National Geographic has included North Queensland’s Thala Beach Nature Reserve on an exclusive list of the world’s best eco-experiences.
The organisation’s Unique Lodges of the World list admitted the luxury resort, which features 83 bungalows within 58 hectares of rainforest at Oak Beach north of Cairns, after a rigorous assessment of its environmental and cultural credentials.
The standards for inclusion are based on the ‘four pillars’ of sustainable tourism: protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities and environmentally friendly practices.
Set between the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, the resort has a decade-long track record of protecting the environment.The family-owned business joins four other Australian locations on the list: Lizard Island, Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Longitude 131° near Uluru and Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island.
According to owner Rob Prettejohn, the beachfront retreat has long offered a peaceful sanctuary for nature-loving travellers.
“Our busy lifestyles drive us relentlessly. To take some time off to reconnect with nature is a magical and enriching experience,” he said.
“At Thala Beach, our guests enjoy comfort within a beautiful, natural environment that is home to many unique Australian plants and animals.
“Add good local food and friendly tropical Queensland hospitality and interactive experiences, including visits to The Great Barrier Reef and guided walks in our ancient Gondwanan rainforests, and guests have a combination of experiences available nowhere else in the world.
“When visitors stay with us they contribute to preserving this wonderful and rare place. We are thrilled to now be a member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World and to be a part of a culture that embraces the very same values that we at Thala treasure.”
North Queensland beaches are featured in Tourism Australia’s latest $36m Crocodile Dundee-themed marketing campaign, starring high-profile Australian actors including Chris Hemsworth and Margot Robbie.