A giant Golden Orb Spider with a strong and elaborate web hanging out on our porch….
A hairy tarantula molting near the path to the lodge….
A pair of Tawny Frogmouth birds roosting quietly and camouflaged during the day, but noisily in the dark near our treehouse-style cabin in the forest at night….
Avoiding two cane toads on the trail at dusk… Sampling a tiny, green-bottomed ant (note its leaf-nest in photo below) for its lemon sherbet flavor on a wildlife walk….
These were unexpected excitements during our five day stay south of Port Douglas at the end of our Australian trip.
We splurged on this rather posh eco-retreat, named after the Aboriginal name for the White-Breasted Sea Eagle, and we were not disappointed.
We went on gratis nature walks with competent and friendly guides, celebrated Val on Father’s Day with a gourmet picnic on the beach at sunset,
swam in the well-appointed but chilly natural pool,
and enjoyed several meals at the upscale restaurant.
Thala was also a convenient location for taking day trips to two World Heritage sites: Daintree National Park and the Great Barrier Reef. Far from our usual Lonely Planet stays, this was an example of low-key luxury lodging with an eco-friendly philosophy and most gracious staff.