A TOP WINTER DESTINATION

If you’re looking for the perfect winter destination, get away from it all without compromising on luxury when you stay at Thala Beach resort. 

If you’re looking for the perfect winter destination, get away from it all without compromising on luxury when you stay at Thala Beach resort. The exotic accommodation immerses you in nature – nestled into the 145 acre grounds of the resort, your rooms are secluded yet indulgent, allowing you to totally unwind. The nature resort is flanked by a World Heritage Rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other – you’ll find no better spot to get back to nature. With stunning treetop views, the on-site restaurant is the perfect place for a decadent meal, and you can fill your days with top experiences hosted by the resort. Look no further than the Thala Beach Nature Reserve for your holiday this winter.

Accommodation

A far cry from your average hotel room, the exclusive accommodation options at Thala Beach Nature Reserve are a breath of fresh air – quite literally, with mesmerising views and extravagant furnishings. The most stunning choice is the Sandpiper Suite, decked out in natural beige and sitting snugly in the southern point of the private headland. Sit out on the deck and enjoy views of the sandy white beach and the unbroken horizon beyond from this most luxuriant of accommodations.

For those with a less flexible budget, three other options are available at the resort. The Coral Sea Bungalows are tucked away into the forest canopy, with unrivalled views of the coral sea. Your private verandah is the perfect place for spotting local wildlife, including Australian Snub Fin Dolphins. The Eucalypt Bungalows line the pathway through the Eucalypt Forest, and are furnished in dark wood and green, blending perfectly with the surrounding flora. Finally, the Jungle Walk Bungalows provide a more budget option, tucked into the forest and providing a comfortable, secluded accommodation.

Ospreys Restaurant

You’d be hard pushed to find a restaurant with a better view than Ospreys. Perched in the treetops, diners can look down through sun dappled branches to the shimmering blue sea and endless horizon beyond. Visit at dinnertime to experience the sunset of a lifetime. The seasonal menu offers modern Australian cuisine, with plenty of vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options too. There’s a clear Asian influence on the menu too, with example starters starring a duck salad served with nashi pear and miso mayo, and the Atlantic salmon starter is cured with wasabi and served with toasted nori.

For seafood lovers, main dishes include delicacies such as clams, mussels, and yellowfin tuna. Meat lovers are catered for too, with the teriyaki glazed chicken and soba noodles looking particularly mouth-watering. Desserts are equally sumptuous, with medleys of fruit, cheese, chocolate and cheesecake to tempt you into that third course.

If you can’t stay for dinner, Ospreys is also open for breakfast and lunch, and you can even order picnic baskets to your room. Pop by for a coffee, or head over in the evening for a naughty cocktail. Relax in the Masked Plovers Bar and Curlews Lounge, where comfy sofas overlook the swimming pool and the view beyond. You don’t even have to leave the beach to grab a beverage – Herbies Beach Shack provides canapés and limited drinks right at the beach-side... heaven.

Experiences

If you think your stay at Thala will revolve around just lying on the beach and lounging around in your room while enjoying the view, think again. There are a variety of free experiences you can book yourself onto during your stay, showcasing the natural wonders that make staying there so popular with photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Night owls will enjoy visiting the outdoor observatory where you can use telescopes and binoculars to survey the night’s sky. The resident galaxy guide will point out the majesty of the sparkling sky. Free from light pollution, this is the perfect place to glimpse the Southern Constellations. If daytime pursuits are more your thing, check out Thala’s Coconut Odyssey – the only one in Australia. There are around 700 coconut palms growing in the plantation, and your tour will introduce you to the history and health benefits of this miracle food. Learn the difference between coconut water and coconut milk, and have a taster too!

Other tours available include wildlife and nature walks, featuring the gardens, birds and butterflies of Thala Beach Nature Reserve, and you can attend talks by local aboriginal people too. All these experiences are offered free of charge and are subject to availability. Make inquiries to find out what’s on at the time of your stay. There are also a limited number of paid experiences, including kayaking, snorkelling, and a visit to the spa.

Day Trips

For visitors wanting to get the most out of their trip, there are a number of popular day trips which can be enjoyed from Thala. Naturally, diving in the Great Barrier Reef is a top choice, but is by no means the only option for visitors to the area. Queensland boasts a great number of attractions, and the reef is just the beginning.

The Daintree Rainforest is the largest continuous area of tropical rainforest on the Australian continent, and is about a 90-minute drive away from the reserve. Enjoy treetop views from the 10-metre high aerial walkway, which is a fantastic place for spotting rare birds. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth a visit. Located within the rainforest is the Mossman Gorge, where you can learn about the indigenous population and their connection to the natural world.

Made famous by the death of two explorers in 1861, Coopers Creek is also known as Barcoo River. It’s another popular destination for tourists – the river is over 800 miles long, making it the second longest inland river system in Australia.

If you don’t fancy going so far afield for a day trip, remember that Port Douglas is just a stones throw away from the Thala Beach Nature Reserve. Attractions are endless: crocodile river cruises, eco tours, caves and the outback, canyoning and extreme sports, boats, helicopters, hot air balloons – there’s never a dull moment in Port Douglas! Other popular local attractions are St. Mary’s Chapel, the four mile beach, the local Sunday market, the Port Douglas Court House Museum, horseback riding, and the Ngarru Gallery. 

If you catch the chance to grab a bit to eat between excursions, how about an outback tasting adventure? If that’s not your style, there’s always the fresh seafood which can be found in abundance in the area, as well as other local specialities. Naturally, the Ospreys Restaurant would be your first port of call when choosing a restaurant, but there are other top options nearby. Other choices for fine dining include the luxuriant Chapter One, and the highly rated Nautilus Restaurant. For midrange budgets, try Zipangu if you’re in the mood for sushi, or the Seabean Tapas Bar to pick and choose. For budget options, try the highly rated Lotus Leaf Asian Salads, Cafe Ziva for a trendy feel, or The Little Larder for a somewhere that may have a queue to get in! Whatever your budget, Port Douglas has something to offer.

What are you waiting for? Winter breaks need not be hum-drum when you choose to stay at the Thala Beach Nature Reserve. From a stunning location and plush accommodation, to sumptuous offerings and a huge variety of attractions, this area has it covered. All that there’s left to do is pack your bikini, don the sunglasses and hit the beach.

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