Thala Beach…where the forest meets the sea..

I have a wonderful Australian’s children’s book called ”Where the Forest Meets the Sea” and while I was teaching I kept many a restless class captive with this book.

I wish I had all those students (and my daughters) here now to see the real thing….a lodge perched on a mountain, literally where the forest meets the sea.

We are in Far North Queensland, escaping the winter in Canberra, and we have stopped off for coffee at a wonderful place called Thala Beach Lodge.

A painting of White-bellied Sea Eagles

A sweeping staircase takes us up to the circular guest lounge perched high amongst the trees, with breathtaking views of the Coral Sea.

The whole lodge is made from local timbers, and it is just like walking into a grand tree house.

 

 

My apologies, I have taken a photo of the seating rather than the beautiful Coral Sea..

The building is designed to bring the breeze from the sea and the scent from the trees.

There is a  long cool veranda and thoughtful local flower arrangements and pieces of interest for even the casual visitor here at Thala..

Each year, between June and September Southern Humpback whales are seen passing by this part of the coast. They mate and give birth along the shores of Queensland, after migrating from their Antarctic feeding grounds.

carving by Brent Vincent

Adult males establish dominance by ”singing” their complex songs, which can travel more than 100 kilometres underwater and can last 20 mins without repetition.

cairnspost.com au Humpback whales frolic off the coast of Cairns in North Queensland

This photo, in the local newspaper, shows the whales along the coast near here.

How I envy locals being able to witness such a sight!

Near the lounge is an eye-catching painting, by the Australian artist Ray Crooke. He is best known for his Gauguin-inspired paintings of islander life in Fiji and the Torres strait.

Archibald prize winner, Ray Crooke lived nearby, in Palm Cove, until his death last year.

He was inspired by the people and history of Far North Queensland and the islands of Torres Strait and the Pacific.

This striking painting told an interesting slice of history of this area.

In 1876 gold was discovered inland from Kewarra Beach. The government paid for a track to be cut through the forest to reach the gold, and in 1877, some bushmen were sent out to cut the track.

One of the bushmen set up camp near the track, and awoke to find his horses had strayed in the night. While he was searching for them he shot at a large black snake, and to his surprise

”a naked greased white man with a red beard stood up and politely asked him not to shoot”

He and four other companions had lived in the area for 14 years with local Aboriginal families. The mystery of where they came from was never solved.

One clue to their identity was that they carried American made axes and there were the ruins of a ship wreck off White Cliffs,  where Thala beach sits today.

So much fascinating history is never told unless there is someone to record it…

The Lodge today is surrounded by natural stands of Eucalyptus forest/ dry woodland forest.

Tall canopies of trees protect an under-layer of ferns and vines…

Guests staying in the Lodge can swim in this peaceful pool, or go down to the beach below.

It is a credit to the owner Rob Prettejohn that he was inspired to build a place for people, yet treading lightly on the surrounding habitat, the forest and the beach front.

The Lodge specialises in bird watching, nature walks and star gazing.

Imagine lunch here, with kookaburras in the trees, and Rainbow Lorikeets flying (occasionally) through the dining room.

We are so tempted to stay here and have lunch looking out on that beautiful view…another day we will …and that is a promise..

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.

 

This is a flashback photo of Paul, myself and my cousin Theresa during our recent holiday in nearby Palm Cove.

Theresa, has lived in Far North Queensland for many years, and like me, she is a teacher. We were both born in Africa and have shared many adventures in both Africa and Australia.

She has introduced us to many new places in Queensland  (like Thala Beach Lodge) and if she wasn’t a teacher, I would highly recommend her as a  wonderful tour guide….

 

 

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Thala Beach…where the forest meets the sea..

  1. Theresa Higgins

    Oh what an accolade, Geraldine! Thank you. Job made easy by a couple who see “everything” and enjoy “everything” to the last detail. I love sharing my space and wake up most days thinking how lucky I am to live here.

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      you have been a great Queensland guide for such a long time…back to the camel on the beach days! Yes your part of Queensland is the best kept secret…almost!

      Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Thanks Judy, world news is always stressful these days. Hope your eye problem is improving…so much gardening to be done!

      Reply
  2. Diana Studer

    That vase of flowers is both beautiful and exotic – a reinterpretation of a bunch of roses or tulips.
    Nothing at all that I recognise there. Maybe Heliconia?

    Reply
  3. snowbird

    Smiling away here re the story of the naked greased white man!!!! Oh, what a paradise, I wouldn’t have wanted to leave there…utter heaven. The photo of the humpback whales had me remembering seeing them, one of the most remarkable experiences of my life, they are utterly astonishing, the sheer size of them. They look so alien and intelligent, they brought their calves right up to the ships, as though they were introducing them to people. Oh….I do hope I get to see them again one day. Another lovely post.xxx

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      The size of a whale is just amazing … I would love to see them close up … They are unique!

      Reply
  4. Jason

    Those views of the sea and the mountains look absolutely magical.And what a marvelous lodge. One of these days I have to get to Australia!

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      We’d love to stay in that Lodge too … a bloggers convention at Thala Lodge would be something..

      Reply
  5. Sarah

    Wow that looks a wonderful location and it is so good that it is not being spoilt. It was so interesting hearing about it’s history. Sarah x

    Reply

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