Thala Beach Nature Reserve: About the Destination

Located in Port Douglas, Australia

Thala Beach Lodge is located in Far North Queensland, the northernmost part of the state of Queensland, Australia. Bordered by the Coral Sea to the east and the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west, the region is home to ancient rainforests and coral reefs, as well as the age-old culture of the Kuku Yalanji people. There is much to discover here and, flanked by two UNESCO World Heritage sites, Thala Beach makes a delightful base for exploring the area’s wonders.

Wildlife and Natural History


At Thala Beach, guests are encouraged to record their wildlife encounters on a whiteboard in the lobby. It’s evidence of the rich array of species that inhabits the reserve—from possums and wallabies to hundreds of types of both birds and butterflies. June to September brings the annual migration of southern humpback whales, which travel from the Antarctic to birth their calves in the coast’s warm tropical waters. Minke, dwarf minke, and Bryde’s whales can also be spotted at this time of year, and dolphins routinely frequent these shores as well.

Places of Interest

The rainforests of Far North Queensland are the traditional home of the Kuku Yalanji people, whose history dates back 50,000 years. Living in harmony with the environment is the hallmark of their culture, which is passed from one generation to the next through stories, songs, and dances. Their spiritual center, Mossman Gorge in the Daintree Rainforest, is now home to an eco-tourism center, which includes an indigenous art gallery. It’s also the starting point for guided walks with the Kuku Yalanji, who introduce visitors to their culture through an interpretation of the local ecology and sacred sites.

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