and tourism operators. Besides, nothing lifts spirits better than a little holiday planning, ammiright? Port Douglas and the Daintree have always been extremely proud of this glorious place we call home, revelling in its breathtaking beauty… but did you know that almost any overseas holiday trip can be replicated here?

Read on for holiday inspo…

Costa Rica vs Cape Tribulation

Inspired by pictures of Costa Rica’s lush rainforests brimming with exotic flora and fauna, hidden waterholes and isolated beaches? Us too. If you're dreaming of a trip to this Central American nation, pivot a bit to the west and cast your eyes upon Cape Tribulation! Costa Rica and Cape Tribulation have a few things in common – mainly, the rainforest, the exotic local animals, the adventure and the beaches.

Sailing off the coast of Greece vs Private yachting off the GBR

Ever since T-Pain won that damn Grammy, just step foot near any kind of floating vehicle and everyone’s all rapping “I’m on-a BOAT…”. And you know what? That’s okay. Being on a boat, especially those fancy ones that have smaller boats attached to them, is pretty nice. Ballin’ even. Didn’t get to sail around Greece this year? Never fear! Port Douglas has always been known as a favourite spot for whiteboats (the private ones that have smaller boats attached to them), so why not hop aboard and cruise the outer Great Barrier Reef in luxurious style. There’s plenty of stunning small islands and coral cays to moor near and live out your yachting dreams.

Water sports in Hawaii vs Kite Surfing off Snapper Island or Undine Cay

Ahhhh, Hawaii – the land of long boards, ukuleles and loud floral shirts. Long boards might not be much use up this way, but what we lack in surf breaks, we have in wind speed! Enter kite surfing with Port Douglas’s Windswell. Rainbows certainly do appear as you’re scuttling over the Listerine-blue swells with the white sands of Snapper Island or Undine Cay almost within arm’s reach. And let’s not forget that Hawaii was the original paddle boarding destination, and if you haven’t paddle boarded off Four Mile Beach or down the Mossman River, have you even paddle boarded? So, grab a SUP and your abs will thank us later.

Eating Pasta In Rome vs Italian Feasting At Sassi La Cucina + Bar

The Italians. Good food, good wine and good looks. Italian cuisine is woven into the fabric of Australian dining more than any other style. And for good reason – it’s just really good. Carb-loaded, not shy on the butter, lashings of wine to go alongside… okay, we’ll stop now. When you can’t get to Roma, Sassi La Cuchina + Bar is a pretty fine stand in. House made pastas, locally caught seafood, flowing aperitivos with flawless Italiano staff, and - if you’re lucky - live opera by owner and chef Tony Sassi. Bummed you’re missing out on those Italian leather specials? Never fear – here in Port Douglas, we have haute couture cane toad leather pouches, wallets and belts! People will forever be asking where you got it from…

Hiking in Switzerland vs Hiking Mt Sorrow or Devil's Thumb

There’s a reason that Switzerland is known for its hiking – they’ve been blessed with a beautiful natural environment, and they’ve done their part making the terrain explore-able. Their hiking trails range from scenic walks to technical treks, and each is impressive in its own right. While the views are slightly different, trekking here in the Daintree and Cape Tribulation is just as impressive. The Daintree Rainforest provides a wilderness experience that ranks as one of the most exotic and challenging in the world, from rainforest boardwalks through to the literally breathtaking and gruelling hikes up Mt Sorrow and Devil’s Thumb. Not for the feint-hearted, but oh-so worth it.

Alligators in the Everglades vs Dinosaurs on the Daintree River

Everglades National Park in Florida is one of the largest parks in the United States, home to manatees, alligators, a huge number of birds and even panthers. This fragile ecosystem is listed as a World Heritage Site and it is an International Biosphere Reserve. Hmmmm… sound familiar? While the Daintree River probably can’t provide you a big cat viewing, it does have dinosaurs, and we bet the Everglades can’t give you that. Velociraptors, sorry, cassowaries and crocodiles are both incredible creatures that have survived many things over the ages worse than a virus, so maybe ask them for some tips while you’re here.

Kentucky Derby vs Cane Toad Races

Pop on a frock, stick a feather in your hair and grab a mint julep from the bar, it’s bigger than the race that stops a nation, bolder than a midday soapie, and is the best hopping fun you can have on a night out. While heading to the Deep South for the widely considered greatest horse race in the world might be off the cards for this year, doesn’t mean we can’t still have a little race-day flutter! No jockeys, no whips, no cane toads injured, but with racing names like Jerry Springer and Camel Toad, cane toad racing is amphibian debauchery at it’s very best.

Where in the tropics are you heading to this year? Tell us in the comments!


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