Australia’s Thala Beach Nature Reserve joins National Geographic’s Exclusive Club

Thala Beach Nature Reserve in North Queensland has been recognised by National Geographic’s most prestigious nature club, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, for its sustainable practices and environmental sensitivity.

Photo supplied by: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

With its strict vetting process, National Geographic has only accepted four other Eco Lodges from Australia.

A sustainable tourism expert from National Geographic visits the property for a time, and meets with members from every aspect of the operation, from kitchen staff to the general manager. Making sure high standards are met in regards to; protection of natural heritage, protection of cultural heritage, support for local communities, and environmentally friendly practices.

Photo supplied by: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Photo supplied by: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

It is also imperative guests are offered a range of intimate and exceptional experiences that immerses them in the natural environment.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve opened in 1998 and is situated between two of Australia’s most beautiful, diverse, and iconic landscapes; the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This unique combination of landscapes provides a range of activities for guests, such as snorkelling, scuba diving, rainforest walks, private beaches, and cultural experiences with local members of the Kuku Yalanji community.

Thala Beach Nature Reserve’s owner, Rob Prettejohn said there are loads of activities for nature loves to experience and explore when visiting the eco-retreat.

“At Thala Beach Nature Reserve, our guests enjoy comfort within a beautiful, natural environment that is home to many unique Australian plants and animals,” owner Rob Prettejohn said.

“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, 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.”

Photo supplied by: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

Rob Prettejohn purchased the land in 1970, which was largely being used as a sugarcane farm. At the time sugarcane was Queensland’s leading industry. Although Prettejohn had envisioned a greater plan for the land and set to rehabilitating the forest, planting trees.

Prettejohn’s conservation efforts over 30 years brought to life an eco-friendly lodge that exists in harmony with its breathtaking surrounds. Thala Beach Nature Reserve has won numerous awards such as, Studiosus Quality Award, 2017, TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, 2017, and Advanced Ecotourism Certification from Ecotourism Australia. Prettejohn is humbled that, National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, can be added to that list.

“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,” Prettejohn said.

“Our busy lifestyles drive us relentlessly. To take some time off to reconnect with nature is a magical and enriching experience.”

Photo supplied by: Thala Beach Nature Reserve

This extraordinary nature reserve hosts 83 treehouse style bungalows, and is only 15 minutes from Port Douglas, and 45 from Cairns.


There is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new sun. This is Where Wild Things Roam.