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!

Celebrating World Oceans Day with a special seafood menu

By Fiona Harper| June 1, 2016|

June 8th is World Oceans Day and we're laying on the water-infused charm on the shores of the Great Barrier Reef. At Thala Beach Nature Reserve we're committed to environmental sustainability across all facets of our nature-based retreat. From the way we maintain our 58ha of native forest (no pesticides are used, grey water is recycled and tree pruning is kept to a minimum) to the meals we serve in our restaurant (sourcing local produce and keeping our food miles

Green Ants of Australia & why they’re busy little rainforest builders

By admin| May 29, 2016|

Green tree ants are essential builders in the rainforest. They're like the worker bees of the ant world. The native forest of Thala Beach Nature Reserve is a thriving habitat for these insects. If you thought life was busy,  you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen a green ants nest in full defense mode! They clamber all over the tree containing their nest and protect it from invaders with a fervour and ferocity only to be attributed to the Mongul

Whale sharks on the Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| April 12, 2016|

The world’s largest fish, the whale shark, is rarely spotted in the waters off the north Queensland coast. A mysterious migratory creature, whale sharks are under threat worldwide So it was quite a thrill when Seton Prettejohn encountered one of these majestic creatures while out on the Great Barrier Reef. Their boat was underway between Opal Reef and St Crispins Reef off the coast north of Port Douglas when this whale shark was spotted during the 2016 summer. Whale shark

Celebrate Carnivale festival in tropical Port Douglas

By Fiona Harper| March 22, 2016|

Port Douglas’s fabulous festival Carnivale is an annual fun-filled festival held across different venues in this beachside village. This year the festivities kick off with a tantalising taster as the fabulous Spiegeltent comes to Port Douglas from 12 to 22 May 2016. The Carnivale Festival weekend runs from 20 - 22 May 2016. Book your Carnivale Package now to take advantage of special deals for this iconic festival! Book NowEnsure you don’t miss out and reserve your Carnivale accommodation today!

Strap yourself in for adventure in the Daintree Rainforest!

By Fiona Harper| March 21, 2016|

If the most adventurous you’ve been lately is ordering a spicy Thai curry, go north my friend, for Port Douglas and its tropical surrounds are an adrenaline-junkie’s paradise. It’s where I find myself hanging upside down, 12 metres above the ground in the majestic Daintree Rainforest, with my feet crossed firmly and my arms dangling below me – not exactly how I envisaged one would ‘jungle surf’, but that was just one of the many surprises of this trip. After

Thala Beach & Tourism Australia’s coastal & aquatic campaign

By Fiona Harper| February 16, 2016|

Thala Beach is honoured to be included in Tourism Australia's latest promotional campaign focusing on Australia's world-class coastal and aquatic experiences. The Tourism Australia production crew spent two days filming at Thala Beach Nature Reserve's to capture the eco retreats coastal and aquatic features in ;ate 2015. Virtual reality and 360 degree technology were utilised during the film shoot which captured Thala's beachfront and native forests. Thala is one of only three Queensland locations to be included, along with Vlassof

Great Barrier Reef features in Attenborough documentary

By Fiona Harper| February 3, 2016|

  Tropical North Queensland’s dwarf minke whales star in Sir David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef documentary series which was released in the United Kingdom on December and is due for worldwide release soon. Sir David Attenborough was one of those people who aspired to see the Great Barrier Reef as a boy and realised his dream in 1957 when he travelled from Cairns north to Raine Island. Much of the three-part series was filmed in the Tropical North Queensland region,

Discounted Airnorth flights to Cairns start in March 2016

By Fiona Harper| January 27, 2016|

Cairns and Port Douglas will benefit from more flights as Airnorth starts operating new flights into Cairns Airport from 14 March 2016. Direct services will operate from Toowoomba (Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport) direct to Cairns. New services between Toowoomba and Melbourne give Victorian travellers another option to fly to and from Tropical North Queensland. Airnorth has worked closely with Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport to establish this new service which will operate as full service flights in their state-of-the-art 76-seat Embraer

10 reasons why the wet season is the fun season!

By Fiona Harper| January 4, 2016|

The wet season in Tropical North Queensland is traditionally the low season for holiday makers. While southern Australia is bathed in summer sunshine (sometimes baked rather than bathed as 40 degree-plus days become normal!) north Queensland is glistening in fresh tropical rain. The forest is lapping up warm tropical rain and wildlife are loving the abundance of life-sustaining fresh water. Humans too are enjoying the wet season in the tropics. Is there anything more liberating than feeling the caress of

Book your Cairns IRONMAN accom at Thala Beach Nature Reserve

By Fiona Harper| December 28, 2015|

The Cairns Adventure Festival, which includes Cairns IRONMAN and Cairns IRONMAN 70.3 is an action packed event in Tropical North Queensland from 5 – 12 June 2016. It’s outdoor adrenaline-fueled fun in some of Cairns and Port Douglas iconic locations. Thala Beach Nature Reserve sits smack in the middle of ít all and is perfectly located for competitors and supporters in Cairns IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3. The bike course runs right past our front door! With 58 ha of native

North QLD Indigineous designers feature at Melbourne Fashion Festival

By Fiona Harper| December 17, 2015|

The Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) fashion performance, Birrimbi Dulgu Bajal (Rainforest and Sea Dreaming), will take its performance to Melbourne in 2016 to feature as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program in March. The news comes as CIAF announces the event’s 2016 dates. Taking place from 15-17 July, the art fair will build on the success of last year’s event, hosting an additional fashion show to present two new performances to the Cairns audience soon

Coral reef research to reverse rapid decline

By Fiona Harper| December 3, 2015|

The quest to stabilize and restore coral reefs, a critical component of our ocean ecosystem, is receiving increased help through a unique research project supported by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. As ocean temperatures rise and oceans become more acidic, corals are declining in record numbers. A new project and winner of the 2013 Paul G. Allen Ocean Challenge will apply human-assisted evolution in developing resilient coral species to help reverse this decline. “Not all corals are created equal,” said

10 of the Most Photographed creatures of the Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| November 27, 2015|

A loveable little orange clownfish named Nemo has a lot to answer for. The Great Barrier Reef has never been so popular since Nemo and his fabulously forgetful girlfriend Dory splashed onto the big screen. We understand why! You want to come to Queensland to find Nemo. Who doesn’t? But long before this cute clownfish made headlines, there were plenty of other marine species in Tropical North Queensland worth getting your feet wet for. Here's a few of our favourites.

Great Barrier Reef coral spawn: happening soon!

By Fiona Harper| November 20, 2015|

Unless you’ve been hiding in a world wide web black spot behind a sand dune, you’ve probably already heard about nature’s spectacularly synchronised coral spawn. But in case you haven’t, coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef is the biggest reproductive phenomenon this side of Texas. In fact, it’s bigger than Texas. (actually, that’s not strictly true – covering 344,00 sq km, the GBR is actually bigger than Italy, but no matter). What is important however, is the magnitude of

Tropical North Queensland awards excellence in tourism

By Fiona Harper| November 12, 2015|

The Cairns Convention Centre and long-serving tourism industry leaders Stephen Gregg and James Dixon were awarded for their contribution to tourism excellence at the Intrust Super Tourism Industry Excellence Cocktail Event last night.  Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chair Max Shepherd presented the Tropical North Queensland Tourism Honours before about 350 people at a tropical extravaganza at the Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal featuring themed live food stations by Masterchef guest chef Nick Holloway of Nu Nu Restaurant. Former Deputy Chair

Captain Cook Hwy to be known as Great Barrier Reef Drive

By Fiona Harper| November 10, 2015|

THE picturesque drive from Cairns to Cape Tribulation will now be known as the Great Barrier Reef Drive after getting the nod from State Government. The idea to brand the 140km section of the Captain Cook Highway and Cape Tribulation Rd has been three years in the making and is set to rival Victoria’s Great Ocean Rd. Tourism Port Douglas Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said an agreement had been reached between the tourism body, Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ),

Australia on Lonely Planet’s ‘must visit’ list in 2016

By Fiona Harper| October 28, 2015|

Leading global travel authority Lonely Planet has chosen Australia as one of the world's Top 10 Countries for next year in LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL 2016, published today. BEST IN TRAVEL 2016 is Lonely Planet's 11th eagerly-awaited annual collection of the best trends, destinations, journeys and experiences for the upcoming year. Australia is ranked sixth on the book's list of Top 10 Countries 2016. “Unless you're from New Zealand or Papua New Guinea, Australia can seem a long way from anywhere,” Lonely Planet says. “Getting here usually involves folding yourself into a plane for 24 hours.

5 of the best Indigenous tours around north Queensland

By Fiona Harper| October 22, 2015|

Thanks to the good folk at Tourism and Events Queensland for this fabulous article on Indigenous tours that depart from Cairns or Port Douglas. There’s something magical about arriving in Tropical North Queensland. Maybe it’s because it’s home to the world’s oldest rainforest with towering trees and curious animals quietly scurrying beneath the heavy canopy. Or perhaps it’s because the local Indigenous people have lived on the land continuously for 40,000 years and help you see life in a different way. Whatever it is, the region is so

Lace monitor lizards at Thala Beach Nature Reserve

By Fiona Harper| September 22, 2015|

Lace monitor lizards are great tree climbers and wander several kilometres each day foraging for food. There are many of these lizards inhabiting Thala’s native forest and guests often see or hear them rustling through the undergrowth. They’re also terrific climbers and can be spotted high up in the tree tops. Lace monitors grow up to 2 metres in length and have striking markings on their skin. Their toes have long strong claws which equips them for climbing. Lace monitors

Great Barrier Reef is a World Heritage wonder

By Fiona Harper| August 4, 2015|

The Great Barrier Reef gets plenty of media coverage. It’s no surprise really, given its one of the planet’s most fabulous eco-systems. It’s also a hot destination for tourists who put it at the top of their ‘must do’ lists.  It’s probably one of the most photographed holiday hot spots – just check social media platforms for the number of shared photographs. Most recently the GBR has been in the news after the World Heritage Committee gave it the big

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