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!

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”

Join a Nature Photography Workshop at Thala!

By Fiona Harper| July 29, 2017|

Your photography adventure starts here. Join internationally renowned nature photographer Juergen Freund for an intensive nature photography workshop in Tropical North Queensland Whether a beginner photographer wanting to learn how to use your new DSLR or an avid photographer ready to take your camera on a journey of discovery, come learn with a master photographer and feed your spirit to explore the natural wonders of the tropics. This is your perfect location to hone your photography skills while holidaying at

It’s minke whale season!

By Fiona Harper| July 20, 2017|

Minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef. Photo Rob Prettejohn Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland is the only place in the world where can you swim with friendly dwarf minke whales. There’s only one spot on the planet where you can swim with dwarf minke whales – and only a few lucky people get the chance to do so each year. These six-tonne (6.6-ton) creatures are renowned for their fascination with humans – they’re so

Port Douglas is an ever popular cruising destination

By Fiona Harper| July 11, 2017|

Port Douglas is one of Australia's most popular cruise destinations, with an 80% increase in future cruise ship visits. The increasing popularity of ocean cruising will see the number of cruise ship visits to Port Douglas nearly double this year’s tally over the next two years. Just 15 minutes south of Port Douglas harbour, Thala is perfectly positioned as a relaxing pre or post-cruise land-based option! Our spacious treehouse-type bungalows are a welcome retreat after life onboard in a tiny

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef is a priority

By Fiona Harper| July 5, 2017|

A new Deloitte Access Economics report released recently identifies the social, economic and iconic asset value of the Great Barrier Reef at AUD56 billion. Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles welcomed the report which brings the three elements together for the first time and shows the reef is worth more than 12 Sydney Opera Houses. “This highly anticipated report confirms the outstanding value of the Great Barrier Reef,” Mr Miles said. “But it could be even higher as

Latest news for visitors to Cairns & Port Douglas

By Fiona Harper| June 28, 2017|

As winter drags on down in southern Australia, in Cairns and Port Douglas we’re enjoying balmy tropical days kissed by sunshine. We’re well into the busy season now and enjoying welcoming guests from all over the world to our very special piece of paradise. In fact it’s a busy time across Tropical North Queensland with plenty of new activities, tours and cruises recently launched. Here’s a run down of what’s new around Cairns and Port Douglas. Don't forget Thala's Adventure

New water slide on the Great Barrier Reef!

By Fiona Harper| June 10, 2017|

Visitors to Thala Beach Nature Reserve and Tropical North Queensland hang onto your swimmers! Water babies now have the opportunity to slide into the Great Barrier Reef with the launch of Tropical North Queensland’s first ever floating theme-park style water-slide. Yep, that's right, you can now slide all the way onto the Great Barrier Reef! Who's game? Sunlover Reef Cruises have totally revamped their offshore multi-level pontoon moored at Moore Reef. The 50 metre long, multi-million dollar pontoon is now

5 reasons to visit Port Douglas & the Daintree Rainforest

By Fiona Harper| May 30, 2017|

One of the most appealing aspects of a visit to Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest is the beguiling combination of rainforest and reef. Two World Heritage icons, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest run into each other in Tropical North Queensland. Here's five video clips that showcase the very best of the rainforest and the reef and everything else in between! Did someone mention fresh seafood?

Timeless experiences showcase Indigenous culture across Australia

By Fiona Harper| May 15, 2017|

Cairns & Great Barrier Reef’s Indigenous tourism offerings will be launched at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) 2017 as Timeless  Experiences with the tagline 'Sharing our Reef & Rainforest stories. Thala is thrilled to be a part of this campaign which showcases experiences such as Thala's weekly cultural presentations by Kuku Yalanji elders along with other Indigenous experiences of the region. Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said 20 companies, including Thala,  representing 34 of

Thala awarded Green Travel Leader status from Ecotourism Australia

By Fiona Harper| April 19, 2017|

Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Port Douglas, Queensland has been recognised as a Green Travel Leader by Ecotourism Australia. The Green Travel Leader program was established in 2006 and is awarded to Ecotourism Australia members who demonstrate a sustainable and long-term past, present and future commitment to ecotourism. An exclusive club of just 127 Green Travel Leaders across Australia, Thala is one of 20 tourism operators to recently reach this significant milestone of ten year’s Ecotourism Australia certification. According to

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