12 Nov Babymoon in Port Douglas
Babymoon in Port Douglas
Your guide to a stylish and healthy babymoon in Port Douglas
If you haven’t heard, Port Douglas is on the wanderlust hotlist this year, and if you’re a couple that’s expecting, this beach holiday destination won’t disappoint for that final getaway as a family of two. Only a 1-hour commute from Cairn’s airport, you can expect to laze around in style at one of the many five-star hotels and resorts, consume your daily intake of freshly cooked seafood, and find plenty of ways to stay active – all while soaking up the uninterrupted views of Four Mile Beach at your doorstep.
Article by Nadeshka Withanage
Tourism Australia’s slogan ‘Holiday Here This Year’ hopes to encourage Australians to make plans and get excited about holidaying in our vast sunburnt country. Despite international travel restrictions, expecting couples don’t have to forego a luxury beachside babymoon and what better location than Port Douglas. Recent data from the Luxury Escapes Travel Reimagined survey for 2021 (and information obtained exclusively by 9Honey) revealed that Port Douglas is the number 1 beach holiday destination for 2021. Despite thousands of beaches across Australia, 6000 Australian travellers voted for the Far North Queensland beach town when asked: ‘What is your favourite beach holiday destination?’
Tara Bennet, CEO of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree assures tourists and locals that Port Douglas is well and truly ready to welcome couples back. “Port Douglas offer’s a leisurely laid-back environment; it’s a blend of fantastic cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and shopping. People are wanting to be more adventurous these days and babymoons don’t necessarily mean sitting by the resort pool all day – people want to get out and be active and floating around the Great Barrier Reef is a nice way of doing it”.
Okay, so how do we get there already?!
You can fly to Cairns airport from all major capital cities in Australia. Flying time from Melbourne and Sydney into Cairns airport is just over 3 hours and whilst this isn’t a super long flight it’s worth requesting an upgrade with any points you may have to an emergency aisle or premium seat – this way you can stretch out those pregnancy ankles! Apart from remembering to pack your folate supplements, make sure you also have a doctor’s letter confirming it’s safe for you to fly (yes, airlines will ask!). Flight carriers Qantas and Virgin Australia also offer a varied assortment of mid-air meals and beverages, so you and your baby won’t arrive hungrily.
From Cairns airport, a pre-arranged shuttle bus will drive you into Port Douglas and drop you directly at the doorstep of your chosen accommodation. Whilst the roughly 60-minute drive is stunning with beach-lined streets and palm trees, the road is a tad windy. For those who get motion sickness (or are already struggling with this thanks to those pregnancy hormones), sit closer to the front of the shuttle and preferably in the center so you can enjoy the journey there.
Some of the most well-known hotels and resorts offer luxurious accommodation in Port Douglas so get ready to unwind in style. Enjoy a relaxed resort vibe at Peppers Beach Club, swim-up bars at the Pullman Hotel (a Shirley Temple anyone?) or unwind in a Balinese-inspired private villa at the Niramaya Villas and Spa. The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort is a water lover’s dream. Directly adjacent to Four Mile Beach, the large property is surrounded by two hectares of saltwater lagoons making it visually spectacular. With a daily in-house selection of healthy breakfast options, ground floor rooms with direct lagoon access (hello late-night swim), and chic poolside cabanas for just $50 a day, you’ll be wondering where all those pregnancy aches and pains went.
The Sheraton offers several dining options, namely the very impressive and most nationally awarded restaurant in Port Douglas: Harrisons by Spencer Patrick. Having trained in the kitchens of Marco Pierre White, you can expect the best of modern British cuisine made where possible with locally sourced ingredients. On the menu, you’ll find favourites such as milk braised pork belly and chilli crab linguine. For dessert, share mouthfuls of chocolate pudding with cookie and hazelnut crumble and if you’re not quite ready to head back to your room, enjoy a delicious (non-alcoholic) ‘Forest Mule’ at the Daintree Bar upstairs. Your partner won’t be disappointed either with the vast selection of regional and international spirits on offer.
A short 15-minute stroll from the Sheraton (or a quick 5-minute golf buggy ride, thanks to concierge) you’ll find yourself at Mirage Country Club. Here you can grab a fit ball in the dedicated gym space and perform those all-important pelvic floor exercises. There’s also an aquatic driving range to perfect your golf swing and an outdoor lap pool for swimming enthusiasts. If you prefer to soak up as much ‘vitamin sea’ as possible, a 20-minute stroll along Four Mile Beach will take you directly to Port Douglas town center. The firm sand is perfect for pregnant bellies and ankles, and you’ll find tiny crabs burying into their homes at sunset. Regardless of how you choose to stay active on your babymoon, make sure appropriate exercise modifications are made for pregnancy and take extra caution monitoring exhaustion and heat levels.
While you won’t have to leave most resorts to get a meal, the Port Douglas town centre offers sensational dining options that are worth visiting.
Enjoy lunch on the water with mountain views at the Tin Shed, where you’ll be able to treat yourself to a creamy saffron chowder or a classic seafood basket with fresh whole prawns. For dinner, ensure to book ahead of time at Salsa Bar & Grill who have won Best Restaurant and Best Wedding Caterer in Queensland and recently the Australian Good Food & Travel Guide Readers’ choice award. Start the night with the grilled Halloumi served with a bush lemon honey vinaigrette and pomegranate and dig into a Black Angus eye fillet with black garlic and pepper butter.
One of the most famous restaurants in Port Douglas, however, is Nautilus and a must on your babymoon. This tropical outdoor oasis turned restaurant has been operating for over 65 years and children under the age of 8 aren’t welcome – so get in while you can! The dimly lit dining terrace surrounded by lush greenery provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner as well as an invitation for a possible bandicoot sighting! Don’t forget to mention your pregnancy- safe dietary requirements so you can enjoy the mouth-watering 5 or 8-course tasting menu that includes steamed duck dumplings in hot broth and crunchy twice-cooked pork belly served with a scallop cooked to perfection (and still safe for you to consume).
At the end of your dinner here or from anywhere in town, call ‘Aussie shuttle’ or ‘SR shuttle’ to come pick you up. Each way will cost $5 per person, and you can expect to be back in your hotel room and in your cosy maternity pyjamas in no time! Before your departure date, enjoy a pregnancy massage at one of the many day spas in the town center and pay a visit to a fine jewellery store. Here you can purchase some saltwater pearl earrings as a beautiful reminder of your Port Douglas babymoon – a memory you’ll relish for when you’re changing those dirty nappies in a few months’ time!
About the writer:
Nadeshka is an accredited Physiotherapist, freelance writer and new mum. She loves all things health, food, and travel and frequently revisits her favourite books on mindfulness and gratitude for a daily dose of inspiration.