After spending two days in some rustic living conditions up at Cape Tribulation, driving into Port Douglas is wonderfully refreshing. Port Douglas is the glamorous older sibling of Cairns. With its upscale restaurants, plush accommodations, golf course and million dollar homes, it’s where the wealthy go to retire, and with a “Friends and Family” discount thanks to Andrew’s brother, we are able to afford a bit of luxury ourselves at the Sheraton Mirage hotel. 18 pools, a golf course, luxurious rooms and exquisite bars and restaurants are a few of the standout features at the hotel. When you add showering without flip flops, no bunk beds, free slippers and bathroom amenities, this place has it all! Although I have to admit, this place is no competition for Hayman.
We immediately head pool side, and with drinks in hand, our day of luxury begins. After several hours in the sun and a few cocktails, it’s time for a night out on the town. Not only do we get a great discount on rooms with our “Friends and Family” connection, we also get 50% off all the restaurants and bars. I highly recommend becoming close friends with someone who works for the Starwood Properties group of hotels. We iron our wrinkled backpacker clothes and spruce ourselves up for a dinner at the Zen Gardens.
One of the first things we notice on the menu is the deep fried crocodile. Andrew and I haven’t tried any yet, and with only a few more weeks in Australia, there’s no time like the present. When the food arrives, we hesitate for a moment before we dive right in. It has a tough texture, but tastes just like chicken. An interesting twist on the day as we went from seeing live crocodiles on the river this morning to eating them deep fried for dinner.