The original shed and wharf were built by the Divisional Sugar Board on Dickson’s Inlet where sugar was stored and loaded onto lighters for transport to Cairns. The transport of sugar was the major revenue earner for the Divisional Sugar Board.
The Club’s history dates back to 1877 as indicated by the Scroll which was carried by the pioneers from Cooktown to Port Douglas on behalf of the Port Douglas and District Boat Club. It was also carried to the present shires of Cook, Mareeba and Douglas over time.
The Boating Club commenced an annual race to Low Isles in 1962. A tradition which has continued as a community event every year on Australia Day since that time. It is an event where club members, local residents and visitors gather to celebrate Australia Day and honour our culture and independence.
In 1979, the lease on the land was entered into a contract between the Combined Clubs and the Council of the Shire of Douglas. It was on land based on the Reserve of Local Government ( Port and Harbours ), in the County of Solander, in the Parrish of Salisbury.
The consent in writing of the Minister of Lands, Forestry and Water Resources had been obtained. The mooring facilities established by the Club were used for picking up and setting down passengers and the loading and unloading of boats owned and operated by Club members.
The state of the building was repaired and maintained since that time. The original building interior is still the old Divisional Sugar Board, although some additions have been made for the repair or condition of the building. Outdoor areas now include shade sails and outdoor dining tables to accommodate the growing number of members and visitor’s to the club.
The Club has secured a 30 lease to remain in its current site and plans are well underway to extend the deck dining area, facilities and kitchen as part of a long term growth program.
Whilst the name has changed from the Port Douglas And District Boat Club, to the Port Douglas & District Combined Clubs, ‘The Tin Shed’ as it is affectionately now known, will continue to operate as a Not For Profit entity and provide members, local residents, guests and visitors with an affordable dining and social experience in one of the best waterfront locations of earth.