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!

David Attenborough returns to Great Barrier Reef

By Fiona Harper| March 18, 2015|

  David Attenborough will return to the Great Barrier Reef nearly 60 years after his first visit, as part of a new multi-platform media project between Atlantic Productions and Tourism Australia. Attenboroughs' visit is aimed at inspiring greater interest and more visits to the world’s largest coral reef system. Expected to air early in 2016 and anticipated to be distributed across more than 130 countries, the three-part documentary series will form a key part of a renewed push by Tourism

Explore Tropical North Queensland with the locals

By Fiona Harper| March 13, 2015|

  Discover which Great Barrier Reef islands you can camp on or catch up on the cultural highlights of Tropical North Queensland with the destination’s newly launched travel blog. New stories revealing some of Tropical North Queensland’s most exciting activities can be found at the Tropical North Queensland blog. Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Alex de Waal said the blogs were an important component of TTNQ's advocacy strategy with local and visiting bloggers plus content creators sharing

‘Best moments at Thala’ photo competition winner

By Fiona Harper| March 9, 2015|

Thank you very much to everyone who entered our 'Best Moments at Thala' photo competition. We received some fantastic entries and loved seeing all your entries come through for the competition which ended on 28 February 2015. It was a touch decision for the judges but we're very excited to announce that the winner is SUE BURGESS   Enjoy Sue's winning photo below of our private access Oak Beach on a glorious blue-sky day. You can check out all the

Happy Birthday Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures!

By Fiona Harper| February 10, 2015|

Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures have reached the grand old age of 80 years. Happy Birthday Hartley’s! It’s a milestone worthy of celebrating for this iconic wildlife park that was inducted into tourism’s Hall of Fame in 2012. The name Hartley’s has been synonymous with crocodiles since 1935. But the connection with crocs only came about by accident. Herb (Pop) Evans, who ran a tearoom named the Halfway House, saw a ‘croc for sale’ advertisement in the Cairns Post. Herb (Pop) Evans


By admin| February 10, 2015|

Darting through the night air, creating a scintillating display of wonder with its luminous beauty, the firefly puts on quite a display. And while different to humans, in many respects fireflies and humans share a fundamental trait - the males are the main flashers, who cruise at night in search of a female. Also like their human counterparts behavior (if you'll excuse the gross generalisation!), the female firefly will respond with a favourable blink to a worthy suitor. To detect

Yellow Bellied Sunbird

By admin| January 29, 2015|

Adorned with a metallic blue chest and throat, and a bright plumage true to its name, the Yellow bellied Sunbird can be found fluttering about the forest surrounding Thala. This often fearless bird also possesses a long curved beak, which it uses to hunt spiders from their homes and extract nectar from flowers. Found in north-eastern Australia, as well as Southern Asia, the Yellow-bellied Sunbird breeds between September and February. Its nests are typically long hanging structures made from bark,

Atherton Tablelands and the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo

By admin| January 20, 2015|

Thala Beach Nature Reserve is located smack in the heart of some of north Queensland's most spectacular country. With the Great Barrier Reef as the star attraction, the region has plenty of other diversions too! The Atherton Tablelands are easily reached during on a day trip from Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Driving north past Port Douglas, take the Mossman - Mt Molloy Road up the Rex Range to the Atherton Tablelands. The road twists and winds through rainforest and farmlands,

Top tips from a tropical Wedding Coordinator

By Fiona Harper| January 13, 2015|

Thinking about a Port Douglas wedding? Or a Queensland beach wedding? Deciding on the location of your wedding can be as daunting as organising the big day itself. However the right location will not only add unique flavour to your wedding, it can take the stress out of aspects such as the ceremony and decor, allowing you to focus on what’s most important - the two of you. Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s wedding coordinator Diana Ealdon is one of the

Recipe from Osprey’s Restaurant

By Fiona Harper| December 10, 2014|

Head Chef at Osprey's Restaurant Luukas Trautner has been kind enough to share some of his favourite recipes on the menu at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. A delicious combination of banana prawns, coconut and mango features as a special entree on our weekend lunch menu. Weekends are extremely popular at Osprey's Port Douglas, so we suggest you book early! "Local banana prawns spiced with chilli and garlic served in a plantation coconut with home made mango dipping sauce from our

Q & A with Head Chef Luukas Trautner

By Fiona Harper| December 2, 2014|

Recently appointed as Head Chef at Osprey’s Restaurant overlooking the Coral Sea, Luukas Trautner feels right at home in Tropical North Queensland. Born and raised in the island paradise of the Seychelles, Luukas’ passion for tasting and creating food that is unique and fresh developed from a young age. Graduating from his apprenticeship in Amberg Germany clutching a prestigious Young Chef award, Luukas was soon propelled into the elite kitchens of Europe’s finest restaurants. The Michelin Red Guide has set

Win two nights at Thala Beach!

By Fiona Harper| November 13, 2014|

Thala Beach Nature Reserve is one of Tropical North Queensland's finest eco rereats: win two free nights in a Eucalypt Bungalow! Here’s how to enter: Step 1 Follow us on Pinterest or Instagram. Then upload your photo to your account and hashtag #thalabeach OR Like us on Facebook. Then post your photo to your profile, hashtag #thalabeach and tag us @Thala Beach Lodge Step 2 Email your contact details and photo to [email protected] The competition closes on 28/2/2015 … Good

Port Douglas in Top 10 Holiday Destinations

By Fiona Harper| October 28, 2014|

Port Douglas shines once again, bringing the international spotlight on Tropical North Queensland by being voted number four in the top 10 destinations in Australia. Port Douglas received top accolades in this year’s Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Awards for best holiday destination. It comes as no real surprise to those of us who live and breathe the fresh air of Port Douglas daily. We know how special this place is: travellers have cottoned on! One of Thala's recent guests posted

Gulf Route flights with Rex

By Fiona Harper| October 16, 2014|

Regional Express Airline (Rex) has announced they will be flying a new Cairns route as of 1 January 2015. Rex was awarded all five regulated routes that it applied for including the Gulf Route. Previously operated by Skytrans, Rex will fly the Gulf Route between Cairns and Normanton to Gununa (Mornington Island) to Burketown to Doomadgee to Mount Isa and return. North Queensland benefits from accessibility, though it's very disappointing to see local carrier Skytrans lose routes. Skytrans has bases

Six top reasons to visit Port Douglas

By Fiona Harper| October 7, 2014|

Port Douglas is renowned for its vibrant tropical vibe tucked in behind the beachfront coconut palms. There are plenty of reasons to holiday here - it's no easy task to limit ourselves to just six good reasons to visit Port Douglas! Macrossan Street Port Douglas’ main street, Macrossan Street is the hub of this tropical village. With the Coral Sea at one end of the street and Dickson Inlet at the other, cool breezes waft through town creating a tropical

Dugongs – nature’s smartest mammal!

By Fiona Harper| September 22, 2014|

Known as the mermaid of the sea, dugongs (or manatees) are shy bashful creatures. The jury is still out on how or why dugongs were mistaken for mermaids, but stories abound of sailors sighting graceful half woman, half fish creatures as early as Christopher Columbus’s explorations during 1493. Perhaps the combination of lonely sailors and rum consumed on extended sea voyages gets closer to the truth. Using their tail fluke for propulsion, their rotund bodies make them appear sluggish yet

Thala Beach Lodge changes name to Thala Beach Nature Reserve

By Fiona Harper| September 20, 2014|

Thala Beach Lodge, a family owned private nature and wildlife reserve in Tropical North Queensland will be known as Thala Beach Nature Reserve effective 21 September 2014. This name change better reflects Thala’s ecotourism credentials and nature-based focus. With 58 hectares of native forest on a secluded beach, Thala Beach Nature Reserve is surrounded by World Heritage listed reef and rainforest. Located 15 minutes south of Port Douglas, Thala sits atop a headland with breathtaking vistas of the Coral Sea.

Spring – one of the best times to visit Tropical North QLD

By Fiona Harper| September 9, 2014|

Cynics would say that there are only two seasons in the tropics: wet and dry. But they’d be SO wrong. While winter is absolutely delightful in Tropical North Queensland, spring is even better. With a little more cloud cover starting to appear, the sunsets become spectacular, lighting up the tropical sky at dusk in a blaze of oranges, pinks and purples. Wildlife seem to enjoy spring too! Whales linger in the warm water before returning south to the Southern Ocean.

Dolphins and Whales sighted by Thala Beach Nature Reserve guests

By Fiona Harper| August 26, 2014|

It’s humpback whale season in Tropical North Queensland with humpbacks recently spotted by guests staying at Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Venturing north on their annual holidays (actually they migrate north to breed and give birth, but we like to think they’re on holidays too!) to the warm water playground of Tropical North Queensland, humpbacks leave Antarctic waters around June. Cruising the Great Barrier Reef, often with young calves in tow, the annual migration provides spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. Growing up

Port Douglas things to do

By admin| August 20, 2014|

To say there is no shortage of Port Douglas things to do is an understatement in any language. No other region in the world is bordered by two magnificent World Heritage Listed attractions like Port Douglas is; the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree National Park. Visitors have been coming to Port Douglas to see, touch and taste what is one of the most beautiful and environmentally enriched destinations on the planet. And at the centre of all this natural

Visiting Cairns around the Australian G20 2014?

By 30acres 30acres| August 8, 2014|

  We’d like to welcome any international guests travelling to the region as part of the Cairns G20 Meeting, and invite them to stay with us before or after the event. Thala Beach Lodge is the perfect destination, close to Cairns to switch off business mode and enjoy the very best of what North Queensland has to offer. The Cairns G20 (Group of Twenty) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting will be held on 20-21 September 2014. This is

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