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!

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

Introducing Coco the joey

By Fiona Harper| November 21, 2016|

Visitors to Thala Beach Nature Reserve would be well acquainted with Apple the Wallaby who charmed all with her friendly nature and wild wallaby ways. With her recent passing after a short illness, her adorable joey Coco is being looked after by wildlife carer Jenna. A zoologist with experience both in terrestrial and marine environments, Jenna and her partner Dave operate Daintree Wonder Tours. They are passionate wildlife and nature lovers with a strong connection to the natural world. Both

Australian Birds at Thala

By admin| November 21, 2016|

Birdwatchers contain yourself please! Some new and fairly rare species of Australian birds are being seen at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, probably due to the very dry period. A Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) has been spotted, a very uncommon sighting so close to the coast. This beautifully coloured very shy ground feeding bird has been spotted at Thala. Also, a Bassian Ground Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) which feeds in a similar manner to the Noisy Pitta, had also been seen in

Remembering Apple the Wallaby, who charmed travellers from across the globe

By Fiona Harper| November 14, 2016|

At Thala Beach Nature Reserve we’re blessed to share our special place with the native wildlife who call our forest home. Wallabies and lizards, birds and butterflies, sugar gliders and snakes, possums and pademelons, they all live here along with the human visitors. We see many on a daily basis, others remain unseen. But we know they’re there as we see their poop and their tracks, we hear their calls and we see the bushes rustle as they go about

What our fans are enjoying about Thala & Tropical North Queensland

By Fiona Harper| November 7, 2016|

We've been seeing some wonderful photos on Instagram lately from visitors to Thala Beach Nature Reserve and Tropical North Queensland. From beach to rainforest or relaxing in some of the private spaces across Thala, we're feeling totally chilled out enjoying your photos. Don't forget to enter Thala's photo competition to WIN 2 nights at #thalabeach. Competition closes in 3 weeks!   Breakfast with a view @thalabeach 😊☀️🌴💙 - #thisismyparadise #thalabeach #lovewhereyoulive #exploretnq #seeaustralia #exploreaustralia #fnq #tnq #cairnslife #cairns #amazing_australia #adventureqld

WIN 2 nts at Thala: name #AppletheWallaby’s joey!

By Fiona Harper| October 27, 2016|

UPDATE: Kathy Mitchell is the winner of this competition, nominating the name Coco. Kathy said: "I'd like this gorgeous joey's name to be Coco after all the beautiful coconut trees at Thala which we remember from our honeymoon there." We're thrilled at Thala Beach Nature Reserve to have around 50 wild agile wallabies (plus a wallaby joey or two!) that inhabit our native forest. Most guests who have visited over the past few years will have heard of gorgeous #AppletheWallaby

Great Barrier Reef recovers from coral bleaching

By Fiona Harper| October 13, 2016|

Visitors to the Great Barrier Reef are reporting that the reef is looking as vibrant, colourful and as spectacular as ever. The widely reported coral bleaching event in early 2016 had the greatest impact north of Lizard Island with coral reefs accessible from Port Douglas and Cairns little affected. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has begun the second phase of surveys to assess the impact of coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and to observe how corals

Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again in October

By Fiona Harper| September 26, 2016|

As if Australians needed any reason to get out and enjoy their backyard, National Bird Week and the Aussie Backyard Bird Count is on again! Now in its third year, over one million birds were counted during the week long 2015 campaign. National Birdweek and the Bird Count runs from 17 - 23 October 2016. Using the hashtag #AussieBirdCount, Australian’s are invited to get involved and start counting birdlife in their area.  It’s like a real life version of Pokemon

Cairns Frog Hospital – saving amphibians one frog at a time

By Fiona Harper| September 26, 2016|

Frogs don’t get a lot of publicity, which is a bit unfair. Frogs of Tropical North Queensland are one of the forest’s most remarkable creature. For a start, they’re amphibians, which means they spend part of their life in water as well as on land. They start their life with gills as a tadpole before metamorphosing into a land based frog with lungs. With over 200 frog species in Australia, there are about 54 species found in the Wet Tropics

Rare humpback whale song recorded near Port Douglas

By Fiona Harper| September 24, 2016|

Robert Prettejohn, the owner of Thala Beach Nature Reserve was fortunate to experience an extraordinary humpback whale encounter in the Coral Sea near Port Douglas. A humpback 'family' was sighted near Snapper Island, with a female humpback seemingly showing a young calf how to breach. While a male kept paternal watch over his family, other humpbacks kept their distance. Whale song is a form of communication by humpback whales, a vocalisation which is often inaudible to human ears. To record

Amazing humpback whale encounter with mother & calf on Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| September 16, 2016|

It’s definitely humpback whale watching season in Port Douglas and Cairns! Robert Prettejohn was lucky enough to see a pod of humpback whales near Snapper Island and captured some wonderful photos above and below the water. Famous albino humpback Migaloo was also recently spotted on Great Barrier Reef waters near Port Douglas (check out the video footage of Migaloo surfacing at the end of this post). Robert said that he spotted three humpback whales while out boating recently. He stopped

Queensland Weekender features Thala Beach

By Fiona Harper| September 14, 2016|

Queensland Weekender visited Thala Beach Nature Reserve. One of the highlights of their visit was learning about the life cycle of coconuts on Thala's unique Coconut Odyssey Tour. One of many complimentary tours available for in-house guests, Guide Emma explains the different qualities of coconuts from tiny nut to fully grown tree. Watch the video below to take a tour with Thala through the coconut plantation and the bird hide.

Meet the Great Eight wildlife of the Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| September 7, 2016|

The Great Barrier Reef’s Great Eight is the underwater equivalent to Africa’s Big Five. The Big difference however is that the Great Eight can all be viewed within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to get so close to one of these wonderful creatures that you’ll eyeball each other. Unlike Africa’s Big Five, the Great Eight are unlikely to eat you! (though to be fair, sharks have been known to exhibit such anti-social behavior

Married at First Sight – filmed at Thala!

By Fiona Harper| September 6, 2016|

Married at First Sight is an Australian reality television series based on the Danish program which is currently screening on the Nine Network. The show features couples who are matched by three experts, who agree to marry when they first meet. Married at First Sight follows four couples in a ground-breaking social experiment as they meet for the first time at their wedding. Then, just like most newly-weds they take a honeymoon to a dreamy tropical location (hellooooo Thala!), meet

Frogs are checking into Cairns Frog Hospital

By Fiona Harper| July 4, 2016|

Cairns Frog Hospital has been caring for sick and injured frogs in Tropical North Queensland for almost twenty years. During that time almost 2,500 frogs (as well as countless toads and tadpoles) have been admitted to the frog hospital. Most have since been rehabilitated and returned to their wild ways. Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a proud supporter of the Cairns Frog Hospital. We sat down with Founding President Debora Pergolotti to find out what happens at the frog hospital

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