Port Douglas man Roger Gibbons, pictured with his late wife Marie. PIC: Hayden SmithHowever, he will soon move to Melbourne to be closer to family. “I don’t think your spirit ever leaves Port Douglas,” Mr Gibbons said. “It is the sort of place that stays with you no matter where you are in Australia or around the world.” With a tourism-reliant economy, Port Douglas has had many ups and downs.But things are taking an upward turn, with the latest CoreLogic data showing the town’s median house price has jumped almost 30 per cent over the past three years.Travis Schumacher of Raine & Horne Port Douglas and Mossman said the sense of optimism was palpable. “Port Douglas has had some tough times, but the housing market over the past couple of years has been exciting,” he said. “Many people seem to be moving back up here from down south … I certainly predict a strong finish to 2017.“We really felt the effects of the GFC and it took quite a while to bounce back.” Connor Pedis, 10, and Tommy Pedis, 9, play on their body boards at Four Mile Beach. Picture: BRENDAN RADKEJULY is a time when winter-weary southerners flock to Port Douglas in their thousands.But beneath the many visitors, who drive the region’s economy, is a tight-knit group that calls the famous Far North tourism town home.Roger Gibbons is a former business executive who first bought a holiday home in Port Douglas about 15 years ago.In about 2012 he and his late wife Marie moved to the community, splitting their time between the Far North and America.Mr Gibbons said the Douglas Shire had been the perfect place to “recharge” after Marie died in September 2015.“I’m always relaxed in Port Douglas, cruising around in shorts and a T-shirt,” he said. “There are many different layers to this community, and they all seem to mesh.“I play a bit of golf here and love going to The Clink Theatre.“My house feels like it’s in rainforest, although it’s in the middle of town.” More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms3 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns3 days agoMr Gibbons lives in a townhouse on Grant St, meaning he is just metres from shops and the iconic Four Mile Beach.