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!

Butterfly Cod

By admin| July 27, 2012|

A striking looking creature, which looks as if it’s set to star in an underwater Chinese New Year Parade, the Butterfly Cod is adorned with fins and spikes that fire out of its body in flamboyant fashion. These fan-like protrusions, which are typically striped in appearance, are venomous and used for the fish’s protection. Located on the dorsal, anus and pelvis, the fins give the fish almost complete immunity to cruise the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Growing up

David Delaney

By admin| July 24, 2012|

Twenty five years' in furniture removals saw David Delaney travel extensively throughout NSW and Queensland. Highways, dirt tracks, family, and mateship with both colleagues and war veterans shaped much of David’s experiences during this time. However, it was after his retirement, back in 2006, that David reflected on these experiences and felt inspired to write poetry. Two published books and numerous poems later, and David is enjoying the poet’s life. Here’s a poem he wrote about his experience at Thala.

Orange Thighed Frog

By admin| July 20, 2012|

A colourful species endemic to the coastal region of Far North Queensland, the Orange thighed-Frog is adorned with a lime green dorsal, bright yellow feet and a yellow underside. Large golden irises protrude from its flat head, while its signature bright orange thighs distinguish it from others of its kind. Dwelling largely in rainforest canopies, the Orange-thighed Frog often only descends when it’s time to breed. However, it’s not uncommon to spot this citrus coloured amphibian hopping within the grounds

Lynette Wallworth – Coral: Rekindling Venus

By admin| July 17, 2012|

An Australian artist who’s cinematic journeys typically reflect the connection people have with the natural environment, Lynette Wallworth has captivated audiences with her film, Coral: Rekindling Venus. Using photography, film and a range of technologies to convey its message, Coral: Rekindling Venus introduces the audience to the luminescence, colours and textures of the underwater world. The film’s aim, says Wallworth, "is to move people with the beauty of coral reefs". In conveying this sense of beauty and mystery of the

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

By admin| July 13, 2012|

A member of the megapode bird family, which are typically stocky, chicken-like birds with small heads and large feet, the Orange Footed Scrubfowl is a common sight among the leaf ridden areas surrounding Thala. Also found in the islands of Wallacea and southern New Guinea, as well as other parts of northern Australia, this aerodynamic headed creature is somewhat of a romantic, forming permanent pair bonds with its sexual counterpart. The Orange Footed Scrubfowl also appears to be a capricious

Giant Clam

By admin| July 10, 2012|

A beautiful sight to behold, the giant clam, which enjoys the warm waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef, is the largest living bivalve mollusc. At times weighing more than 200kg, these bottom feeding behemoths have an average lifespan of around 100 years in the wild. Having a rather settled nature from the outset, the giant clam will find its home on the reef and remain there throughout its entire life. Here it feeds on passing plankton, which it syphons from

Total Solar Eclipse 2012

By admin| July 6, 2012|

A phenomenon that can only occur during a new moon, when the sun and moon are in conjunct with the earth, a total solar eclipse is a rare and spectacular event that was last seen in Australia in 2002. Now the time has come again, as on November 14 at 6:39am, the great cosmic shadow of solar eclipse 2012 will descend upon Australia, targeting the top of Cape York before similarly casting Cairns and Port Douglas into morning obscurity. In

Cruiser Butterfly

By admin| July 3, 2012|

A colourful addition to Thala’s wildlife, the Cruiser Butterfly is a conspicuous resident that swoops and flutters amidst the local vegetation. It's a member of the Nymphalidae family, also known as the four-footed butterflies, which comprise about 5,000 butterflies distributed throughout the world. Found from Malaku through to mainland Guinea and northern Queensland, this orange and graceful cruiser has a wingspan of approximately 8cm. It also possesses several curious characteristics unique to its species. The female Cruiser Butterfly is much

Chillagoe Caves

By admin| June 26, 2012|

Spectacular limestone caverns, passages and stalactites, in over 700 caves (some of which run for 11kms) comprise much of what is known as Chillagoe Caves, a 400-million-year old cave system located roughly three hours west of Cairns in the Chillagoe-Mungana Caves National Park. This striking, yet unusual rock formation formed after intense volcanic activity and mineralisation shaped the then coral reef environment. Today, the limestone appears from the surface in towering pinnacle outcrops known as bluffs that project 40 metres

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

By admin| June 22, 2012|

For a fun and accessible way to see rare and colourful creatures in a pristine coral environment, that’s also the largest in the world, there’s arguably no better activity than snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, the only requirements for snorkelling are a reasonably good level of fitness and a moderate sense of adventure. And there’s many tours in the area that will take you to any number of reef destinations, so all one has to do is

Whale Migration and Breeding

By admin| June 19, 2012|

During autumn in Antarctica, when ice forms on the sea surface and the air takes on a palpable chill, a great whale migration occurs, as these prodigious marine mammals head north towards the world’s more tropical waters. Each year, around 2,000 Humpback Whales make the annual migration towards Cairns, where they mate and give birth in warmer, more nurturing waters. These rather acrobatic creatures are also the fifth largest animal in the world, and if you're lucky, they can be

The Bush Stone Curlew

By admin| June 15, 2012|

In the open forests and woodlands of Australia, particularly in the north, there roams a long legged, ground dwelling bird called the Bush Stone Curlew. Occupying a similar ecological niche as the North American roadrunner, this golden eyed bird is both a graceful and beautiful creature. Its chilling wail is commonly heard at night, and you could be excused for not connecting the unusual call with this strange bird. Essentially a carnivore, the Bush Stone Curlew is also a nocturnal

Five Unique Cape Tribulation Experiences

By admin| June 12, 2012|

Located 110km north of Cairns within the Wet Tropics World Heritage area and Daintree National Park, where rainforest meets the tropical sea, Cape Tribulation contains a number of options for nature lovers and adventurers alike. Night Time Crocodile Spotting Keen to see these ancient reptilian monsters in their natural habitat at night? Well you can through a number of organised tours which guide visitors through such an experience. Such tours take you down well known croc trails, where sets of

Maori Wrasse

By admin| June 8, 2012|

One of the many striking, yet rather unusual looking inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef is the Maori Wrasse. This bone headed bather contains two delightful features that don’t serve it well in the survival of the fittest. It’s a very personable fish that has been sought after for its tasty qualities. However, more than just a good meal, the Maori Wrasse serves to protect the environment, as it eats sea hares, boxfish, or the crown of thorns star fish

Night Dive on the Great Barrier Reef

By admin| June 5, 2012|

With such an array of wildlife, including six turtle species, numerous whales and dolphins, and over 150,000 species of tropical fish, the Great Barrier Reef is a striking underwater kingdom teeming with life. Why then wouldn’t you want to explore the world of these amazing creatures at night, when there’s a whole other show going on? As at night, there are literally thousands of reef animals that are too shy to see the light of day. Fortunately, there are a

The Agile Wallaby

By admin| June 1, 2012|

Classified as the largest known group of vertebrates to hop on the planet, the kangaroo family has been bouncing its way around arid and tropical parts of Australia for millions of years. One member of this family that’s commonly seen around Far North Queensland is the Agile Wallaby, which swims almost as well it hops. A mid-sized hopper, with males reaching around 27kg and females around 15kg, the agile wallaby makes its way around dense bushland either alone or in

Undara Lava Tubes

By admin| May 29, 2012|

Considered some of the largest and longest lava tubes on the planet, the Undara lava tubes, located in Undara Volcanic National Park in North Queensland, have led to the formation of some spectacular underground caves. The Undara lava tubes were thought to be formed by immense volcanic activity which occurred 190,000 years ago. During this fiery episode, twenty-three billion cubic litres of lava was estimated to have spewed forth from the Undara Volcano onto the surrounding Atherton Tableland. The resulting

Sunset Sail Port Douglas

By admin| May 25, 2012|

With pristine, white sandy beaches and the alluring clear waters of the Coral Sea, the Port Douglas region has much to offer. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that there are a number of sunset sail Port Douglas excursions available for visitors seeking holiday romance, or the etheric twilight beauty this region so effortlessly displays. Options in Port Douglas include luxury style boats, which contain very few guests and typically run for an hour and a half. Here guests can lie

Flames of the Forest

By admin| May 18, 2012|

For a unique dining experience located just 10 minutes outside of Port Douglas, Flames of the Forest would undoubtedly qualify as one of the finest experiences in the area, if not the country. And it has, coming in at number 34 in Australian Travel Magazine’s top 100 things to do in the country. There are a number of reasons why. Firstly, true to its name, Flames of the Forest is situated in a beautiful forest environment, where it’s lit up

Back Country Bliss Adventures – Mossman River Drift Snorkelling

By admin| May 15, 2012|

One of the advantages to having such a diverse geographical wonderland for visitors in the Port Douglas area to experience, is there’s potentially many ways one might engage with it. Take for example river drift snorkelling, the activity unleashed by travel company Back Country Bliss Adventures on the Mossman River. A stunning section of water that begins as a highland stream 1300 metres above sea level, the Mossman River runs for 30 kilometres to the Coral Sea, while accumulating water

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