Leaving Sydney for The Sea Temple in Pt. Douglas near Cairns
This entry was posted on 3/16/2007 3:54 AM and is filed under Australia.
We finally left Sydney and flew 3 hours north to Cairns
(pronounced Cans). From there we went 1 hour further by charter
bus to Pt. Douglas, a small resort town of 3000. We stayed at the
beautiful Sea Temple Hotel, a property owned by the same company
(Mirvac) that owned our Sydney apartment.
It feels just like
Hawaii here. It's hot, humid and tropical. Geckos on the
walls, toads in the driveways and occasional rain that temporarily
cools down the weather. It's "stinger" season here which means
that all the beaches are closed to swimmers. These jelly fish
inflict very intensely painful stings and some of them can even cause
fatal reactions. Stinger season lasts six months! It is also the end of the cyclone season and we
were lucky to avoid these natural phenomenons that are known to level
The hotels compensate for the problem of the stingers by building these gigantic swimming lagoons. Our hotel, The Sea Temple,
has the largest swimming pool we've ever seen. Not only is it
long and wide, but it also goes around the perimeter of most of the
rooms so that you can just walk out your room directly into the
pool. There is the main lagoon and then little canals of lagoon
that meander past the backs of the rooms and then feed into the main
pool. Very private and very unique. The pool was so long
that it took 108 strokes of freestyle to get to the other side, so it
ranks as the ultimate lap pool.
Here we are looking from the open air lobby across the pool...
and from the opposite end back toward the lobby..
One thing we loved was how there were no steps into the pool at the
main entrance to it - just this gradual slope that made you feel you
were walking into the ocean. It was a subtle thing, seemingly no
big deal, yet it really changed the experience in a delightful way...
Here's a panorama from near our room, showing how - in addition to the
main area of the pool - there were also these tributaries that made a
loop from the main pool around to most of the rooms - enabling many
more rooms to feel that they too were right on the pool edge. In
fact, the loop opened up into smaller private pool areas, all connected
together, like a river...
We were really intrigued with the loop idea, and took a movie of
swimming through the whole thing. Here it is - to give you and
idea of how long and fun it is. This movie is sped up to be about
twice as fast as it took to swim it. Enjoy the ride...