Thala Beach Nature Reserve has been named as one of the Ten Best Hotels & Resorts in Australia. The accolade comes from well-respected Fairfax travel publication Traveller which appears in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Sun Herald newspapers.
The list was compiled by their team of well-travelled travel journalists who traversed the length and breadth of Australia, checking into the best this country has to offer. Thala is one of three Queensland properties named in the Top Ten and the only one outside of the Whitsunday Islands.
General Manager Johan Klindt said it was an honour to appear in a top ten list alongside iconic Australian properties. “Saffire Freycinet, One & Only Hayman Island and Southern Ocean Lodge are well known for offering extraordinary experiences for travellers. We’re delighted to be recognised alongside Australia’s best,” he said.
“Thala is unique in that we’re a nature-focused property with a strong environmental ethos. This, combined with our exceptional headland location overlooking the Coral Sea is what sets us apart. Guests often spot wild wallabies, birds and lizards on their way to and from their bungalows. International guests are particularly thrilled at these encounters, but so too are domestic travellers who live in southern cities and rarely come across wildlife in their natural tropical habitat.”
Located 45 mins north of Cairns International Airport, family-owned Thala Beach Nature Reserve is accredited with Advanced Ecotourism credentials. 15 mins south of the tropical village of Port Douglas, Thala’s beachfront native forest was formerly a sugarcane plantation. Rob and Oonagh Prettejohn purchased the 58 ha property in the early 1970’s and subsequently rejuvenated the degraded land, shunning chemicals and pesticides. They planted thousands of indigenous plants to rehabilitate the area, eventually transforming the land into the nature reserve guests enjoy today.
The private-access beach has been left exactly as nature intended it to be. Six different forest habitats are concentrated within the property. Ancient littoral rainforest, casuarinas and mangroves line the beach and lowlands while dry eucalypt woodland, gallery forest and coconut palms occupy the higher ground and inland creeks. Each habitat attracts its own wildlife species. Over 190 species of birds and 120 butterfly species have been recorded by Thala’s staff and guests. Agile wallabies, sugar gliders and lace monitor lizards are in abundance.
Thala’s guests enjoy an immersive nature experience in deluxe eco-style bungalows while minimising their environmental footprint. They enjoy complimentary guided nature tours by onsite rangers including stargazing at an outdoor observatory, coastal discovery, wildlife, bird and butterfly walks. Indigenous elders from the Kuku Yulanji people visit weekly to share their ancient culture through Dreamtime stories and music. A completely organic 650 tree coconut plantation is home to a unique coconut odyssey tour highlighting the extraordinary qualities of the ‘tree of life’.
Thala is far from your average Australian hotel. Magical moments are created within a haven of peace and tranquillity where nature takes centre stage. It takes an exquisite combination of natural beauty, wilderness, warmth and hospitality to be recognised amongst the best in Australia. Thala has these qualities in abundance.
View the Ten Best Hotels & Resorts in Australia athttp://www.traveller.com.au/the-best-in-australian-travel-for-resorts-and-hotels-gjzzt9