The SpaceHacienda Cooya Beach.
We think it's the perfect place to de-stress - the house is relaxing and charming. It has a nice wow factor without being pretentious. Our friends and family love it. Guests also really enjoy the house. Its separate living areas and bedrooms mean you don't live on top of each other.
The house wraps around the swimming pool fringed with tropical gardens. The verandah has a number of areas for relaxing, coffee and dining from comfortable sofas, two dining areas, outside big screen TV, and a nook for two for brekkie, an evening drink or just a quiet place to read.
Telstra home ph(PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Mobile phones. Telstra signal is strong. Other carriers such as Optus are very patchy - especially in the house (solid cyclone construction of house doesn’t help reception).
The guest information folder lists medical and police numbers.
• Mossman Hospital: 9 Hospital St, Mossman. Tel (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN).
• Port Village Medical. 17/11 Macrossan St Port Douglas. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
• Mossman Medical Centre. 37 Front St, Mossman. (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Police stations are at: Port Douglas: 31 Wharf St. Tel (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Mossman: Bow St. Tel (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Queensland Policelink number is 13 1444
We recommend keeping front gates locked whenever you leave the house and at night - just pull the gate to and make sure it is latched. Queensland is not immune to petty thieves, so protect your valuables, car keys, etc. Guest AccessThe house is in 2 villas, all under the one joining verandah. There are just 2 keys: one or the front gate, the other for all doors in the house.
We can usually help with early check-in and late check-out. Let us know if required. Interaction with GuestsWe're always happy to help if needed and we have great helpers (cleaners and gardeners). Contact Lew Deegan (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) or E: (EMAIL HIDDEN) The NeighborhoodCOOYA BEACH AND SURROUNDING AREAS
A small, family friendly coastal township near the mouth of the Mossman River, 7 km north-west of Port Douglas as the crow flies, and around 18km by road to Macrossan Street in Port Douglas. Cooya Beach is relatively untouched. At low tide, you can walk on the sand flats or go mud-crabbing around the mangroves.
The walk to the northern end (along Bougainvillaea Street) is an easy 15 minutes. If you continue north along the beach for approx 300 metres, you reach the mouth of the Mossman River. Newell Beach is on the other side of the estuary. DO NOT SWIM: Crocodiles inhabit the area. There can be good fishing in the Mossman River. Cooya Beach has a boat ramp for small craft at the northern end of Bougainvillaea Street.
It is the hub of the region with the marina, cafes, restaurants, pubs, shopping, tours (Great Barrier Reef, Daintree and beyond), entertainment, golf and medical services. If you want to get your heart rate up, run or walk up Flagstaff Hill to Island Point lookout (start out at the stairs from Four Mile Beach near the end of Macrossan Street), or just stroll along Four Mile Beach. Good firm sand makes easy walking or bike riding, and the beach has some safe swimming areas (patrolled and netted).
Is the next beach township north of Cooya. Head north from Mossman. 4km on, turn right at the Mossman Golf Course onto Newell Rd. Newell Beach has a small take-away shop on Marine Pde (pretty good pizza and take away food). If you turn right off Newell Rd into Rankin St it will take you to the Mossman River where there is a boat ramp and car park (also a popular fishing spot).
A small farming town on Captain Cook Highway heading north, and is less than 5km from Cooya Beach. Head back out to Bonnie Doon Rd (you can go left or right, but turning right is shorter and more interesting as it crosses the Mossman River). Outside agricultural services, it has the district hospital, a Woolworths and local shopping and cafes. It is also home to the Mossman Sugar Mill, one of the most technologically advanced mills in the country (tours available).
20 minutes north of Mossman. Shops are limited (almost non-existent), but the beach makes for a great walk with fantastic views to the mountains to the north and Snapper Island to the east. Crocodiles inhabit these waters, especially near the Daintree River mouth. Swimming is not recommended.
The tablelands are at the top of the range. Take the Mt Molloy Rd off Captain Cook Highway (turn off 2ks before Mossman). The road wends its way up the range and has several scenic lookouts. The first 12kms or so are winding – take care driving, especially in cane harvest time. You reach the Mulligan Highway at the end of the road (30kms). Turn left at Mulligan Hwy to go to Mt Molloy (just one kilometre or so), or on to Mareeba (40kms). Turn right at Mulligan Hwy to head to Cooktown (220kms on great bitumen road).
250kms from Mossman on the inland road. You will travel through Mt Carbine, Bob’s Lookout, Palmer River Roadhouse, Lakeland and past Black Mountain, an imposing mountain made up of large black rocks. You can get to Cooktown on the coast road/Bloomfield track, but it’s 4WD only. Check conditions first. We love the drive to Cooktown and an overnight stay in the Sovereign Hotel.
Daintree and Cape Tribulation are on your doorstep.
The Daintree River crossing (car ferry) is 30km north from Mossman. Cross the river and head north. The road is bitumen all the way to Cape Tribulation (around 35kms from the river crossing). There's plenty to see and do along the way with many shops, cafes & restaurants and tours as well as the natural wonders. All are well signposted.
After the bitumen, the Bloomfield Track is a spectacular 4WD recommended drive to to Wujal Wujal and on to Cooktown, 102kms away. The track is being improved all the time and has new bridges over Woobadda and the Bloomfield River. It is regarded as one of the most scenic short 4WD drives in Queensland and a must-do for 4WD travellers, whether self-driving or experiencing a little extra through a local 4WD tour company.
RESTAURANTS, BARS & PUBS
Coffee and Cafés.
There’s plenty around, but our favourites in Port Douglas are: Lure at the Marina, the Lighthouse Café (Esplanade on 4 Mile Beach), The Little Larder 40 Macrossan St (not our favourite, but coffee is good), and Whileaway Bookshop & Cafe at 43 Macrossan Street.
Restaurants: Again, plenty around Port Douglas. Our recommendations are:
• On The Inlet (waterside seafood, great deck right on the water). Between Macrossan St and the Marina. Not too expensive (around $100-$120 couple inc wine). Need to book in peak season.
• Nautilus. Famous upmarket modern Australian restaurant. If you want to spoil yourselves, this is the one. Usually around $200 per couple. 17 Murphy Street.
• Chilly’s Pizza & Trattoria. Relaxed open garden restaurant. Great food and very reasonable. Lic and BYO. Easy 2 min walk from Macrossan St (2 Mowbray St)
• The Tin Shed. It’s a friendly RSL-type club. Food and wine are predictable, but great location on the water (off Wharf St between Macrossan St and the Marina). Gets busy in school holidays, so be early to get a table.
• Port Douglas Yacht Club. Unpretentious, relaxed club open to visitors. We’ve not eaten there, but great for a drink in the evening. On the water, 300m or so past the Marina.
• Han Court Chinese Restaurant. 85 Davidson St (on the left on the road into Pt Douglas). Great ambience on the verandah, very reasonable prices, good but unexceptional food.
• Courthouse Hotel. A bit ‘touristy’, but worth a visit anyway. Great Queenslander looking pub across from the water (cnr Macrossan and Wharf Sts).
• Wharf Street restaurants: Also popular along the waterfront area include: Salsa, Siam By The Sea, Billy’s and Seabean Tapas.
• There’s also the new Barbados Bar in the Marina and Hemmingway’s Brewery. Both are great spots for a drink or a feed. Getting AroundHiring a car is essential. There is no public transport in the area, and taxis are expensive.
If you hire from an off-airport rental company, they can be cheaper than Avis, Budget, etc. They pick you and drop off at airport and are only a few minutes away. Try the two below, but check any security deposits they hold.
Atlas Car Rental. 410 Sheridan St, Cairns. T: (PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN)
Apex Car Rental 396 Sheridan St, Cairns. T: ((PHONE NUMBER HIDDEN) Other Things to NoteTrading Hours: Port Douglas & Mossman shops
Woolworths – Front St, Mossman
Mon-Fri | 8am – 9pm
Sat | 8am – 5.30pm
Sun | 9am – 6pm
IGA – Cnr Port Douglas Rd & the Bruce H/way
Open every day except Christmas day 7am – 8pm
Coles – Macrossan St, Port Douglas
Mon-Fri | 7am – 9pm
Sat | 7am – 5.30pm
Sun | 7am – 6pm
Mossman Butchers – 3 Junction Rd, Mossman
Mon-Fri | 6am – 5pm Sat | 6am – noon
Malone’s Butcher & Seafood
Mon-Fri | 9am – 6pm Sat | 7am – 2pm
Mobil Port Douglas, 13 Warner St – Open Daily – 24 hours
Shell Port Douglas, 10 Captain Cook Hwy – Open Daily – 24 hours
Mossman Markets: Every Saturday | 8am – 1pm (check around Christmas)
Port Douglas Markets: Every Saturday | 8am – 1pm (often later, check around Christmas)
Bugs and Bities
Many people imagine Far North Queensland is crawling with snakes and crocs and other nasties. It’s really not, but you need to be mindful when outdoors. The thing you do need to guard against most is insect bites.
Mosquitos and sandflies: We find there are very few mozzies, but heaps of sandflies. You don’t see or hear the sandflies, and the bites can take a day or two to come up. They are prevalent in gardens, parks, on the beaches, waterside restaurants, golf courses, etc. If you are prone to insect bites, use a repellent when outside. Mozzies can transmit diseases, so try to avoid bites. If you do get itchy bites, calamine lotion helps.
Spiders: Surprisingly, hardly any. Mind you, I check my shoes and boots if they’ve been outside overnight (but never found anything nasty).
Prevention: Please keep all flyscreens closed at all times to keep all bities outside. Use a personal insect repellent if outside for any length of time (Aeroguard Tropical Strength). If dining outdoors in the evening, citronella candles and mozzie coils are recommended.
Snakes: We’ve never seen one in Cooya Beach, but one of our neighbours had a small harmless python a year or so ago. That said, be mindful – it is a rural area. We have seen them on golf courses and occasionally on the roads. They are mostly nocturnal, so if you go walking in the evening or night, make sure you can see clearly where you’re walking and avoid bush paths and long grass.
Box Jellyfish and Irakanji. Jellyfish stings can cause death, although this is very rare. High risk season is November – May, but take notice of warning signs at beaches, swim in netted areas when provided and only swim where there are other people. Treatment for both box jelly and irakanji stings is to wash the affected area with vinegar, and seek urgent medical assistance.
Crocodiles: Saltwater crocs are common in the region, and they are lethal. DON’T swim in creeks, rivers or estuaries or walk on the edge of these waterways. Take notice of warning signs. Saltwater crocs can also inhabit the lower reaches of freshwater rivers, so be certain the area is declared safe before entering the water. You can treat bites with vinegar, but it won't help.
Sharks: Large predatory sharks are rarely a problem inside the Great Barrier Reef and attacks are very rare.
Prevention: Be croc wise. DON’T camp near riverbeds or walk too close to any river or creek. Only swim in patrolled beaches or in rivers and creeks declared ‘safe’ such as Mossman Gorge (10mins from Cooya Beach), Cassowary Falls (near the Daintree village), Spring Creek Falls (10 mins south of Port Douglas off Trezise Rd) and Cape Tribulation (there’s a ‘secret’ swimming hole behind Mason’s tourist info centre).