Port Douglas in Global Top 100 for eco sustainability

There are a lot of “green” reasons to choose a holiday in Port Douglas and Daintree. The region has been named in the global Top 100 list of the world’s most environmentally sound places to visit – the only Australian tourism destination to receive the international accolade.

There are 24 tourism operators, including Thala in the Port Douglas Daintree area providing eco-certified tourism experiences in compliance with the Eco Tourism Australia certification program. Thala Beach Nature Reserve is proud to be celebrating 21 years as an eco leader in north Queensland.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve | water bottles

In an Australian first, work has begun for Port Douglas Daintree to become Australia’s first eco-certified region in conjunction with the Douglas Shire Council, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree and Eco Tourism Australia.

Tara Bennett, executive officer for TPDD, said taking a sustainable approach encouraged visitors to engage with their surroundings and make a positive contribution while on holiday.

“We are at the junction of two hugely important ecological regions in the world – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. It is both our duty and a privilege to protect them. Environmental sustainability is a core business practice of operating in Port Douglas Daintree.”

Thala’s owner Robert Prettejohn has long been a passionate advocate for preserving our environment and is proud of Thala’s reputation for offering sustainable, ethical accommodation for nature-oriented travelers.

“At Thala Beach Nature Reserve, our guests enjoy comfort within a beautiful, natural environment that is home to many unique Australian plants and animals,” explains Rob Prettejohn.

“Add good local food and friendly tropical Queensland hospitality and interactive experiences, including visits to The Great Barrier Reef and guided walks in our ancient Gondwanan rain forests, and our guests have a combination of experiences available nowhere else in the world.”

In 2018 Thala was granted membership of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, one of only two Australian properties to meet the strict criteria for membership. The standards for inclusion to National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World are based on the four pillars of sustainable tourism: protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities, and environmentally friendly practices.

Thala is a Green Travel Leader

Additionally, Thala holds Green Travel Leader status with Ecotourism Australia, an esteemed accreditation level awarded to members who have upheld ecotourism sustainability for ten consecutive years. Guided nature walks, star gazing, and turtle spotting are just some of the nature-based, complimentary experiences guests enjoy at Thala. Eco-designed deluxe treehouse style bungalows situated amongst native forest bring nature up close and personal.

Walk Through the Tree Tops

A carbon neutral attraction north of the Daintree River, the Daintree Discovery Centre has established itself as a world leader in ecotourism. Celebrating 30 years in 2019, the Centre specialises
environmental interpretive facilities, with a series of rainforest walkways that allow visitors to experience the rainforest from every level. Self-guided audio tours are available in nine different languages and the interpretive centre is a rich resource for learning about the significance of the Daintree Rainforest.

Collaborating for Koalas

A Great Barrier Reef tour operator and a wildlife sanctuary have collaborated to create a koala eucalypt plantation in Port Douglas. Wildlife Habitat has planted 250 eucalypts on land donated by Sailaway Port Douglas, another long-standing ecotourism operator, so that fresh leaves can be harvested close to the sanctuary.

Sailaway Port Douglas

A Sweet Tour

Offering a sustainable farmgate experience, Sweet Farm Tours north of Port Douglas is the latest product to become an Eco Certified ecotourism operator for its unique farm gate experience. The
working cocoa and sugarcane farm is run by a fourth-generation farmer committed to sustainability.

Sweetf arm tour


One of the region’s longest running operator’s Quicksilver Cruises has been setting the benchmark for ecotourism for over 25 years. The company is committed to sustainable environmental practices and even has its own Reef Biosearch Environmental Division led by the largest team of marine biologists outside of a government agency. In fact, Reef Biosearch has the longest logbook database of marine observations on the Great Barrier Reef, ongoing for over two decades. In 2018, the Great Barrier Reef cruise operator also partnered in a long-term scientific coral restoration research project.

Quicksilver Port Douglas

Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge Centre recognises the integral part Indigenous Kuku Yalanji people, their culture and spiritual beliefs play within this rich landscape and in 2018 attained Green Travel Leader status, as recognition for its continual commitment to environmental and cultural sustainability. Take a tour and experience an authentic Indigenous experience, while gaining an understanding of and respect for the natural landscape incorporating the rainforest flora and fauna, water, rocks and Manjal Dimbi (Mt Demi).

Mossman Gorge Dreamtime Walk

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