Port Douglas or 'Port' as it is known to us locals is found about an hour's coast-hugging drive north of Cairns . Here, where the lush tropical bush does battle with the pampered fairways, wild crocodiles live at the bottom of our garden (I think they ate the fairies). We are braving the heat with the help of our backyard pool, the mozzies with the help of citronella and the jellyfish with the help of not going in the ocean (until about May, unfortunately).
Port has a definite 'small town' air - it doesn't have a movie theatre or a McDonalds (to the kids' chagrin). However, its main street, Macrossan, has more boutiques and art galleries per square inch than most towns twice its size. Port attracts alot of tourists keen to dive or snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and the marina is full of charter boats willing (at a price) to take you out, kit you up with a stinger suit and bring you back (with luck).
The kids are eligible under our tourist visa to attend 12 weeks at the local primary school, however we must pay the Queensland government the equivalent of a term at an English prep school. Luckily, the uniforms will cost nowhere near as much as they comprise hat, tshirt and shorts - note shoes are NOT compulsory!
Our house is great - thank goodness - always a gamble when booking online. In a bid to save a few quid, we bought an ancient Daewoo with negligible air conditioning and held together with duct tape (literally). It is on a par with a golf cart for speed and comfort but will get the kids to school - too hot to walk and dodge those crocodiles.