Blissing out at Thala Beach Lodge
THERE'S an unassuming driveway along the Captain Cook Highway that turns coastward through a coconut grove before settling at the top of a rocky coastal outcrop.
If you live in Cairns or Port Douglas you might have driven past it many times without giving it a second glance. But next time you pass by it might be handy to remember the resort at the end of the driveway, Thala Beach Lodge, might just be one of this region’s best-kept secrets.
The lodge straddles a private headland overlooking the vast expanse of the Coral Sea, featuring incredible views north, south and east from a variety of diverse vantage points.
Its centrepiece multi-level swimming pool has to be seen to be believed and is fringed by tropical palms, walkways and birdlife. If ever a place was purpose-built for discreet tropical relaxation it was Thala Beach Lodge.
The resort has a range of accommodation options priced from $265 per night for a Jungle Walk rainforest bungalow, situated along a lush tree-lined boulevard or from $585 locals can grab the crème de la crème of Thala accommodation, the Coral Sea room.
Perched high atop the headland the resort is famous for, the Coral Sea rooms are a spacious collection of breezy bungalows with to-die-for views south towards Double Island and Palm Cove. The rooms are accessed via a short walk from the main lodge and offer a quiet, balmy sanctuary high above the beach and surrounding rainforest.
There are no self-catering accommodation options at Thala Beach Lodge but with such a thoroughly impressive restaurant as the a la carte Osprey’s Restaurant it hardly matters. The dining room features 180-degree views north towards the Daintree Rainforest, Low Isles and beyond, and has exceptionally crafted, seasonal dishes showcasing some of the region’s finest local produce – much of which is grown in the resort’s kitchen garden.
I grabbed the butter-poached lobster and white prawns while my partner dined on plump sea scallops wrapped in smoked prosciutto. The nearby Masked Plover bar features the exotic (and extremely dangerous) lychee-infused vodka cocktail served in a chilled young coconut. And yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds!
There are abundant activities for nature-lovers on the resort’s extensive landscaped grounds, including expert-guided nature, bird and butterfly walks and Australia’s only ‘coconut tour’ through the resort’s working coconut farm.
And not content with earth-based “nature” experiences, the resort also takes advantage of its location to offer an unmatched stargazing experience. The resort suffers no evening light pollution because of its unique location and eager stargazers can see ever upwards on a clear night.
Guests can make use of the resort’s kayaks to go turtle spotting along Thala’s private coastline, undertake a sunrise yoga session in the cliff-top breezeway or grab a picnic basket for a leisurely breakfast on the resort’s beautiful private beach. So while my personal itinerary during our stay was a little more sedentary (wake up, laze poolside, have breakfast, laze poolside some more) there’s plenty to do for twitchy guests if relaxing is proving too difficult an undertaking.
Thala Beach Lodge has much to offer locals looking for a weekend getaway with a difference.
The writer was a guest of Thala Beach Lodge
Follow Andrew Simpson on Twitter @anothersimpson
Visit thalabeach.com.au for more information
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Relax in style: Hidden from view, the Thala Beach Lodge offers peace, tranquillity, luxury and spectacular views.