Thala Beach Nature Reserve: The Experience

Located in Port Douglas, Australia

Situated between the tropical rain forests of Far North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, Thala Beach Nature Reserve offers an array of enticing activities for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers alike. Whether you’d like to take a leisurely walk on the lodge’s network of trails or book an action-packed snorkeling or diving trip farther afield, Thala Beach’s attentive staff are delighted to help introduce you to the area’s many attractions.

Things to Do

Activity inclusions vary by rate type and package. Please inquire with the lodge when requesting your reservation.

Nature Walks

Thala Beach Nature Reserve encompasses an array of habitats including rain forest, woodlands, mangroves, grasslands, and coastal marine environments, all surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage-designated forest. Join a private guide for a walk among the lodge’s 145 acres, learning about native flora and fauna.

Bird and Butterfly Walks

Discover the rich variety of bird and butterfly species that inhabit Thala Beach Nature Reserve on an excursion with one of the lodge’s naturalists. Full-day birding excursions are also available.

Stargazing

Free from light pollution and filled with millions of stars, the night sky at Thala Beach provides excellent opportunities for celestial exploration. Enjoy an introduction to the southern constellations from an experienced guide using telescopes and binoculars.

Coconut Odyssey

Learn about the life cycle of coconuts as you explore Thala Beach’s plantation of over 700 coconut palms. Discover the health benefits of coconuts, known throughout the world as a “miracle food,” and crack open your own coconut to enjoy a taste of this local staple.

Talks with Kuku Yalanji People

Meet with Kuku Yalanji elders from a local Aboriginal community, who share stories that have been passed down for generations about their ancient culture and customs. Hear the haunting rhythms of a didgeridoo and learn about Aboriginal Dreamtime.

Private Beach

Stretching for over a mile of pristine sand, Oak Beach is an idyllic paradise lined with coconut palms and sheoak trees. All of Thala’s guests are invited to enjoy this private-access beach. Please note that swimming in the ocean is not recommended between November and April due to the presence of stinging jellyfish. Two freshwater swimming pools are available for swimming year-round.

Sea Kayaking

Join one of the lodge’s guides on a kayaking excursion in search of stingrays, dolphins, dugongs, and more. The reef adjacent to Thala Beach Nature Reserve is known as a “turtle highway” and provides opportunities for up-close encounters with the sea turtles that congregate here for feeding and socializing.

Great Barrier Reef

Just offshore lies the largest known coral reef in the world, home to an exceptionally rich variety of marine life. Trips to the Outer Great Barrier Reef can be organized through the lodge, including snorkeling and diving tours, sailing, fishing, and private yacht charters. The lodge recommends booking in advance during peak season (April to October) as availability can be limited.

Daintree Rainforest

Estimated to be tens of millions of years older than the Amazon rain forest, the Daintree is a place of staggering biodiversity and beauty. Explore the rain forest and its Aboriginal culture with a variety of activities including interpretive walking tours, nature safaris, and scenic helicopter flights.

Atherton Tablelands

A fertile plateau near Cairns, the Tablelands encompasses a lush region of mountains, rain forest, and waterfalls, punctuated by limestone caves and craters lakes. Wildlife abounds here, including more than 300 species of birds. Thala Beach works with local operators to offer numerous ways to explore this region, from cave tours to wetlands walks.

Other Local Activities

The lodge’s staff can arrange for a variety of other activities during your stay depending on your interests, including horseback riding, golfing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, wine tasting, and more. Inquire with the staff about the many possibilities that are available.

Food and Drink

Thala Beach offers a variety of dining choices, depending on your mood and appetite. Dine among the treetops while taking in views of the Coral Sea and rain forest-clad mountains at Osprey’s Restaurant, which is open daily for all meals, coffee, and cocktails. Enjoy a seasonal menu of modern Australian cuisine as you nosh on octopus terrine, crispy-skinned barramundi (sea bass), or spice-infused lamb shoulder, with ingredients sourced from local farms and the lodge’s own garden. Overlooking the swimming pool, the Masked Plover Bar is open throughout the day and evening with comfortable sofas in a casual setting—an ideal place to enjoy a cocktail or a refreshing drink. Herbies Beach Shack, located on the beachfront, serves casual drinks and canapés throughout the day. Or enjoy a picnic in the privacy of your room or anywhere on the grounds of Thala Beach Nature Reserve. The lodge will supply a picnic blanket, linen, and delicious food presented in a wicker basket, delivered at a time that suits you.

Rejuvenate Spa

The lodge’s intimate spa and massage studio offers a range of services, including massages, facials, body scrubs and wraps, and more. Kick off your stay at Thala Beach with a “jetlag reviver” massage, or treat yourself to 90 minutes of “coconut bliss”—a body scrub and facial incorporating organic coconut oil. You can also take advantage of the spa’s lunch and massage special, which includes a relaxing massage followed by a light lunch and a glass of wine at Osprey’s Restaurant.

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