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!

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

Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival celebrates the world’s oldest culture

By Fiona Harper| April 17, 2017|

Cape York's Laura Aboriginal Dance Festival is held every two years at Laura, a town on Cape York approx. 250km northwest of Thala. Celebrating the world's oldest culture, the 2017 Laura Festival runs from 30 June - 2 July. The festival celebrates Aboriginal communities, language song, dance and stories. Multi-generational performances showcase the strength, pride and uniqueness of Aboriginal people and their customs and traditions. Over 20 communities from across the region participate in the festival, bringing over 500 performers.

Changing seasons and wildlife migrations in north Queensland

By Fiona Harper| March 13, 2017|

It’s a time of transition in tropical north Queensland as the season changes from wet season to dry season. Thala’s native forest is on the migratory route of bird life heading north and south. Channel Billed Cuckoo Migrating north to PNG and Indonesia, the Channel Billed Cuckoo is the largest species of cuckoos in Australia. Being a cuckoo, it lays its eggs in the nest of another (larger) bird, and being a large cuckoo. Channel Billed Cuckoos usually choose as

Port Douglas Carnivale is back in May 2017 with a jam packed line up!

By Fiona Harper| March 6, 2017|

Port Douglas Carnivale is one of north Queensland's favourite festivals! Held in venues across Port Douglas, there are plenty of events to suit everyone! The official festival runs from 26 to 28 May 2017, though some events, such as the always fabulous Spiegeltent starts a week earlier. The Wonderland Spiegeltent returns with award winning LA SOIRÉE! Friday 19 May - Sunday 28 May From New York to Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong to Montreal, this award winning international variety

Wallabies & wildlife at Thala

By Fiona Harper| February 20, 2017|

Thala’s onsite Rangers have spent a lifetime in the forests of far north Queensland and are on hand as wildlife experts to guide and inform guests about the diverse flora and fauna within the forests, beaches or along Thala’s rocky headland. Daily complimentary tours are personal and intimate - designed so that guests enjoy the thrill of making their very own discoveries. Tours on offer include Coconut Odyssey, Nature & Garden Walks, Bird & Butterfly Walks, along with Monday night

Helping north Queensland’s frog population

By Fiona Harper| February 6, 2017|

Being green comes natural to north Queensland frogs’ best friend Deborah Pergolotti. Conservationist and founding president of Frog Safe Inc, otherwise known as the Cairns Frog Hospital, Deborah is a passionate advocate for frogs. Cairns Frog Hospital rescues and rehabilitates distressed, sick and injured frogs with the aim of returning them to the wild as soon as possible. Frogs are brought to the hospital from as far afield as Townsville to Cape York. Deborah’s advice is sought worldwide as she

Great Barrier Reef Masters Games in Cairns

By Fiona Harper| January 23, 2017|

The Great Barrier Reef Masters Games are held across the Cairns region from 25 – 28 May 2017. These popular games were first held in Cairns in 2013. The Cairns and Port Douglas region is the ideal location to host the Games and is one of Australia's most popular holiday hotspots thanks to a myriad of local attractions, dining, adventure sports, Great Barrier Reef activities and entertainment. All this within close proximity to Cairns and Port Douglas! 2,000 masters-aged men

Staying cool in waterfalls & swimming holes during summer

By Fiona Harper| January 18, 2017|

The summer wet season is one of the most exciting times to visit tropical north Queensland. Sure, it’s humid but the best part is tropical drenching rains that give life to the forest. Tropical rain also ensures the creeks, rivers and waterfalls are in full flow, providing the perfect excuse to head to the forest to cool down. Here’s our pick of some of our favourite waterfalls, swimming holes and rivers to cool down in that are within driving distance

10 famous Great Barrier Reef residents

By Fiona Harper| December 27, 2016|

Admittedly there’s a lot more than 10 famous residents but let’s keep it simple to start with. The good folks at Tourism Queensland limit themselves to just eight – known as the Great Eight (as opposed to Africa's Big Five). Legendary naturalist and the Great Barrier Reef's number one fan,  David Attenborough, gave the Great Barrier Reef the big tick of approval when he called it the  ‘most exciting natural history experience’ of his life. You know that if David

Tap into Indigenous culture of north Queensland

By Fiona Harper| December 19, 2016|

North Queensland has a number of exceptional opportunities to experience the Indigenous culture of Australia’s first people. Each Monday evening elders from Kuku Yalanji visit Thala to share a personal cultural presentation, along with didgeridoo performance, which is free for all Thala guests. If your visit coincides with a Monday night make sure you don't miss this splendid opportunity to meet with and talk to the people who have lived on the lands where Thala is sited for 40,000 years

Videos show 360 degree views of Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef & Mossman Gorge!

By Fiona Harper| December 13, 2016|

Brand new video clips with splendid 360-degree videos of Tropical North Queensland have recently been created to take visitors on a virtual tour of Port Douglas and Cairns and the surrounding area. If you can't touch the sand, taste the salt and see the sunrise over the Great Barrier Reef, these 360° videos are designed to make the viewer feel a part of the experience and are almost as good as the real thing! Almost. “Featured locations on the six

Why we love Tropical North Queensland (& why you will too!)

By Fiona Harper| November 28, 2016|

It's true that North Queensland is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty. From rainforest to reef sounds a bit of a cliche. Until you actually look around, that is, when it's hard to avoid forest-clad mountain ranges, an endless coastline with outlying islands popping out of the Coral Sea and coral reefs concealed below it. Thala Beach Nature Reserve sits smack bang in the middle of it all. We've got World Heritage Wet Tropics Rainforest to our south and

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