News and updates about Port Douglas, Cairns, The Great Barrier Reef, North Queensland and Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Share our News on social media and don’t forget to use the #thalabeach hashtag!

Thala Beach Nature Reserve celebrates 20 years as ecotourism leader

By Fiona Harper| May 8, 2018|

Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Tropical North Queensland is proud to celebrate 20 years as one of Australia’s leading eco retreats. Since purchasing a formerly degraded sugarcane plantation 45mins north of Cairns, Australia in the early 1970’s, Robert and Oonagh Prettejohn have established a world-class eco retreat, which opened its doors on 20 May 1998. It’s a significant milestone for the eco retreat which champions sustainable tourism, luring nature-loving travellers from around the globe. In recognition of Thala’s substantial credentials

$500m funding boost is a game changer for Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| May 2, 2018|

A $500 million funding boost for the Great Barrier Reef announced recently is a “game changer” in managing this great natural World Heritage icon, according to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Australian Government’s largest single investment for the Reef sees a $443.3 million partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to invest in projects to tackle key risks to the Reef and seek co-funding from private investors and philanthropists. The Marine Park Authority will also receive an

Celebrate Migratory Bird Day in May!

By Fiona Harper| April 30, 2018|

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global movement to unify to the planet’s major migratory bird corridors. The three major migratory bird corridors, which are also known as flyways, are the African-Eurasian flyway, the East Asian-Australasian flyway, and the Americas flyways. World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated twice a year on the Second Saturday in May and in October, with WMBD aiming to reach a broad audience to amplify its message for bird conservation. As a new global platform

Thala Granted Membership to National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

By admin| April 16, 2018|

As one of only five memberships granted to an Australian eco-retreat, Thala Beach Nature Reserve is proud to announce that it is has been invited to join the exclusive ranks of membership to the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World. For anyone familiar with Thala Beach Nature Reserve, the membership granted by National Geographic could be viewed as a natural union. Thala has achieved the highest Advanced Eco-certification and Green Travel Leader status (Ecotourism Australia) through responsible and sustainable

Earth Day 2018 aims to End Plastic Pollution

By Fiona Harper| April 8, 2018|

Sunday 22 April is Earth Day and this year is focused this year on putting an end to plastic pollution. As an eco retreat proudly sustaining Advanced Eco Certification along with Green Travel Leader status with Eco Tourism Australia, at Thala we're doing our bit to help reduce plastic waste.We've done away with plastic straws and our takeaway coffee cups are biodegradable and environmentally friendly. We know we can always do more and encourage our guests to help us to

Cairns action during Commonwealth Games 2018

By Fiona Harper| April 1, 2018|

As the main Commonwealth Games events get underway on the Gold Coast from 4 April, Cairns is playing host to an exciting program of Commonwealth Games action. The host venue for preliminary rounds of basketball from 5 – 10 April, the Cairns Esplanade Live Site will host Festival 2018. From the opening ceremony from 3 April, the Cairns Esplanade is your go to destination for 12 days of sports, fun and entertainment while showcasing local music, art and culture. The

Best scenic drives of Tropical North Queensland

By Fiona Harper| March 21, 2018|

Nothing beats a good old fashioned road trip. Whether it’s a leisurely Sunday drive broken up with a delicious lunch or an extended journey to places without postcodes, hitting the road offers unbridled holiday freedom. Australia is road trip heaven thanks to wide open spaces and roads that stretch forever. Buckle up your seatbelt, set your favourite playlist to repeat and settle back into your seat as we take you down some of Tropical North Queensland’s most scenic roads. Great

Chinese New Year celebrations in Tropical North Queensland

By Fiona Harper| February 15, 2018|

Cairns is a popular destination for Chinese New Celebrations attracting around 10,000 Chinese nationals to the city each year. The Cairns Chinese New Year Festival is hosted by the Cairns Chinese community with events and celebrations across the tropical north Queensland region. The hugely popular festival showcases the city's rich Chinese heritage through music, dance and cultural performances, food, market stalls, and a parade featuring the traditional Chinese dragon, lions and the 12 zodiac animals. Cairns and Port Douglas have

Celebrate International Year of the Coral Reef

By Fiona Harper| January 28, 2018|

Did you know that 2018 has been declared the International Year of the Coral Reef? Celebrate the International Year of the Coral Reef by discovering just what is so great about Australia's Great Barrier Reef. With 1625 species of fish, one-third of the world's coral species and a mosaic of different reefs along its 2300km length, every day and night on the Great Barrier Reef delivers a different and memorable “David Attenborough” moment. Here's a few Great Barrier Reef facts

Offshore coral nursery a first for Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| January 7, 2018|

Live coral fragments have been successfully collected and installed in the first offshore coral nursery being trialled on the Great Barrier Reef. The nursery has been created in a bid to regenerate damaged areas of the world’s largest reef. The Reef Restoration Foundation (RRF) , is permitted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to establish a pilot research offshore coral nursery at Fitzroy Island, offshore from Cairns. Foundation CEO Stewart Christie said the not-for-profit social enterprise sought

Birding tips for bird watchers in North Queensland

By Fiona Harper| December 29, 2017|

Spectacled monarch Australia has approximately 800 native bird species, from the iconic emu and the good humoured kookaburra, to the eye-dazzling (critically endangered) orange-bellied parrot, or the rare Gouldian finch. North Queensland is a birdwatchers paradise - almost 200 bird species are documented at Thala throughout the year. Australian Geographic rates the Daintree Rainforest and Atherton Tablelands in their Top Ten Birdwatching spots in Australia. Both are approximately one hour away from Thala and can be easily reached

Where to find the BEST Markets in tropical north Queensland

By Fiona Harper| December 20, 2017|

Local markets are a great place to pick up souvenirs, artworks, trinkets and fresh local produce. They are also a splendid place to savour the unique lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland - the colour and the character, the smells and the sounds which meld and clash in a cacophony of excitement. Enjoy our guide to shopping and eating your way around the markets of the Port Douglas and Cairns region for shoppers, browsers, coffee and food fiends too! Port Douglas

Download the Frog ID app to help frogs

By Fiona Harper| November 15, 2017|

Frogs are an important indicator of the environment's overall health. Their croaks, whistles, bleats and barks distinguish different frog species, with each one making their own unique sound. A new app from the Australian Museum is now available for anyone with a smartphone to record a frog call, providing valuable data on the health and status of Australian frogs. How to help Aussie frogs By recording a frog call with the FrogID app you will help to discover which frogs

National Bird Week starts with Aussie Backyard Bird Count

By Fiona Harper| October 23, 2017|

As Tropical North Queensland welcomes the change of seasons, BirdLife Australia kicks off National Bird Week from 23-29 October. A significant part of Bird Week is the Aussie Backyard Bird Count, now in its fourth year. Organisers have set a target to count 1.5m birds over 7 days and bird lovers are invited to register and start counting. Tawny frogmouth with chick. The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is a species of frogmouth native to Australia that is found throughout

Coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef – it’s happening soon!

By Fiona Harper| October 9, 2017|

Each year sometime around late October or November a synchronised coral spawning takes place on the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during this time, it is quite a spectacular event that attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from across the globe. As coral spawning is linked to the moon and water temperatures, it’s hard to predict exactly when this mass reproduction will happen. Likened to underwater fireworks, coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef involves colonies

Big Things of North Queensland

By Fiona Harper| September 21, 2017|

Australia has a long-held tradition of making Big Things into attractions. Maybe it’s got something to do with being a big country and having all that space to fill! Whatever the reason, north Queensland has embraced the tradition. Up here we do Big Things in a, err big way. Some like the Big Peanut with its silly grin and top hat are endearingly cute. Others are quirky and come with heartfelt intentions such as the Big Lizard sculpture at Jabiru

Cairns Museum reopens historical doors

By Fiona Harper| September 10, 2017|

The Cairns Museum has reopened after two years of refurbishment and renovation. Housed in the new School of Arts precinct in Cairns CBD, the Cairns Historical Society has a new home for a fascinating collection of regional history. Cairns Museum marketing manager Judy Freeman, a well-known tourism identity as well as being the founder of Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park , says it is very rewarding to be able to take a new Cairns tourism attraction to the global tourism industry.

Citizens Gateway to Great Barrier Reef unveiled

By Fiona Harper| August 31, 2017|

A striking new public artwork reflecting the vitality and beauty of the Great Barrier Reef has been unveiled on the Cairns foreshore. Created by Cairns Indigenous artist Brian Robinson, the 6m high and 11m wide helix depicts a wave of marine creatures led by a life-size stingray, reflecting the diversity of the reef. The polished silver sculpture with its mirror-like finish frames the view of the Coral Sea from the landscaped park lands of the Cairns Esplanade. Mr Robinson said

Exciting events coming up in Tropical North Queensland!

By Fiona Harper| August 18, 2017|

This time of year is an exciting time in Tropical North Queensland (while the rest of Australia suffers through winter!) as the Dry Season is one of the best times to visit Cairns and Port Douglas. Not only because of the balmy tropical weather but also because there are numerous exciting events happening at this time of the year! Here's a summary of some that might offer good reasons to head north for a tropical winter getaway. Cairns Festival 25

Two new road trip trails in tropical north Queensland

By Fiona Harper| August 8, 2017|

ANZACS and Artisans feature in two new self-drive adventures – the ANZAC Trail and the Artisan Trail – through tropical north Queensland's Atherton Tablelands. The Tablelands are approximately one hour's drive west of Thala Beach Nature Reserve. These new trails join six self-drive trails were launched to encourage travellers to enjoy a Tropical North Queensland road trip in search of adventure and new experiences. The trails highlight the importance of the role played by the Atherton Tablelands in the “Allied”

Load More Posts