Flagstaff Hill Walk
10th July 2023
All Year Round
Directions - Starting near the centre of Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland, the Flagstaff Hill Walk can begin anywhere along Macrossan Street. I've chosen to start at Anzac Park on the corner of Macrossan and Wharf Street at the northern end of town and complete the loop in a clockwise direction.
The Hike - The annual July holiday escape from the colds of a Western Australian winter has become a regular occurrence over the past few years, with trips to Darwin, Katherine and Exmouth providing a warm retreat for my partners family. In 2023 it was decided that the popular holiday town of Port Douglas would be the desired destination and thus, I started researching walks and hikes in the area that I could do during our stay.
Port Douglas was a place I had wanted to visit for as long as I could remember for two main reasons, the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef. While we would visit those two places over the course of the week, I was keen to experience as much as I could while we were here. One of the main attractions that kept popping up on my queries was Four Mile Beach and Flagstaff Hill. Both are located walking distance from the centre of Port Douglas, so I put it on the list. Arriving into Cairns after dark, the one hour drive up to Port Douglas was great fun with the twisty road and I didn't even get the spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean. Meeting up with the rest of the family for a late breakfast the next morning, I thought it would be best to get my bearings of the town with the Flagstaff Hill Walk after lunch. Having explored the shops and understand the basic layout of the main part of town, I grabbed the camera and set off to Anzac Park to see what was what. I really enjoyed Macrossan Street during our time here and despite being a tourist town, there is a certain charm to the northern end of town thanks to the old pubs and large trees lining the streets.
Walking along the grass of Anzac Park, there are some big old Fig trees here that have masses of branches going everywhere. St Mary's by the Sea is a historic church that looks like it belongs on some isolated Caribbean island but the main feature here is the Sugar Wharf that's been built and rebuilt several times over the years as destructive cyclones sweep through. This was one of my favourite views of the trip, with the beach (closed due to crocodiles), the wharf, palm trees and the distant mountains all combining to provide a gorgeous photo. The postcard perfect views continue as you head north towards Rex Smeal Park and another grassed area overlooking the Coral Sea, one of the best vantage points to watch the sunset in town. A row of Palm Trees completes what I always imagined the Port Douglas experience to be all about. Prying myself away from the stunning views, I walked through the weeping fig trees and found the official start of the Flagstaff Hill Walk that is marked with a narrow information board. Climbing up the edge of the hill, the vegetation provides a bit of protection from the sun and the neighbouring buildings.