LETTER | Port's tourism image being let down by lack of care
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
One wonders just how committed is the local council to building Port Douglas’ image as one of Queensland’s iconic tourist destinations.
Visitors are confronted by dirty, leaf strewn streets (the only street frontages that could be considered well looked after are those tended by the resorts) while the Esplanade along Four Mile Beach has huge potential but has been given only token attention by the council.
The area between the grass and beach is a mass of introduced weeds that does nothing to emphasise the beauty beyond. Compare it to Palm Cove with its winding pathways, gardens, lawns and lack of weeds.
But far worse is the council’s apparent complete lack of interest in promoting its best free attraction – the Flagstaff Hill walking track from Jalun Park at the head of Four Mile Beach to Rex Smeal Park.
As long time annual visitors to Port Douglas, we set out to walk the 1.5 km trail eastward from Smeal Park but could find no directional signs.
Locals gave us approximate directions past the wedding grotto where we, and others, were told by a wedding guest that it was closed for a private function and we would have to walk up the road.
We eventually found our way past them to the magnificent walk with its stepped climbs and ocean views towards Low Isles and Cape Tribulation.
It was the same at the beach end where we fielded enquires from visitors who were unaware that the stairway was the start of the track.
After spending a million dollars plus building and then repairing the track after the wet season damage, one would have thought the council would have invested a few hundred more dollars on signs and maps at each end.
From an outsider’s viewpoint it seems that local government in Port Douglas is more interested in irrelevancies than supporting the key reason for it’s existence – the tourist industry and the hundreds of ratepayers who earn their livelihoods from it.
- Les Shearer, Burnie, Tasmania
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