Published on January 7th, 2015 | by Ann Rickard0
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
There really is no competition when you have the Great Barrier Reef meeting the Daintree Rainforest.
Other countries can only covet in friendly envy.
Thala Beach Nature Reserve, concealed among the rainforest between Cairns and Port Douglas, gives easy access to both these icons. Overseas visitors gasp at the sight of Thala’s 58ha as they check in to one of the many bungalows peeking through the tropical rainforest with breath-sapping views of the Coral Sea. They think they’ve arrived in Eden.
As for me, a Queenslander used to nature’s gifts, even I had to take a deep breath of appreciation as I made my way from Thala’s reception along a succession of tracks, stopping every few metres to take in the alluring vision of sunshine sparkling on dazzling blue ocean.
The swimming pool is lined with rocks and rainforest in keeping with the natural appeal.
Thala has been designed to make you walk, stop, gaze and contemplate. The tracks weave excitingly throughout the expansive property and eventually lead you to a private, sandy beach edged with coconut palms – gently swaying, of course.
And if you arrive at the beach slightly panting after your enchanting walk, there is a cocktail and a hammock waiting for you at Herbie’s Beach Shack.
Guided nature and bird-watching walks, stargazing and reef and Daintree tours can be arranged, but there is also the option of indulgence in the spa, or just sitting in quiet reflection at one of dozens of timber benches strategically placed at striking viewpoints throughout the property.
Fortunately, it comes in abundance at Osprey’s Restaurant, perched in the treetops where the countless varieties of butterflies and birds dip and swoop and entertain, while chef Luukas Trautner presents sublime seafood and tropical dishes with the freshest of produce.
Thala has achieved the highest level of advanced eco certification and as far as glamour-meets-nature goes, it is unbeatable.