At Thala Beach Nature Reserve, bungalows nestle on a rainforest-covered private headland
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Relaxation | Wildlife
Located on the scenic coastal drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, the reserve is, unsurprisingly, set in in a World Heritage-listed area of ancient rainforests and stunning beaches. The views from the eco resort stretch from Double Island to Cape Tribulation and across the sparkling waters of Queensland’s Coral Sea. And, only ten minutes south of Port Douglas, it’s within touching distance of a delightful township whose restaurants and bars contribute to a lively village atmosphere.
The resort’s bungalows and suites, which are tucked away among the property’s 145 acres of rainforest or perched high up on the headland, come with air conditioning, ceiling fans and large private verandahs. The Sandpiper Suite is a particular delight as its deck, perched precipitously on a cliff top, overlooks both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Elsewhere, the Eucalypt Bungalows are best for enjoying the sights and sounds of the rainforest’s winged denizens while the Jungle Walk Bungalow is set deep in the earthy beauty of the estate’s jungle. Moving forwards, the Coral Sea Bungalows offer views over the forest canopy to the ocean where ospreys, whales and even dolphins can be spotted.
At the hotel’s Osprey’s restaurant, enjoy fine dining framed by the area’s forest-clad ranges and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Share breakfast with the sights and sounds of birds flitting through the canopy before enjoying a light lunch menu full of artisan local ingredients. Due to its seaside location, expect excellent seafood at dinner along with dishes such as beef tenderloin on a sweet potato purée. For a romantic beachside or rainforest picnic, order a gourmet basket complete with fine linen and blanket. These are also available to be delivered to your bungalow at breakfast.
At Thala’s you’re often spoilt for choice. For pools, choose between the main pool, featuring waterfalls, spas and grottos or the seclusion of the “Rock Pool” if you’re looking for a quite grove to relax beneath shady trees. With 2km of private sandy beaches and a network of marked walking trails meandering through the native forest, there’s plenty to keep nature lovers happy. Keep a look out for monitor lizards and, in the morning, wallabies. There’s also a massage studio and an adventure desk where you can book activities including sea kayaking, guided nature walks, stargazing and indigenous presentations.
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